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1st Quarter 2013 Newsletter

Reaching Out Beyond Borders

Reaching Out Beyond Borders

After participating in the Sunburst Youth Camp (SYC) in 2004, Vanida Luangthepxayavong was inspired to spread the Sunburst spirit and give back to her community by conducting English lessons for village children in Vientiane, Laos. While she had managed to garner the support of a local school to hold her English lessons in their classrooms, the classrooms were run down and not conducive for learning.

When the Singapore Chapter of the Singapore Technologies Endowment Programme (STEP) Alumni heard about Vanida's project, they wanted to lend a hand.
"We first organised a preliminary trip to Laos to speak to officials from the Lao People Revolutionary Youth Union. From the trip, we were given some guidelines on the various regulations we had to follow and the needs of the school, which helped us crystalise our ideas," said Rico Lim Kaibin, a STEP alumni who attended SYC in 2010.

After detailed planning, Rico and eight other youths from the Singapore Chapter met with ten Lao Alumni in Vientiane. Together, the team converted an unused room into a classroom, refurbishing the room by giving it a fresh coat of paint and cleaning used desks and chairs. They also conducted English lessons for over 50 children between the ages of 6 and 11.

"One important lesson we learnt was how to rectify issues on the spot. We realised that due to the age gap, the students absorbed the information at difference speeds. Hence, we had to adjust the lesson plans according to how well the students were taking in the information," says Rico.

Reflecting on the trip, Charmaine Lim, a STEP alumnus, says "It was indeed heartwarming to see the Laos youth and the Singapore youths working together towards the same goal."
Armed with this experience, the youths plan to go back to Laos this December, and to refurbish all 5 classrooms over the next few years.

Individuals with Special Needs Receive Employment Support

Individuals with Special Needs Receive Employment Support

Each year, over 20 students with learning disabilities graduate from Metta School. For many of these graduates, looking for a suitable job can be a daunting task.

To help these individuals find suitable employment, the Temasek Cares-Metta Employment Support Centre was set up in October 2011. Apart from providing employment support, the pilot programme also provides sheltered employment for graduates who are not ready for open employment. In addition, training is provided for the graduates to hone skills that will help increase their employability.

One such individual is 24-year-old Amirah, who graduated from Metta school in 2006. Under the Temasek Cares-Metta Employment Support Centre, Amirah received counselling and enrolled in classes such as a basic computer training course to prepare her for open employment. Through coaching, Amirah was also better able to perform during interviews with potential employers, and was offered a job as a Retail Assistant for NTUC-Fairprice.

The centre continued to engage Amirah through her employment, getting constant feedback from her employer and peers. With the support of her employers and family, she managed to complete her computer training course with the centre while sustaining her job at NTUC-Fairprice.

The programme has not only helped Amirah take a step towards independence, it has also boosted her self-confidence. "Amirah is happy to work in NTUC," says Mr Ehsam Bin Mamde, Amirah's brother. "She is becoming more confident of herself both in her work and living an independent life."

The programme aims to benefit over 130 Metta School graduates like Amirah by end 2013.

Hands-on Experience For Budding Scientists

Hands-on Experience For Budding Scientists

While her peers took a break during the school holidays, aspiring researcher Yong Xin Ee from Temasek Junior College delved into the world of scientific research, working alongside esteemed professors in fully equipped laboratories.

Xin Ee was one of six students chosen for the REsearch Attachment Programme (REAP) in 2012. Jointly organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE), National University of Singapore and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL), REAP aims to stimulate the interest of students in the area of life sciences. Started in 2002, the programme has been well received, with approximately one in three shortlisted applicants from MOE selected to participate.

Through the 6-week programme, the students were exposed to basic research theories and concepts as well as the applications of sophisticated laboratory equipment. Mentored by professional scientists, they also worked on mini research projects and assisted TLL researchers in existing projects.

"Not only has the programme equipped me with the practical skills that are required of a researcher, it has also developed my critical thinking skills. In a short span of 6 weeks, I have learnt many lessons that would never have been taught in school." says Xin Ee.

A Head Start for Young Artists

A Head Start for Young Artists

With an increased focus in the arts, the School Of The Arts (SOTA) has launched a programme aimed at identifying young talents in the areas of visual arts, dance, music and theatre. Funded by Temasek Education Foundation, the SOTA Junior Academy, which began in 2012, gives primary six pupils the opportunity to experience the life of an arts school student.

Held between January and March, selected students, nominated by their respective schools, participate in a wide array of camps and workshops. Through these classes, students are exposed to diverse topics ranging from classical singing to electronic composition.

Outstanding participants are invited to audition for SOTA's cohort of year one students. Of the 2013 intake, almost 15% were recruited through the Junior Academy. Based on their PSLE and Talent Academy results, the students may also be granted the Temasek Education Foundation Scholarship.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 14 Jan - Occupational Health & Safety in a Hospital Setting Key to Nurses Well-being and Productivity[more]
  • 04 Jan - NUS and Temasek Foundation Partner Thailand’s Ministry of Education to Boost English Language Learning in Thai Universities[more]
  • 20 Nov - Inaugural Temasek Foundation Governance & Public Administration Programme for Senior Public Officials from Asia[more]

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