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Read on for the latest TCTF news, updates on our popular programmes and the various causes the foundation supports.
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Jan - Apr 2015 | Issue 4

CEO's Message

Philanthropy works best when it generates relationships. This issue of “Sharing our Philosophy of Giving” – the first TCTF e-Newsletter for 2015 – puts the spotlight on how our grants and programmes are designed to get people connected with one another in meaningful ways.

During the March school holidays, TCTF ran sessions of Project Cheer to combat the daily monotony faced by lonely elderly and children. The foundation matched a junior college with charities near it. Some teens sang oldies. Seniors demonstrated how yesteryear games were played. The children in turn prepared traditional snacks. For the youth, it was their second consecutive year stepping up to help the foundation deliver a simple yet important message: Charity begins at home.

As a firm believer that education is a powerful tool to effect change, and that much can also be taught and learnt outside the classroom, our internship programme exposes youth to different charities and their causes. These immersions strive to ignite, not the next, but this generation’s change-makers. Our interns share their reflections on mental health in “Interns’ Diary”.

Later this month, we kick off our “Tête-à-Tête @ TCTF” Series, comprising dialogues and networking teas. At the upcoming session, our “More Than Words” programme partners will get to know first-hand about the creative learning opportunities that the foundation has lined up for their beneficiaries, staff and volunteers.

All this and more are our way of pooling the strengths of different groups together. Whether large or bite-sized, in dollars or cents, by an adult or child, every effort counts. Each person matters.

Yap Su-Yin, CEO, Tan Chin Tuan Foundation (TCTF)

TCTF Chinese New Year Get-together

Representatives from Soka Gakkai (Johor) attended the Chinese New Year get-together for charities supported by the foundation. 

Laughter interspersed with chatter and cheer filled the Tan Chin Tuan Mansion as guests from various charities and organisations in Singapore and ASEAN renewed their ties with one another during our annual Chinese New Year get-together on 28 February. View our photo gallery here.

Scholarships: Nurturing Potential

Kiev Lye Ka Ee (left) received the Thio Chan Bee Scholarship from TCTF Chairman, Dr Tan Kheng Lian.

Each year, the foundation bestows scholarships to recognise the achievements of bright, deserving students of good character and conduct, and support them in reaching their full potential. Our scholars are encouraged to contribute to their community, and to maintain links with their alma mater and the foundation.

At Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Tan Sri (Dr.) Tan Chin Tuan set up and named scholarships after ACS educators he admired for their dedication to their vocation. ACS (Barker Road) held their Academic Prize Presentation in conjunction with their 129th Founder's Day Thanksgiving Service celebrations. TCTF’s Chairman, Dr Tan Kheng Lian was invited to present academic prizes to the following 2015 Tan Chin Tuan scholarship award recipients: 
 
Lee Hah Ing Scholarship Award Mark Wong Yong Sheng
Goh Hood Keng Scholarship Award Benny Goh Cheng Yew
CB Paul Scholarship Award Kane Neo Zhen Chuan
Thio Chan Bee Scholarship Award Kiev Lye Ka Ee

Scholars Give Back

Photo: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
TCTF scholars from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts shared their thoughts about being a TCTF scholar. Read more.
TCTF scholars are encouraged to volunteer with the foundation to help the infirmed, aged, at-risk children, youth and the needy. (L-R) Kwan Lam Yu, Ng Rui Ying and Ho Zi Wei reflected on how these stints have enriched their perspectives on school-life and friendships. Read more.

Project Cheer: With Cheer, We Bond

Photo: Mervyn Sek, ACJC
Project Cheer encourages students to take on the role of mentors to facilitate bonding among themselves, the elderly and children. Get a glimpse of Project Cheer here.

You Inspire Me

The participants’ final shots using a Polaroid Land Camera, after picking up basic photography techniques from the DECK team.
 

Seated within a quirky refurbished shipping container on Prinsep Street, teens and staff from charities, CARE.SG and 4PM, gathered to learn about the effects of ammonium iron (III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide. But it wasn’t a chemistry lesson. Rather, it was a beginner’s photography workshop, specially organised for the foundation’s beneficiaries.
 
During the two-hour session, participants learnt about portraiture photography techniques such as the rule of thirds and visual perspectives. They gained exposure to creative darkroom procedures such as cyanotype, and were introduced to a condensed three-step process for photo-taking.
 
The bespoke photography workshop was conducted by DECK, an independent art-space. It was organised as part of the foundation’s Young Arts Reporter Project, and in partnership with Encore! The European Season in Singapore. Over the years, partners TCTF & Encore! have identified myriad ways to enable different segments of the foundation’s beneficiaries to experience cultural and creative learning opportunities that are educational. These have included musicals, guided tours to museums and exhibitions.
 
Additionally, in celebration of International Women’s Day (which was on March 8), the workshop trainers weaved images of inspiring women around the globe into their activities. The images of iconic women, such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Malala Yousafzai, Mother Teresa and Tyra Banks, were unveiled during the chemical process as the participants tried their hand at developing photos. Participants were also encouraged to share on social media, images of inspiring women they photographed in school, at home or at play with the hashtag, #TCTFIWD2015.
 
DECK’s co-founder, Gwendolyn Lee, shared her personal journey of creating an independent art-space like DECK from scratch. Read about her inspirational endeavour below.

Feature

Photo: DECK
Assembled from 19 re-purposed shipping containers, the space located along Prinsep Street serves as a conduit between two arts colleges, NAFA and LASALLE. One would certainly not expect the space to house a gallery, resource library, studios and a café.
 

What comes to your mind when you see unused shipping containers? Certainly not a full-fledged functioning art space and museum. This unique urban creation is the brain child of Gwendolyn Lee, director and co-founder of DECK by 2902. “We envisioned a space that could breed creativity in what must be the easiest form of expression in our modern lives – photography,” explained Gwendolyn. 

The seemingly impossible progression from a grand idea to its actualisation was no easy feat. However, armed with a vision and passion, Gwendolyn along with a young team of four, pitched their proposal of creating an independent art space to inspire and stimulate conversation about photography. “DECK is the realisation of this space, made possible through creative city planning, generous donations from corporate companies, foundations, individuals and online crowd sourcing,” she added.

TCTF and Encore! engaged DECK for a photography workshop for novice photographers. TCTF-supported charities such as CARE.SG and 4PM, attended the complimentary workshop as part of the foundation's Young Arts Reporter Project (YARP) - a programme that develops youth beneficiaries' interest in journalism.

DECK currently hosts ongoing art exhibitions as well as educational programmes for students and the public. Said Gwendolyn, “DECK welcomes the professional, the novice, the smartphone photographer, the photographed and the viewer to all come together, spend time, mingle and be inspired, with the belief that photography is about people after all."

♥ Singapour Je t’aime ♥

Photo: Encore!
Partnerships are the cornerstone of the foundation's work. TCTF's collaboration with Encore! for example, has seeded numerous cross cultural experiences for the less privileged. Most recently, Encore! helped raise over $60,000 for the Children's Cancer Foundation, a charity supported by TCTF, as a way to give back to Singapore society. Read more.

Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professorships

Yale-NUS College

Photo: Yale-NUS College 
(L-R) Prof Stuart Semmel, Prof Cham Tao Soon, Dr Richard Yen, Ms Chew Gek Khim, Prof Annping Chin, Prof Jonathan Spence, Prof Pericles Lewis, Prof Tina Lu, Prof Scott Cook, and Mrs Wan-Ying Cook.

Professor of History at Yale University and author of over ten books on Chinese history – Jonathan Spence (fifth from right) delved into the history of modern China over the past four centuries in a talk, entitled "A Historian's Life", organised as part of the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme. At the talk, Professor Scott Cook – inaugural Tan Chin Tuan Professor of Chinese Studies, who also heads the Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme, thanked TCTF for its contributions to the college.


Tan Sri (Dr.) Tan Chin Tuan was a passionate advocate of education. This same passion carries on today through TCTF’s gift of five million to Yale-NUS College. The gift matched in the ratio of three-to-one by the Singapore government, formed a $20 million endowment fund for two programmes at the college – the Tan Chin Tuan Professorship in China/Chinese Studies and the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme.

The former is aimed at providing strong leadership to enhance the college’s capabilities and impact in the area of China/Chinese Studies, whilst the latter promotes the understanding of China and Chinese culture, especially among the students. In March, the college invited renowned historian, Professor Jonathan Spence, to deliver a public lecture as part of the the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture & Civilisation Programme. 

Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Fund

Photo: Nanyang Technological University
The Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professorship Lecture, which was held at the Tan Chin Tuan Lecture Theatre, NTU on 31 March 2015, captivated the attention of an audience of over 200, comprising members of the faculty, research staff and students, as well as industry partners.


The issue of energy is no doubt a global priority. Tan Chin Tuan Centennial (TCTC) Professor, Professor Subodh G. Mhaisalkar addressed this important topic during his presentation on “Nanomaterials and Energy Conversion, Storage and Conservation”. He went on to outline the challenges in the energy domain and focused on examples of where nanomaterials and nanotechnology have provided breakthrough solutions. 
 
An endowed gift from TCTF to NTU in 2008 to mark the Birth Centennial Year of its Founder, matched dollar-for-dollar by the Singapore government, formed the $20 million Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Fund. The TCTC Professorship in Engineering was one of three programmes at NTU, initiated through the Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Fund, to raise the quality of education and research at the university. The other two programmes were the Tan Chin Tuan Exchange Fellowship in Engineering and the Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Forum.
 
The Tan Chin Tuan Exchange Fellowship in Engineering offers opportunities for the younger academic staff to be exposed to international research environment and culture. This is to enhance their professional development and contributions to the university.
 
The Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Forums, jointly organised by TCTF and NTU in China, provide opportunities for friendly collaborations and continuing education for NTU’s "Mayors’ Class" alumni.

More Than Words: Training the Trainers

TCTF sponsored pre-school teachers from four charities to attend a storytelling workshop, as part of the foundation's More Than Words initiative. The purpose of TCTF's sponsorship was to encourage charities to use storytelling techniques in their interaction and education of young beneficiaries. Peek into the session here.
Photo: Moonshadow Stories

Interns' Diary: Bonding Amidst Learning

Shawn Wong (second from left) and Pearly Ang (right) share their reflections about their internship at TCTF and the Singapore Anglican Community Services. 
 
Pearly Ang and Shawn Wong, who were from Hwa Chong Institution and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) respectively, joined TCTF's internship programme. As part of their internship, they were attached to the Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS), a TCTF-supported charity.

SACS provides relief and refuge for those with psychiatric issues. The charity aids its clients in regaining their mental health and self-confidence, and with their assimilation into society. Over the span of four weeks, the interns interacted with the clients at the various mental health rehabilitation, support and care centres.

The experience was an eye-opener for Shawn, an aspiring doctor. He observed that people with mental health challenges struggled with social stigma, the lack of empathy and acceptance by society. Through his personal interaction with SACS staff and clients, he realised that a number of psychiatrically challenged individuals are “treatable to the point where [they] can live almost fully normal lives.”

Pearly’s stint at SACS made her a new friend. She struck an unlikely friendship with a female client called Jamie (not her real name) who is in her fifties. Pearly shared this experience in her article, titled “Finding the Voice of Reason.” For her, the experience made her see beyond a person’s mental illness to the beauty of the individual within.

Charity Spotlight:
Singapore Anglican Community Services

Finding the Voice of Reason

By Pearly Ang

Once I mention working with people with mental illnesses, the questions come.

“Do they bathe?” “Are they violent?” “Do they talk to themselves?”

These are questions I encounter when telling others about my internship at the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation (TCTF). Because of my interest in mental illnesses, the foundation linked me to Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS), a TCTF-supported charity which provides services for the mentally ill.  

In my four weeks at SACS, I had the opportunity to get to know someone with mental health issues. My encounters with a SACS client Jamie (not her real name) got me thinking about the stigma people with mental illnesses face in our society, and what are ways they could be more integrated with the community.


Read on here.

An Intern's Insights on Mental Illnesses

By Shawn Wong

What goes through your mind when you hear about people who are bipolar or schizophrenic? Do you instantly think of a person who has split-personalities? Do you understand what people with mental illnesses experience in their lives, and how they cope with their diseases?

These are but some of the things that I have learnt about while being posted to the Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS). During my time there, I had the opportunity to understand so much more about a small group of individuals critical to the mental wellness sector: the case managers. From a small office in Pasir Ris, a number of them work tirelessly to implement the Community Rehabilitation Support and Services programme, designed to help clients with their mental illnesses.


Read on here.

ASEAN: Making a Difference Across Borders

Photo: Grace International School
TCTF sets up new scholarships in Thailand. (L-R) Kerry Wade (TCTF-GIS Returning Alumni Grant) and scholars Amanda Shim, Sarah Miller, Shihrayia Akamu and April Futch. Find out more about our TCTF-GIS scholars here.
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