Charting Into a New Era
Mr S R Nathan marks his appointment as Chairman of CapitaLand Hope Foundation in a Garden of Hope
Issue: Jun 2012
(Right to left) CapitaLand Hope Foundation’s (CHF) newly appointed Chairman, Mr S R Nathan; CHF Director, Mr Liew Mun Leong; and President of Jamiyah Singapore, Mr Haji Abdul Karim Maidin, watering the tree to mark the completion of ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’ at the new premise of Jamiyah Children’s Home in Singapore
There was a buzz of excitement in the air at the new Jamiyah Children's Home at Guillemard Cresent, Singapore last month. Volunteers, staff and children from the Home as well as employees of CapitaLand were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the newly appointed CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF) Chairman, Mr S R Nathan. His appearance at the new Jamiyah Children’s Home marked his first visit to a CHF beneficiary in his capacity as the Chairman of CHF. He succeeds former Chairman Mr Lim Chin Beng, following the latter’s retirement from the Board of CHF.
Mr Nathan is certainly no newcomer to the charity scene. During his twelve-year tenure as the President of the Republic of Singapore, he raised the awareness on social concerns and rallied support for the social sector. Notably, Mr Nathan started the President's Challenge in 2000, which is an annual series of community-based events to increase public awareness on ways to help the less fortunate and to raise funds for the social service sector. This initiative has been a huge success, raising over S$100 million for more than 500 beneficiaries from inception to December 2011.
On his first official event as Chairman of CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), Mr S R Nathan (third from left) was joined by CHF Director Mr Liew Mun Leong (third from right), Mr James Koh (first from right), Ms Jennie Chua (second from left) and President of Jamiyah Singapore, Mr Haji Abdul Karim Maidin (second from right) along with Executive Consultant of Jamiyah Singapore, Mr Abu Bakar Maidin (first from left)
Accompanied by senior management from CapitaLand and Jamiyah Children’s Home, Mr Nathan toured the new premise of the Home and planted a tree in its new ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’. Mr Nathan also presented a S$40,000 cheque donation to the Jamiyah Children’s Home. The donation went towards creating the ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’ as well as extending support towards the Home’s relocation project by furnishing the children’s dormitories with new beds and cupboards in the new premise.
Mr Nathan said, “I am pleased to be part of the CapitaLand Hope Foundation. As the new Chairman of the Foundation, planting the final tree that signifies the completion of the ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’ holds special meaning for me. I firmly believe that a holistic education plays a pivotal role in a child’s development and the ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’ is a wonderful place for children to be close to nature and learn the importance of caring not only for the environment but also others in our midst.”
CHF’s new Chairman, Mr Nathan (right) presented a S$40,000 cheque for Jamiyah Children’s Home to President of Jamiyah Singapore, Mr Haji Abdul Karim Maidin
Part of the CHF’s donation went towards putting new beds and cupboards in the children’s dormitories at the new premise
The Jamiyah Children’s Home cares and nurtures orphans and neglected children of single parents, drug detainees, abused and dysfunctional families and children with special needs into responsible adults of the future. CHF first supported Jamiyah Children’s Home with a S$30,000 donation during the Foundation’s inaugural Kids’ Food Fund in 2010 as a charity sponsor of The Perfect Meal, a reality television cooking show by Channel NewsAsia.
CHF’s latest S$40,000 donation was raised through its Christmas Send E-card and Donate (S.E.N.D) for Hope, an e-greeting card initiative where CHF contributed S$2 for every e-card sent to a unique recipient, and through CapitaLand’s charity sponsorship of Angel’s Gate, a reality TV series where the Foundation donated S$1 for every “like” received by business profiles on angelsgate.com, with winning business ideas earning bonus donations.
Relating his appreciation of CHF’s commitment to and support of children, Mr Haji Abdul Karim Maidin, President of Jamiyah Singapore, said: “CapitaLand Hope Foundation has been instrumental in supporting Jamiyah Children’s Home in our fund-raising initiatives. The resident children have also enjoyed various outings. The support extended towards our relocation project has enabled the Home to purchase new beds and wardrobes for the children. The ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’ has allowed ‘green’ scenery in our new premise.”
New Crops Signify New Life and Bright Future
Aptly named, the ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’ encapsulates what CHF wants to bring to Jamiyah Children’s Home – a glimpse of a bright future for the children.
Using crops to represent hope for the future and a new lease of life, the tropical fruit and vegetable garden is also a place where children can develop their natural interest in nature. The children can supplement what they learn in theory about growing and harvesting crops with experiential learning. Together with staff and volunteers of the Home, such hands-on and green-thumbed activities will provide a holistic learning experience. The garden will also increase awareness of green living, sustainability and environmental issues among the children.
The 50-metre-square garden is beautifully landscaped with fruit trees such as rambutan, mango, longan, chiku and duku langsat; and spice plants like basil, chillies, lemongrass, pandan leaves, torch ginger, ginger and curry leaves – all essential spices and flavourings for everyday cooking.
Low Yi Heng, Design Manager from CapitaMalls Asia, who worked on the ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’ in addition to his other duties, revealed that these crops were selected as they were easy to maintain and could be consumed by the children . Visits were made to the garden to observe the soil conditions during rainy days and to supply top soil to prevent water ponding. CapitaLand also roped in its service providers, COEN Design International and Nature Landscape, to work on the ‘CapitaLand Garden of Hope’. Such engagement of its stakeholders in environmental awareness and caring for underprivileged children are in line with CapitaLand’s Because iCare campaign this year.
Children at the Jamiyah Children’s Home can now learn first-hand about nature and engage in green-thumbed activities at the fruits and spice garden
Garden Captures Children’s Imagination of Hope and Growth
The new garden has stirred up excitement among many children at Jamiyah Children’s Home.
“This big garden brings back memories of the small garden in my own home where my mum and I used to grow our own plants. Now I can help out in the garden and plant things again,” said 11-year-old Khalid, who could hardly suppress his excitement.
Although 13-year-old Syreshama was not able to name all the tropical fruit and spices in the garden, she can recognise them and is looking forward to tasting the ripened crops.
And as CHF’s new chairman plants a renewed hope at the Jamiyah Children’s Home, CHF and all its beneficiaries can look forward to a new chapter of giving under Mr Nathan’s leadership.