Read on for the latest TCTF news, updates on our popular programmes and the various causes the foundation supports.
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Sep - Dec 2015 | Issue 6

CEO's Message

What's wonderful about an idea is how it grows and develops. Before long, it isn't just one person's idea. As more people get involved, it takes on a life of its own. It belongs to everyone. 

More Than Words developed that way, driven by an empowered TCTF team and enlightened trainers. After three years, two performances and two children’s books, it has left its stamp on 2,000 people from over 35 charities. It has grown wings. 

Also having taken flight were connections TCTF brokered over time. These cut across age groups and causes. One example was Project Cheer, a multi-generational befriending initiative seeded in 2008 to connect working professionals and students to volunteering opportunities in TCTF-supported charities. The impact has been positive and exponential. 

Such alliances also helped smaller charities – in particular those serving both less privileged children as well as elderly beneficiaries
 – to collectively deepen their reach. The foundation has compiled the learning points gleaned from developing Project Cheer into an electronic handbook to help future volunteers chart similar initiatives better.

Thinking of others before oneself amplifies compassion and spreads kindness. As 2015 rounds to a close, we salute those who toil behind the scenes, bringing comfort 
(Tan Chin Tuan Awards for Enrolled Nurses) and hope to the marginalised (The Learning Farm). Our appreciation also goes to the volunteers, who shared their talents so that others might shine (Behind the Scenes, Scholars Give Back).

On behalf of everyone at the foundation, we wish our friends and supporters Peace and Joy throughout the Yuletide Season.

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

Photo: Ms Yap (standing) shared the outcomes of TCTF's More Than Words programme in a workshop on "Creativity, Communication and Mindfulness in Building Resilience for Youths" at the ACT! Conference On At-Risk Youths.

Yuletide Greetings from TCTF

Unveil our gift to you here.

Tête-à-Tête Series @ TCTF

Award recipients from two charities, Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) and Lembaga Biasiswa Kenangan Maulud (LBKM), joined TCTF scholars from Ngee Ann and Republic Polytechnics, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Chinese Immersion Programme students from Yale-NUS College at the Tan Chin Tuan Mansion to meet their benefactors. Ms Chew Gek Khim, TCTF Deputy Chairman and grand-daughter of the late Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan, encouraged awardees “to meet, share ideas and come together to form friendships and networks of their own.”

TCTF Council Member Professor Cham Tao Soon shared his insights on the engineering sector and elaborated on the foundation's professorships and scholarships.
TCTF's Tête-à-Tête Series enables people from different schools and backgrounds to interact with prominent community leaders, academics and researchers. The youths met Tan Chin Tuan Exchange Fellows and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar from NTU, as well as Tan Chin Tuan Professor in Chinese Studies Scott Cook from Yale-NUS College. Scholars, who had befriended one another whilst volunteering for TCTF programmes and internships, refreshed their acquaintances. 

Glimpse into the session here.

Scholars Give Back

The spirit of giving back to the community is one that TCTF nurtures in its scholars. 

Past and present scholars pitched in as stage crew, make-up artists and mentors during TCTF’s More Than Words Showcase on 10 September at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).

Recounting his first volunteering stint with the foundation during the More Than Words Showcase, TCTF scholar Samuel Wee, a final-year undergraduate studying English Literature at Nanyang Technological University, shared his experiences. Click here.
"Perhaps when we dance and sing and jump and act and laugh, the world itself becomes richer and more colourful, and we find the substance of things worth living for.” - Samuel Wee
During her TCTF internship, Tan Jia Ning, a Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan scholar pursuing a Diploma in Consumer Behavior and Research at Republic Polytechnic, face-painted the cast and created a garden from cardboard to enliven the stage for the children to shine. Read more.

More Than Words

Behind The Scenes

What took place behind the scenes to transform children from vulnerable backgrounds into performers brimming with self-confidence?
Close to 200 children from various charities supported by TCTF danced, acted and sang their way into the hearts of a 1,000-strong audience, comprising their families, beneficiaries and staff of charities during the More Than Words Showcase 2015.

Their transformation started when TCTF rolled out its popular creative arts programme in over 30 charities across Singapore, with the help of enlightened arts practitioners.

Children from Morning Star Community Services bopped to Nu-Style Hip Hop dance moves choreographed by The Little Arts Academy trainers, Mr Muhammad Ridhwan, "Wan" and Ms Fasihah, "Fas". Watching them rehearse, Mr Lemuel Yanos Baculanta from Morning Star observed how the children “blossomed, as if overnight”.

Speech and Drama trainers from ACTs of life brought the popular children’s tale of Babar the Elephant from print to stage. Colourful props and costumes were co-created by the children, who retold the story expressively through improvisation, poetry and dance.

After graduating with distinction in music from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, former TCTF scholar Ms Tran Thanh Xuan returned to serve at TCTF. She assembled an "angklung orchestra" comprising children who had not heard of the Indonesian traditional musical instrument. Nonetheless, their rendition of "Rainbow Connection" and “Chan Mali Chan” after five hours of practice wowed the audience. 

View the Photo Gallery.

In The News: 
Free arts lessons for kids from charities, The Straits Times.

陈振传基金办学习活动 200儿童舞台上展才艺, LianHe ZaoBao.

When Help Travels Far

Punching Above Their Weight: Sugar Rush with LAA dance trainers Fas and Wan, and TCTF CEO Ms Yap Su-Yin.
The finale item for More Than Words was an electric performance by The Little Arts Academy’s (LAA) Sugar Rush. The youngsters gave the audience an adrenaline rush with their nifty moves.

"Having sustained support was critical for the students," said LAA’s centre manager Aminah Hussien. She shared that the Transport Enabler Grant by TCTF enabled over 70 beneficiaries to attend LAA’s classes regularly. Consequently, at least two children made the cut to perform overseas.

Delphanie Phua, a social worker at Singapore Children’s Society, a TCTF-supported charity, observed that their beneficiaries have since become “more resilient and motivated to tackle challenges.”

"Before TCTF stepped in to bear the transport fares, talented children had to drop out of class because no one could send them for training," said Ms Hussien. "With the grant, they 
attended performances here and overseas, gaining more exposure. This encouraged them to improve."

Realising C.H.A.N.G.E.

Children and youth shared their ideas of how they saw themselves contributing to positive changes through poetry, stories, sketches – and even a musical score – in a new book, called “C.H.A.N.G.E”.

This book chronicled how children felt about their Community and Home, what Aspirations they had for our Nation, and the impact they could make on Gaia and the Environment.

It was a sequel to the inaugural 2014 book titled “Singapore 2114: My Dream, Our Future”. This second volume of the foundation’s More Than Words book series encouraged beneficiaries from TCTF-supported charities to be the change they could be, which was the theme of the programme this year. Contributors penned their reflections after attending experiential outings and creative writing workshops, sponsored by the foundation.

Foundation CEO, Ms Yap Su-Yin said that the "journal-as-we-journey" experience spurred beneficiaries to express themselves better. 
“Their self-esteem grows when they produce something original from their imagination. For some, words used to pain them. Now words are a way to create joy for others,” she added. 
“We can build an all-encompassing mighty car that is gasoline-free, which can be transformed into a super-store or robot teachers!”

Tan Wan Ting, 10, Care Community Services Society, explored how to make the world a better place with her peers.
With one breath the little boy blew,
And a thousand little white seeds flew,
Each brings change in its small way,
Inspiring growth, and seizing the day.
Extract from “Seeds of Change”, a poem penned by TCTF Scholar Seow Ling Ern, Hwa Chong Institution.
Read Book Foreword.
Download extracts from C.H.A.N.G.E.

TCT Awards for Enrolled Nurses

Front Row L-R: TCTF Council Member Prof Cham Tao Soon, National University Health System Chief Executive Dr John Wong, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, D.S. Lee Foundation Director and Speaker of Parliament Mdm Halimah Yacob and TCTF Deputy Chairman Ms Chew Gek Khim. In her closing speech, Ms Chew congratulated and thanked the 10 outstanding enrolled nurses for their passion and dedication in caring for patients and supporting their caregivers.
The 9th Tan Chin Tuan Nursing Awards was a memorable event for Principal Enrolled Nurse Sozhavalavan s/o Govindasamy Pillai Suppayan from Singapore General Hospital, who received the highest accolade for enrolled nurses in Singapore. Initiated by D.S. Lee Foundation in 2006, this annual event to recognise exemplary nurses was set up in honour of the late eminent banker and philanthropist, Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan.
Being a nurse in SGH's orthopaedics department for close to 26 years, Mr Sozhavalavan’s gratitude to all who supported him in his vocation and his compassion for others shone through as he shared, “I also wish for a minute’s silence for those who suffered in the recent tragedy in France. A minute of silence can travel a long way to extend our unity and show that we care.”
Front L-R: Ms Sherena Loh and Ms Judy Wee with 2015 Nursing Award champion (centre).
Organised by National University Health System (NUHS) this year, the nursing award ceremony was held on 16 November at the NUHS Auditorium.

Among the invited guests were Ms Sherena Loh and Ms Judy Wee from Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore). The awards reminded Ms Loh of her convalescence in hospital. "I really appreciate the care of the nurses in the 
orthopaedics departmentI recognised that Mr Sozhavalavan saw in us, patients who have moved on well, his reward,” said Ms Loh. “Nursing is not just a career, it requires a noble person with a heart for people.”

Volunteers' Handbook

TCTF launched a handbook to develop volunteers. Check out the Project Cheer Handbook – written and designed by youth for youth – to help volunteers refine their programme outcomes when planning service learning projects. Click here.

New Horizons

Mounted inside the Tan Chin Tuan Lecture Theatre at Yale-NUS College, Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan’s wise quote – “Life is a Marathon, Not a Sprint.” – serves as a reminder to students to be resilient when cultivating a meaningful existence. 
TCTF’s endowment gift to Yale-NUS College established a Tan Chin Tuan Professorship in China/Chinese Studies and the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme, which included educational immersions in Chinese universities for its students. Glimpse a liberal arts student’s sojourn to China to explore Chinese films and literature here.

Helping Youths Succeed

Photo: CARE Singapore
L-R: Director (Prosecution) of the Legal Services Division at the Ministry of Manpower Mr Mark Tay, ex-CARE student Mr Lionel Jonathan Louis and CARE Singapore co-founder Ms Adelyn Poh.

One of the foundation’s philosophies is to “enable the enablers”. To boost the capabilities of individuals and organisations serving at-risk youths, TCTF supported the ACT! Conference On At-Risk Youths, enabling more than 1,000 people to leverage on local and international expertise and navigate complex issues surrounding youth work today. Ms Adelyn Poh (photo right), co-founder of CARE Singapore, which organised the conference, shares more.



Planting Seeds of Change

Photo: The Learning Farm

Supporting charities so they are better equipped to help their beneficiaries is part of the foundation’s grant strategy.

TCTF partnered 
The Learning Farm (TLF) in Indonesia to offer a fully residential programme for marginalised youth to be mentored and taught useful life values and skills, such as integrity, communication, financial literacy and leadership. 

“School leavers are groomed to be farmer entrepreneurs. This improves their employability and helps them to reintegrate into society,” said TLF spokesperson Femilya Handra. “The 100-day programme empowers them to literally plant seeds of change.”
TLF graduate Muhaemin (first from left) shared how lessons at the farm taught him independence, team work and the importance of living life purposefully.
One of nine beneficiaries from TCTF’s sponsorship was Iid Saripudin from West Java, who previously worked as a construction labourer to support his family.

During the course, he picked up farming and life skills. “I realised nature is my teacher,” said Iid. Since graduating in March this year, Iid started a small fishery business. He also helped local farmers from his village plant organic rice using the System of Rice Intensification he learnt at the farm.
“Thank you Tan Chin Tuan Foundation for giving me the chance to learn and develop myself at The Learning Farm. The knowledge I obtained from my time here is very precious. I now aspire to be a successful entrepreneur.”
Iid Saripudin, 29.
Contact Us: The Secretariat, Tan Chin Tuan Foundation: 42 Cairnhill Road, Singapore 229661
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