5 Inspiring Children And Youths In Singapore

By City Of Good  /
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This year’s nominees of the President’s Volunteer and Philanthropy Award (PVPA) 2021 prove that you can give back no matter how old you are. All of us play an essential role in nurturing good giving habits in our children. 

Chng Rui Jie, fundraising over $250,000 in 6 months

Rui Jie working on her campaign
Above: Chng Rui Jie, proving you’re never too young to make a big difference. 

Last year, after hearing from her father that many were suffering during the pandemic, 10-year-old Rui Jie wanted to help. So, she turned to Giving.sg to create fundraising campaigns for various charities such as CARE, SACA and SPCA

Rui Jie uses Canva to create designs and collaterals to promote her campaigns. While her father double-checks her grammar and spelling, she also writes the campaign copy! From June to December 2020, she reached over 1,000 donors and raised over $250,000 in donations.

Rui Jie wants to give her voice to those who need help. “While it is great if you can offer your own money, I only have $2 of pocket money a day,” Rui Jie shares. While she may not donate huge sums, she can rally others to do so with her authentic call for support. 

J’den Teo, Founder of TAD Charity 

Above: J’den at his charity art exhibition. (Source: The Straits Times)

J’den started his charity TAD Charity three years ago when he was twelve. “I believe everyone’s contributions however ‘tad’ can make the world a better place,” J’den elaborates. J’den hopes to inspire his peers to start giving when they are young, and that it is fine to start small.

A talented artist, J’den fundraises his art for a range of children charities including Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, Children’s Cancer Foundation, and more. This is done through TAD Charity’s flagship programme “Small Act, Big Difference (SABD) Charity Art Exhibition”, with the next edition slated for 2022.

The charity also does “TAD Talks” where J’den speaks to other youths and encourages them to use their hobbies and interests to give back to charity. He has spoken to students and even addressed school assemblies at Marie Stella High School, Catholic High School and National Junior College. 

Vihaan Iyer, Founder of Yellowship 

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Above: Vihaan (left) and Ruchira, a physiotherapist prepare a video to show how tennis balls can be used for simple physiotherapy.

Vihaan was inspired to combine his passions: tennis and helping others. He named his community group “Yellowship” because yellow signifies tennis balls and “Yellowship” rhymes with fellowship. 

Every year, nearly half a million tennis balls are thrown away, ending up in the incinerator or landfill. Vihaan believes that finding new uses for these balls contributes to the green movement in Singapore.

Through his community initiative, Vihaan has collected nearly 15,000 tennis balls, distributing them to migrant workers, old age homes, dog shelters, and film crews. These balls can be used as massage balls, or as toys for animals to play with. So far, his initiative has saved around 3% of used balls and hopes to raise more awareness for his initiative in the near future. 

Nurani Kaseh Binte Isa, volunteer leader 

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Above: Nurani advocates accessible education to all. 

​​For the past two years, Nurani has been a tutor at Ulu Pandan Star Programme. She provides weekly 1-to-1 tuition sessions to children from underserved families. Through this stint, she has learned to become more understanding and empathetic towards students from various backgrounds.

Aside from being passionate about education, Nurani also leads and participates in several volunteer groups in school. This includes the likes of Project Herencia, which focuses on heritage, and Project Kora that supports the publicity efforts of Children’s Wishing Well. She has also volunteered with Singapore Cancer Society and SmilesSalamSg

What motivates her to volunteer? When a child in need smiles and thanks her after a meal distribution, such moments keep her motivated. 

Aanya Rao, Founder of Art-Connect

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Above: Aanya (top left) with her team of Art-Connect volunteers.

Aanya has always loved the arts, be it visual arts or dance. And that inspired her to start her own groundup called Art: Connect

In early 2018, Aanya’s father went through a second kidney transplant. When accompanying her father for his treatments, Aanya noticed that many clinics did not have vibrant healing environments that could aid the healing process.  

So, Art: Connect is a student-led groundup initiative that connects the student art community to residents and patients of multiple healthcare centers. They have conducted crafts and colouring activities at senior care homes, painted murals at a healthcare centre, and more. 

Start giving back at www.giving.sg.

Find out more about President’s Volunteer and Philanthropy Award at www.cityofgood.sg/pvpa