Lift for charities, sports and arts programmes

There is more cash in the pipeline for charities, self-help groups and sports and cultural programmes. The aim of the additional funding is to strengthen community bonds and get more people taking part in activities like sports or arts and heritage causes. People with greater needs will especially benefit from the new funding.

The VWOs-Charities Capability Fund, which helps volunteer welfare organisations and charities train their staff and expand their reach, will get an extra $100 million in total over the next five years.

The fund has helped around 400 groups since it began in 2002. More than $180 million has already been committed to the fund.

Four self-help groups - the Chinese Development Assistance Council, Mendaki, Sinda and the Eurasian Association - will receive $6 million over the next two years to help needy families and children.

And $50 million has been set aside to make it easier for Singaporeans to participate in sports. The Sports-In-Precinct programme, which develops sporting facilities in neighbourhoods, will be expanded so more people can play sports near home.

 

The SportCares programme, which helps disadvantaged youth by encouraging them to pick up sports, will also be expanded.

Aspiring athletes will get an extra $50 million in grants over five years.

The Government will also match up to $50 million in sports donations from the private sector, dollar for dollar.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat noted that cultural activities build bonds among Singaporeans, and many people not only visit museums and attend performances, but also participate as guides and donors. To sustain this momentum, the Government will top up the Cultural Matching Fund by $150 million. Under the fund, the Government matches private cash donations to cultural institutions dollar for dollar.

About $150 million has been committed to the fund since it began in 2014, and donations to arts and heritage causes have more than doubled.

More details on these programmes will be outlined in the coming weeks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2017, with the headline 'Lift for charities, sports and arts programmes'. Print Edition | Subscribe