Singapore – The Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS) launched the first ever Tuition Bursary Project sponsored by Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow during its new office opening today, with Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Home Affairs as Guest of Honour.
“Our members’ children’s education is of concern to us. As we continue to invest in their education by helping them better their academic performance through the Fairy Godparent Programme, a select group of students will be receiving professional tuition for 2 major subjects at a tuition centre. The fees are fully sponsored by Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow,” said Mr Andy Lim, ISCOS Chairman.
The B&M Tuition Bursary is awarded to ten ISCOS members’ children from low-income families with poor academic grades in English and Mathematics. These students will receive professional tuition from a certified tuition centre, Kent Ridge Tutors. The tuition centre will utilise computer-aided instruction software to complement classroom teaching. To ensure success of the tuition programme, lawyers and staff of Baker & McKenzie will act as mentor to the children during the entire project duration.
“The tuition bursary is a meaningful initiative to provide the children with educational support, which we hope will make a difference in their lives. We are delighted to support ISCOS on this initiative as part of our Community Investment and Pro Bono programme which is an important component of our overall firm strategy,” said Ms Celeste Ang, Associate Principal of Baker & McKenzie.
During the new office opening, ISCOS also recognised companies and an individual who have pledged at least $5,000 as a ‘Friend of ISCOS’ in 2010. They were: iCreate Wealth Planners representing Manulife Singapore, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific, NTUC FairPrice Co-operative, Viking Offshore and Marine and Mr Bernard Peh. ‘Friends of ISCOS’ is a fundraising drive where companies and individuals can donate and involve their staff in support to the reintegration and rehabilitation programmes for ISCOS members, including their families and children.
iCreate Wealth Planners, a ‘Friends of ISCOS’ engaged its financial planners to collectively donate a percentage of their annual earnings to ISCOS as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. This showed that every individual can play a role in contributing to worthy social causes.
“We are very honoured to be part of ‘Friends of ISCOS’. We saw how ISCOS is changing the lives not only of its members but also their families. I strongly believe we must rectify what’s wrong but at the same time refresh their mistake without prejudice,” said Mr Michael Lee, Financial Services Director of iCreate Wealth Planners.
Furthermore, ISCOS also acknowledged key programme sponsors in 2010 which have supported major initiatives for our members and their families. They were: Lee Foundation (for ISCOS Skills Assistance Subsidy Scheme and SMS Platform), NETS (for ISCOS Gift of Hope – relief package for newly released ISCOS members), First Media Design School (for scholarships), Ricoh (for ISCOS Project Care – donated second-hand computers and laptops for ISCOS members’ children) and New Creation Church (for enrichment workshops under the ISCOS Fairy Godparent Programme).
One ISCOS member, Adam (not his real name), a renounced gang member, shared during the new office opening how ISCOS helped him reintegrate into society by supporting him to pursue his studies. He was in prison for six years and is now taking Diploma Course in Designing and is an active volunteer of ISCOS in design, photography and video projects.
Another ISCOS member, Ashvin (not his real name) shared how ISCOS assisted him in job placement. He is now working as Operations Manager in a hotel service provider company, which also helps to employ other ISCOS members.
With a new website launched alongside the New Office Opening, ISCOS hopes to engage more ex-offenders to become members and benefit from its various programmes.