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Singapore

S$25 million initiative launched to support people with disabilities and build inclusivity

S$25 million initiative launched to support people with disabilities and build inclusivity

A man in a wheelchair. (File photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: A S$25 million initiative was launched by SG Enable and Tote Board on Friday (Dec 18) to support people with disabilities. 

The Enabling Lives Initiative (ELI) comprises a social innovation grant worth S$20 million and a S$5 million fund for public education. Care & Share Movement has also committed an additional S$1.196 million to co-fund public education.

"The ELI Grant will bring together the best ideas from the community of non-profit organisations, social enterprises and innovators to create scalable, impactful innovations for persons with disabilities," said SG Enable and Tote Board in a joint media release. 

READ: They have the skills and qualifications. So why can't these disabled people find good jobs?

The grant will support projects across three key areas: 

1. Living independently: Empowering people with disabilities to better manage life transitions and encourage greater levels of independence and self-sufficiency. 

2. Realising potentials: Enabling people with disabilities to thrive and have opportunities for meaningful employment and experiences by developing their skills and knowledge. 

3. Connecting communities: Engaging communities to increase accessibility of services, facilities and opportunities to create a more inclusive society. 

The grant aims to bring about better outcomes for people for disabilities and the grant call will open in April 2021. Applications for the grant will open in April 2021 and more information will be provided closer to the date on eli-grant.sg. 

SG Enable and Tote Board said the grant will build on the success of the Tote Board Enabling Lives Initiative grant, which was part of the Tote Board Enabling Lives Initiative launched in 2015. 

READ: MSF-funded centres for vulnerable families, persons with disabilities to progressively open from Jun 2

Between 2015 and 2020, more than S$16 million was committed through 10 themed grant calls, supporting more than 40 projects. 

"These projects have impacted more than 8,000 persons with disabilities and their caregivers," they said.

GREATER INCLUSION

One of the objectives of the new public education initiative is to bring about greater inclusion in schools, at workplaces and within the community.

The initiative builds on the National Council of Social Service's "See the True Me" public education campaign launched in 2016. The campaign urged Singaporeans to look beyond the disability and see people with disabilities for who they are and their abilities. 

"The (Enabling Lives Initiative) ELI public education initiative will work with like-minded partners to promote inclusion and engage persons with disabilities to share their lived experiences and enable greater self-advocacy," said SG Enable and Tote Board. 

As part of the new initiative, as well as to encourage such engagements, SG Enable and Tote Board added they seek partnerships with key stakeholders such as schools, employers, public service agencies and community groups to enable better interaction and integration of people with disabilities in the three key settings. 

READ: Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards honours 16 awardees in second edition

"The ELI public education initiative complements SG Enable’s existing disability inclusion initiatives that connect ideas, people and communities for collective impact," they said. 

(From left) Mr Moses Lee, Chairman of Tote Board, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development, Ms Anita Fam, President of NCSS, and Ms Ku Geok Boon, Chief Executive Officer of SG Enable launching the Enabling Lives Initiative. (Photo: SG Enable)

SG Enable's chief executive officer Ku Geok Boon said the Enabling Lives Initiative will advance their vision of an inclusive society. 

Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli, who was present at the launch, said: "These efforts will bring us a step closer to building a more caring and inclusive society.

"However, the Government cannot do this alone. And for us to do this well, we need partners from all sectors coming together, with a common goal and passion, to realise this vision." 

Source: CNA/lk(ac)

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