SINGAPORE: The President’s Challenge next year will focus on empowering people with disabilities, announced President Halimah Yacob at the launch of the Arts in the City: We love SINGApore exhibition on Wednesday (Jul 31).
“We feel like through empowerment, in terms of training them, providing them with employment, this will help them to gain a lot of self-confidence, self-esteem, a sense of well-being … and a part of society.
“Also, most importantly, a sense of independence and reliance – self-reliance, which is so critical or crucial for our people with disabilities,” she said.
Citing a survey by the National Council of Social Service, Mdm Halimah noted that six out of 10 respondents with disabilities felt they were “not included in society”.
“Those who are not working are worse, because the quality of life is lower,” she said.
She added that she hoped to see more inclusive hiring practices from employers to give people with disabilities more training and job opportunities.
Set up in 2000 by then-President S R Nathan, the President’s Challenge is an annual fundraising event to support charities.
Last year, Mdm Halimah announced a new Empowering for Life Fund (ELF) under the President's Challenge, to help vulnerable groups find employment. All donations will be matched dollar-by-dollar from the Government up to S$10 million for five years.
The Arts in the City: We love SINGApore exhibition is a collaboration between the Singapore Kindness Movement and CapitaLand’s Raffles City Singapore to commemorate the Singapore Bicentennial and Singapore’s 54th year.
The exhibition unveiled 200 figurines of the Singapore Kindness Movement's mascot, Singa the Lion. These mascots were designed by individuals from all walks of life, including Mdm Halimah and local celebrity Fann Wong.
At the launch, CapitaLand also pledged S$300,000 to six beneficiaries under this year’s President’s Challenge.