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Govt mulls higher matching grants for 3 self-help groups

Three self-help groups are set to get a boost in funding to help more low-income families, if their proposals for higher grant amounts are accepted by the government.

SINGAPORE: Three self-help groups are set to get a boost in funding to help more low-income families, if their proposals for higher grant amounts are accepted by the government.

Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and the Eurasian Association had proposed increased funding, as they plan to expand their outreach and tackle new areas of help in the community.

For instance, CDAC is offering skills-training courses and more customised programmes to help students.

SINDA is focusing on pre-schoolers by rolling out programmes like reading skills, and helping parents bond with their children through activities such as parent-child bonding camps and parenting conferences.

The Eurasian Association has taken in more young students and rolled out programmes to support active ageing.

The groups are also suggesting raising CPF members' monthly contributions to their respective self-help groups.  

Mr Wong said the government is prepared to provide additional funding to support their programmes and services for the needy, as part of national efforts to build stronger social safety nets and help low-income families level up -- and this could come in the form of higher matching grants. 

"I would just like to say that if the communities are doing more on their part, the government, then in response, will be committed to providing more in terms of matching grants,” said Mr Wong.

“Because the government today does provide matching grants to these communities, we would correspondingly match the efforts of the community by raising the quantum of our matching grants."

Mr Wong was speaking at a dialogue with Bukit Batok residents, where he said the government and community must do more to help build a better Singapore.

Last year, the government raised the matching grant for the Malay/Muslim community through Mendaki, the Association of Muslim Professionals and the Malay/Muslim organisations from S$4 million to S$5 million in response to initiatives from the community to do more.  

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