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One Year On: the oscar@sg fund

Features 03 May 2021

(Clockwise, from top right: Project Wellness Smile Masks, Mummy Yummy Singapore, Project Clean Care & Hey, You’ve Got Mail)

What a difference a year makes!

We are well over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis has impacted our society in unprecedented ways. 29 April 2021 marked the first anniversary of the launch of Temasek Trust's oscar@sg fund, which aims to provide support to ground-up initiatives working to address critical needs in the community due to or exacerbated by COVID-19. Within these 12 months, the fund received over 300 applications for funding, and supported projects that have positively impacted over 500,000 individuals, and provided them much needed assistance during this challenging time.

The complex impact of COVID-19 and the circuit breaker measures saw a health crisis quickly evolve into an economic and social crisis as well. The unprecedented nation-wide lockdown was the first time we saw our lives and many people’s livelihoods suddenly struck by pandemic paralysis, with many vulnerable communities facing severe financial difficulty as well as circumstances of isolation. In response, ground-up initiatives, individuals, non-profit organisations, and businesses, all quickly stepped forward to address the needs they witness and identify in the communities around them. Anchored by a $10m donation by Temasek, the oscar@sg fund was put together quickly by our team, to enable these projects to rapidly meet the needs on the ground, and to swiftly scale in scope to help as many people in need as possible. Many other private donors generously contributed to the fund and its cause as well; a complete list of all supporters is available on our website via the link below.

All projects supported by the fund have demonstrated their embodiment of the oscar@sg values of Ownership, Sustainability, Care, Assurance, and Resilience. This diverse range of projects have been led by inspiring individuals, schools, groups and non-profit organisations, all united in one mission: to respond swiftly and adequately to help those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Each initiative also saw the mobilisation of many volunteers from all walks of life step forward to contribute their valuable time to the cause. The projects have benefited the financially needy, our elderly, various vulnerable or marginalised communities, and healthcare and frontline workers. The initiatives supported by oscar@sg have found ways of addressing the range of different needs faced by our communities, such as financial difficulty and struggles with basic needs, as well as the emotional and mental challenges that came from feelings of isolation during the peak of circuit breaker. The oscar@sg fund has enabled initiatives to distribute meals and carefully curated care packages to various communities, as well as conduct extensive community outreach or develop technological solutions to alleviate mental and emotional stress.

Working to keep communities safe from COVID-19, we have supported initiatives such as Project Clean Care and Project Wellness Smile Masks in their efforts to keep vulnerable groups safe. Project Wellness Smile Masks, for instance, produced and distributed window masks to individuals with hearing impairments and their caregivers or therapists, to enable lip-reading and better communication. Project Clean Care provided the financially needy with hygiene care packages containing home cleaning and personal hygiene products, which were distributed through social service agencies. Stepping up to assist the financially needy with their basic needs, Mummy Yummy Singapore provided meals to low-income households via collaborations with social service agencies and grassroots organisations. Hey, You’ve Got Mail, on the other hand, has focused on community outreach and support, and is a movement that has created an avenue for the public to send greeting cards to seniors isolated from loved ones in eldercare facilities, encouraging us to be a more caring and uplifting society of active citizens.

It has been an immense privilege for Temasek Trust to be able to step forward and enable these ground-up initiatives to provide our communities with various forms of support. We are humbled by the support and positive impact that the oscar@sg fund has had, and look forward to continuing to assist anyone aiming to help those struggling because of this crisis.

As we cautiously navigate moving forward as a society in an increasingly uncertain world, the impact of the crisis continues to be felt by vulnerable groups. Innovative and compassionate initiatives are more pertinent than ever to help our country heal. As Temasek Trust marks the milestone of operating the oscar@sg fund in the past one year, we look forward to continuing to serve the community. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to our generous donors, and the ground-up initiatives and their volunteers for their work in supporting communities across Singapore. The oscar@sg fund remains open for applications, to support ground-up and community-led initiatives as they do good and provide assistance to those in need.

Have a good idea to help those in need? Visit our website to find out more about oscar@sg and/or to submit an application today.