Special needs student Nur Alysha Abdul Kassim, 11, has had a rough month after her father suffered a stroke three weeks ago.
But it was all smiles for Alysha yesterday as she walked around the Singapore Zoo with her father, Mr Abdul Kassim Mohamed Ibrahim, 70.
She was one of 500 participants from less privileged backgrounds who turned up for yesterday's Walk for Wishes event.
The walk aimed to raise funds to help fulfil their wishes, such as new school bags, walking aids or daily groceries. Each completed walk was matched by corporate donations to the POSB PAssion Kids Fund, which will pay for the wishes.
Each wish is capped at $200 and yesterday the walk raised enough to fulfil 1,000 wishes over the next three months.
The walk also marked the launch of the month-long Community Youthcare Festival and was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
More than 80 youth-driven projects organised by the People's Association youth executive committees (YECs) for the needy and vulnerable will be rolled out across Singapore. Around 30,000 youth volunteers and beneficiaries are expected to be involved in these projects, which end on April 2.
Said DPM Teo: "Young people have a lot of passion, energy and also compassion. They want to do something for the community and to make a difference. The YECs allow youth to channel their energy in very positive and constructive ways to make a difference to our society."
YEC chairman Leomund Teh, 29, said: "For the first time, we have all 102 YECs from all over Singapore coming together to do this walk and help one another. It is great to have so many people come out today."
For Alysha, who studies at the St Andrew's Autism School, yesterday's outing was a good opportunity to bond with her father.
"I am so happy to be here," she said, adding that her wish yesterday was for her father's illness to "disappear".