Educating the Children of Asia
One in five children does not attend school in India and 83% of the schools do not have tap water facilities. – UNICEF 2009 special report on “The State of the World’s Children”.
An education gives a child a strong foundation and opens up pathways for personal development, and a better future. This is true everywhere in the world, but maybe more urgently so in a fast-growing Asia swelling with opportunities for people to make their mark or simply to improve the lives of their families. As a bank born and bred in Asia, we recognise the importance of educating the young because they hold the key to Asia's future. Through a variety of projects, many of which are initiated and driven by employee volunteers, we aim to help children in Asia reach their full potential, be it in academic learning, sports, music or the arts.
In July 2010, 24 DBS colleagues in Singapore participated in the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) “Hair for Hope”, a fund-raising event where volunteers shave their heads in a show of support for children with cancer. For their efforts, DBS raised over SGD58,000 for the CCF. The funds will be channelled to CCF’s therapeutic play and “Back to School” programmes. On Children’s Day, which falls on 1 October 2010 in Singapore, staff from DBS Treasury & Markets donated SGD118,000 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. The funds provide needy children with pocket money to defray meal expenses, bus fares and meet other schooling needs. DBS was also the official banking partner of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, which was held in Singapore in August 2010. The international sporting event provides a platform where young athletes not only compete, but also take part in a range of innovative learning programmes.
In China, DBS has partnered Shanghai Charity Foundation to set up a SGD250,000 fund, which will provide scholarships to migrant children in China. A portion of these funds has been donated to two migrant schools in Jinshan, to provide the students with a better learning environment, equipment and library facilities. Over 20 staff volunteers also accompanied 100 migrant students to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, Shanghai, in October.
On 17 January 2010, thousands of people participated in the Mumbai Marathon – one of India’s largest charity fund-raising initiatives – in support of various charities and causes. Sixty DBS India staff participated in the 6 km Dream Run in support of our non-governmental organisation partners, Aseema and Mumbai Mobile Crèches. The initiative raised over SGD13,000 for the two beneficiaries, which are actively involved in providing education to underprivileged children. DBS also donated over INR1.7 million to help construct facilities in an educational centre being built by Aseema. Apart from making contributions towards this cause, in February 2010, over 30 of our staff rolled up their sleeves to help in the construction of this facility, which is located in a remote tribal village about 150km from Mumbai. In 2010, the DBS branch in Mumbai also hosted 35 students from Aseema to a branch visit where the children learnt more about banking as well as the importance of saving.
DBS is partnering Indonesian Street Children Organisation (ISCO) to support the education of 550 underprivileged children over the next few years. To this end, in 2010, we donated IDR425 million to ISCO. DBS Indonesia staff volunteers also helped to tutor these children who live in slum areas throughout Jakarta.
DBS Taiwan will be donating NTD5 million to Taiwan Fund for Children and Families over 2010 and 2011 to help put 500 children in school. This is part of the “DBS Happy Ever Asia Relay” initiative launched in 2009, whereby our people across the region came up with an array of creative ideas to raise funds for underprivileged children in Asia.
Read about DBS’ commitment to championing social entrepreneurship in Asia