One of Asia’s largest independent alternative investment firms donated S$1 million to COVID-19-impacted individuals through CFS’s Sayang Sayang Fund and the #SINDACares initiative. SINDA presented an additional $326k from community-led donations for migrant worker relief
Baring Private Equity Asia (“BPEA”) joins a nation-wide COVID-19 relief effort by donating S$1 million to support local relief initiatives for the hardest hit sectors of society. The funding will be allocated to provide financial relief to Singapore’s vulnerable communities and individuals directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together with local community leaders and government representatives at two events yesterday (September 9, 2020), BPEA executives presented donations comprising S$600,000 for the Community Foundation of Singapore and $400,000 for the Migrant Workers’ Centre’s (MWC) charity, the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund (MWAF). The MWAF will go towards humanitarian assistance such as provision of accommodation, food and supporting programmes that will enhance the well-being of the migrant workers. SINDA boosted support towards this effort with an additional S$326,476 from its network of donors and partners for MWAF, which will be disbursed by the MWC to bring urgent relief to thousands of migrant workers who were impacted during the pandemic.
The recipient of S$600,000 is the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF), a community impact fund by The Community Foundation of Singapore, which was created to address the needs arising from COVID-19. Over $8m has been raised so far and assistance has been provided to over 270 charities and 136,000 care recipients. These include healthcare workers, low-income families, isolated seniors and migrant workers. The new funding will support 2,000 low-income families from the Fei Yue and South Central Family Service Centres who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic .
Targeted efforts by the Singaporean Indian community resulted in, #SINDACares, a fundraising campaign for migrant workers. This effort, led by SINDA, combines donations from Singaporean entities like the Indian Business-leaders’ Roundtable (IBR), an avenue for Indian business leaders to support the local community, and CII-India Business Forum (CII-IBF), a consortium of businesses and banks in Singapore, as well as from members of the public through an online donation platform. The S$326,476 raised was presented by SINDA to the Migrant Workers’ Centre for impacted migrant workers for ex-gratia support and to ensure their essential daily needs can be provided.
Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and National Development, President, SINDA was the Guest-of-Honour. Speaking at the ceremony, she lauded the contribution of migrant workers to Singapore’s economic growth.
“Migrant workers have contributed much to Singapore’s growth and development. They have left behind families and friends and come to Singapore in pursuit of livelihoods to support themselves and their loved ones,” said Ms Rajah. “As a Singaporean community, we remain committed to helping them through the COVID-19 pandemic and these challenging times. They are assured of the same medical care as Singaporeans.We will enable their recovery and access to effective support. The #SINDACares campaign brings together various stakeholders – businesses, community groups and individuals – to complement the government’s efforts in caring for migrant workers. This heart-warming initiative reflects the compassionate society that Singapore is. Efforts such as these also reaffirm and strengthen our social cohesion and resilience.”
Mr Jean Eric Salata, Founding Partner and CEO, Baring Private Equity Asia was also present at the event along with leading members of the Indian community including India’s High Commissioner to Singapore, HE Mr P Kumaran. Speaking about the devastating effects of the pandemic Mr Salata talked about his company plans to help lessen the economic and social hardships caused by the pandemic. “By setting up the BPEA COVID-19 Relief Fund in April this year, our offices around the region including Singapore, can support initiatives that are deeply rooted in the community where real action can alleviate the hardships caused by unemployment and economic disruption as a result of the pandemic and a COVID-19 diagnosis,” he said.
Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, Chairman, Migrant Workers Centre (MWC) was touched by the generosity of the donors, he said. “We are very thankful for the donors’ generosity, which will enable MWC to provide timely assistance to our migrant workers, especially during this challenging period of time.”
Said Ms Catherine Loh, Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation of Singapore: “As an advocate of community philanthropy, CFS is heartened by the generosity of BPEA’s donation to help both migrant workers as well as low-income families here. CFS has worked with so many donors to help such disadvantaged families through these difficult times but there are many more that still need assistance. BPEA’s donation goes a long way to alleviating their hardships and we commend them on being a caring corporate citizen role model.”
Thanking the donors, Mr Anbarasu Rajendran, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Indian Development Association paid tribute to the Singaporean spirit of always coming together in aid of the needy: “We are glad that we could serve as a driving agent, in rallying our partners and donors to contribute to this meaningful cause,” he said. “While we work together as a nation to overcome this pandemic, it is also important that we play our part in reassuring migrant workers that their needs will be looked after. The response from our donors and partners has been very encouraging and these efforts reinforce the Singaporean spirit of helping one another.”