SINGAPORE, 23 December 2020 – FairPrice Group today announced a donation of S$500,000 via its charity arm, FairPrice Foundation to NTUC First Campus’ (NFC) Bright Horizons Fund (BHF) and NTUC Health’s Eldercare Trust.
Half of the donation amount will support NFC’s Digital Kampung Programme to enhance digital access and strengthen digital literacy for low-income families and their children from 2021 to 2023, while the other half will go towards upgrading NTUC Health’s IT infrastructure to benefit more than 5,000 seniors across NTUC Health’s centre-based services including Nursing Homes, Day Centres for Seniors, Senior Activity Centres and Active Ageing Hubs.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, Group CEO, FairPrice Group, said, “FairPrice Group has increased our support to various community programmes providing further assistance to the less fortunate affected by the pandemic. We continue to scale-up on our corporate giving and hope that our donations to NTUC First Campus to support its Digital Kampung Programme, as well as NTUC Health’s upgrading of its IT infrastructure, will help boost digital literacy and skills among disadvantaged groups including vulnerable seniors and children from low-income families.”
Digital Kampung Programme to bridge digital gap
As Singapore moves towards a New Normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic, NFC is embracing an Omni-Channel model, which leverages both physical and digital platforms to enhance children’s learning and parent engagement. However, NFC recognises that there are low-income families with children in NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool (MFS) who do not have access to suitable digital devices at home and lack the knowledge to use such devices, and hence could not participate in the online learning and parent engagement activities.
Under the programme, NFC will lease Apple iPads on a short-term basis of up to three months to eligible MFS families with monthly household incomes of S$4,500 or less or monthly per capita incomes of S$1,125 or less; whose children are enrolled in a K1 or K2 class in MFS; and achieved at least 50% average attendance in the preceding month. This aims to facilitate the children’s learning and online engagement between MFS centres and the families. The Apple iPads will be pre-installed with educational materials and applications to support their children’s learning and encourage high-quality screen time, as well as resources for parents to communicate with the preschool online. Parents will also receive a “Digital Kampung Programme Starter Kit” which contains a useful step-by-step guide on iPad usage, recommended screen time for children and cyber-wellness tips, to strengthen their digital literacy. In addition, NFC will provide SIM cards for low-income families without WiFi access so that they can access the internet.
Mrs Phoon Chew Ping, NTUC First Campus’ Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Development), said: “With COVID-19 disrupting the education landscape, NFC has leveraged technology to support children’s learning. We recognise that some of our low-income families and children risk falling behind as they lack the necessary digital devices and know-how. With FairPrice Foundation’s support for our Digital Kampung Programme, NFC will be equipping more than 2,000 beneficiaries with digital devices and digital literacy skills over three years, opening doors to digital learning opportunities now and beyond.”
More Meaningful Virtual Activities with Seniors
In the last few months, NTUC Health has accelerated digital efforts to better support the evolving needs of seniors and their caregivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual activities are now part of the programmes offered at NTUC Health’s Nursing Homes, Day Centres for Seniors, Senior Activity Centres and Active Ageing Hubs, to enable seniors to remain active and stay connected with the community.
The donation to the Eldercare Trust will allow NTUC Health to enhance its digital infrastructure to expand two-way virtual interactions between seniors and facilitators through activities such as art and craft sessions, exercise workouts for seniors, and digital befriending where seniors can interact with volunteer befrienders online.
Ms Chan Su Yee, NTUC Health’s Chief Executive Officer said: “As seniors are most at risk from COVID-19, many activities conducted by our staff and volunteers have moved online to allow them to continue participating in the activities in a safe manner. FairPrice Foundation’s donation to the Eldercare Trust will help seniors move more confidently forward with technology in their everyday lives. We hope to enable seniors to continue to age purposefully with passion and vigour even in an increasingly digital world.”
Commitment to the community by FairPrice Foundation
Since the launch of FairPrice Foundation in 2008, it has donated about S$138.5 million to sponsor various causes benefiting the poor and needy, the community, and caring for workers’ welfare.