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Speech by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Education at The Lakeside Charity Dinner 2019 on Friday, 4 October 2019, One Farrer Hotel

04 Oct 2019
Chairman of Lakeside Family Services Management Committee, Mr Andrew Tay

Executive Director of Lakeside Family Services, Mr Teo Tee Loon

Lakeside staff, volunteers, supporters, and friends

1. Good evening to everybody! 

2. It is a pleasure to join all of you here tonight at the Lakeside Charity Dinner 2019. Over 26 years, Lakeside Family Services has been providing key social services to people of all ages, races, and religions. Thank you all for being here, for playing a part in helping those in need.

3. Whether it’s the down-and-out family struggling with financial or inter-personal issues, children with learning or emotional difficulties, or ex-inmates facing job and family challenges, Lakeside offers a listening ear, and a helping hand. Over the past year, Lakeside has responded to issues affecting children, youths, seniors, and families by diversifying their work and increasing their reach. 

4. Let’s start with children and youths. They are Singapore’s future, and we value every single one of them. Some of them face more challenges growing up, especially if they are from disadvantaged families. 

5. I came to know of a girl from Boon Lay Garden Primary School, who benefited tremendously from Lakeside’s GRIT Project, which stands for Grace, Respect, Integrity and Tenacity. The school was concerned about her attendance and lack of family support; hence, they reached out to Lakeside Family Service Centre (FSC). Under the GRIT Project, she attended a Hip Hop dance module and interacted with student mentors from the Singapore Management University, which helped her to develop a newfound sense of self-confidence and self-esteem. Upon learning that her parents lived far away from the school, Lakeside FSC worked with the school counsellor and went the extra mile to facilitate an alternative arrangement for the girl to stay with her relative who lives near the school. She now attends school regularly and has built positive relationships with her teachers, peers and family.

6. This is a wonderful and inspirational account, and I am heartened to hear how Lakeside is working closely with schools in the region to help disadvantaged students and their families. As some of you may know, I lead an inter-agency taskforce, UPLIFT, which stands for Uplifting Pupils in Life and Inspiring Families Taskforce. Strong coordination and school-community partnerships are key areas that UPLIFT is focusing on to strengthen support for disadvantaged students and families. Our aim is to build a seamless wrap-around support ecosystem so that students can receive help within and beyond schools. Therefore, it is very encouraging to see such initiatives from Lakeside FSC.

7. The support is extended not only for students, but also for parents. Lakeside has started running the Parent Support Service for 35 schools in Jurong East, Clementi, and Queenstown. Under the Parent Support Service, Lakeside conducts the Positive Parenting Programme and Signposts programme. These programmes help equip parents with parenting skills, which eventually will affect their children’s well-being. 

8. Lakeside is also doing its part to reduce social isolation among the elderly. A few days ago, they launched their new Kaki Kampong Seniors Wellness Centre, where seniors can take part in programmes and interest groups like baking, performing arts and crafts. It is great that the seniors also contribute in many ways. They volunteer to teach classes, chaperone the seniors on wheelchairs, and make the crafts on sale today to raise funds. Please do support them! 

9. What sets Kaki Kampong apart is that it empowers active seniors to befriend and support seniors in need. To me, this captures the essence of a kampong. Seniors enjoy greater well-being, reduced social isolation, and community spirit is strengthened. 

10. All these good work is possible because of everyone here tonight. It is a wonderful thing to aspire to – a loving society that remembers those who are struggling, cares for the generation that raised us, and sets a good example for the generation that will come after us. 

11. On behalf of all Lakeside beneficiaries, thank you all for your support. 

12. Please enjoy your evening!