Singapore’s CCF completes reconstruction with IRO aid
Representatives from Singapore’s Inter Religious Organisation (IRO), the Corporate Citizen Foundation (CCF), corporate partners and the young children of the newly-reconstructed COU-IRO Home.
Tuesday, 26 April, Sangla Tokha – A year and a day after the massive earthquake hit Nepal, and while many await their new homes, more than fifty orphans have gotten a new and safe place to live in at the Sangla Tokha district.
The children of the Children of the Universe (COU) orphanage had their previous home badly damaged by the Gorkha earthquake. Ever since, they had to endure the rough conditions of living in temporary shelters made of tarpaulins and zinc sheets.
The reconstruction project which cost S$180,000 was substantially funded by the IRO and managed by Singapore’s Corporate Citizen Foundation (CCF).
In his address at the ceremony, CCF Chairman Lim Choo Leng said, “This building is not just a shelter from the monsoon rains, or the winter winds, and the searing summer sun. It is a place where the children will be able to set it as a base for their personal growth and a brighter future… A place that they would proudly and happily want to call – home.”
The donation from the IRO was the initiative of the late Mr Lee Bock Guan, former President of Singapore’s Buddhist Lodge.
A day earlier, CCF collaborated with its quake relief partner, Hotel Annapurna, to hold a joint observance for the Gorkha quake anniversary at Hotel Annapurna. Interfaith leaders from Singapore and Nepal led a minute of prayer in silence. At the observance, Mr Lim had shared, “Nepal is close to our hearts. The Gorkhas played a significant part in Singapore’s national security during our early years of nation-building. It is now our turn to return that gesture of goodwill and support for the post-quake rebuilding efforts.”
The Corporate Citizen Foundation (CCF) was officially launched by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in October 2014. It seeks to be the catalyst for proactive and constructive corporate collaboration for a better, safer and friendlier Asia. Initiated and seed-funded by HSL Constructor, the CCF is a private sector initiative to pull and pool together appropriate corporate assets to help improve the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities in Asia, through sustainable livelihood programmes including disaster preparedness and response.
The CCF had established the Swift Emergency Evaluation Deployment (SEED), as its first responders for early access into and appropriate intervention at disaster-affected areas. SEED is simultaneously tasked to evaluate and disseminate first-hand information to incoming aid responders for more informed strategic decisions. Hence, the SEED’s slogan – Bridging the First Mile. SEED’s pioneer partners include the Pacific Flight Services of ST Aerospace (aerospace); Channel NewsAsia of MediaCorp (broadcast communications); Golden Season (water) and HSL Constructor (engineering).
Since inception, the CCF and SEED have responded to super typhoon Hagupit in Philippines (Dec ‘14); Kelantan floods in Malaysia (Dec ’14), Gorkha earthquake in Nepal (Apr ‘15) and Chennai floods in India (Nov ’15).