More than 1,400 students from 14 out of 19 special education (SPED) schools including beneficiaries of the Singtel Touching Lives Fund (STLF) attended the 6th Singtel Carnival at the Singapore Expo today. Singapore President Halimah Yacob graced the event as Guest-of-Honour.
The students aged between 7 to 18 years old enjoyed a day away from the classroom at the mega carnival organised by a team of over 1,700 Singtel staff volunteers who set up 50 food and game stalls, as well as stage entertainment for their special guests. They got to watch performances, and participated in games and activities such as shoot the hoop and a flying carpet ride in the company of Singtel staff chaperones.
Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chairman of STLF and CEO Consumer Singapore at Singtel, said, “Now in its sixth year, the Singtel Carnival is part of ongoing efforts to work together with our beneficiaries and the community to develop these students outside of their school curriculums. We see ourselves playing a part by creating a day of interaction and fun for them in a safe and nurturing environment. In return, the children teach us to be inclusive and empathetic and inspire us to keep paying it forward. We are honoured to have President Halimah Yacob join us for the carnival. I’m also very heartened by the strong spirit of volunteerism among our employees who have turned out in large numbers to give back to the community. We are very supportive of that and we want to encourage more to volunteer their time.”
Mrs Koh-Lim Ai Lay, Principal of Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School, said, "Singtel has been a very committed and generous partner. Every year, Singtel staff come together to raise funds for our school so that we can provide more holistic programmes to our students with moderate to severe multiple disabilities. These programmes include skill-based training for our students preparing for work and curriculum programmes that build their level of independence and self-esteem. Outings and learning journeys help students gain greater exposure beyond their classrooms. We are very appreciative of the hard work of each and every staff from Singtel in their efforts to build a more inclusive society in Singapore."
Solely sponsored by Singtel since 2012, the carnival is a flagship event of the STLF which works with charities that offer critical and specialised education, as well as supports programmes for children and youth with special needs. To date, the STLF has raised more than S$40 million. Its six beneficiaries include the APSN Chaoyang School, APSN Delta Senior School, APSN Tanglin School, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School, Eden School, and MINDS Lee Kong Chian Gardens School, which cover programmes in both primary and secondary levels.