SINGAPORE – More than S$20,000 was raised on Friday (Aug 11) for the special-needs community at a dinner organised by the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), where Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong was guest-of-honour.
The money will be used by the TODAY Enable Fund to help individuals with special needs achieve their aspirations and improve their employment prospects. Mr Goh, who is patron of the fund, urged some 140 golfers at the NUSS National Day Golf presentation dinner to chip in.
“(These) are people who have (physical) disabilities or (are) sometimes challenged in other ways, and the problem for this group of people is, after school there’s no scheme to help them,” said Mr Goh.
“The moment they finish school, whether they are autistic children (or) Down Syndrome children, they are left on their own,” he added.
On his decision to support the TODAY Enable Fund, Mr Goh said he wanted to raise awareness of the special needs community.
“Otherwise … we sort of just put them aside. We don’t pay too much attention and I want people to be aware that there is such a group,” he said.
Beneficiaries of the fund include 21-year-old Stephanie Ow, who is blind and aspires to be a music teacher. “This is a blind girl who is very keen on playing the erhu (a two-stringed bowed musical instrument), and she was very good at it and she wanted to go further to be one of the top erhu players in the world,” said Mr Goh. “But where do you get the funding from? So we thought the funds at the TODAY Enable
Fund can help her, and there are few others who we have been helping.”
The fund was launched last December with the target of raising S$500,000 in the first year. With the donations last night, the amount raised stands at more than S$410,000.
Mr Tan Cheng Chuan was among the donors at the dinner. “We are privileged people (and) we are able-bodied … it is good to help (others),” said the 53-year-old who works in a bank.