Friday, 12 May 2017

Exceptional people: Boy with spina bifida raises $11,000 handcycling 25km

Jeremiah, who was born with spina bifida and has limited use of his legs, was the only handcyclist at the Ride for Rainbows event held on April 29.

For his hard work, Jeremiah raised $11,078, making him one of the top-10 fund-raisers at this year's ride.

Ride for Rainbows started in 2012, and all proceeds go to programmes and services for Club Rainbow's beneficiaries, who are children with chronic illnesses and their families.

This year, nearly $587,000 was collected as of yesterday.

Donations are open until Monday and can be made through the Ride for Rainbows website.


Exceptional people: He has special needs but his mother trains him to be independent

His mother, Mrs Michele Liauw, refuses to mollycoddle Jeremiah, who has spina bifida.

"Some parents like to help their child do certain things, such as carrying their schoolbags for them. But I do not believe in that.

"I hang the schoolbag on his wheelchair and let him wheel himself. Sometimes, because the bag is heavy, it is harder to wheel. So he likes to call me his '(evil) stepmother'," Mrs Liauw told TNP with a laugh.

"I tell him, he needs to be able to take care of himself. I might not live to 60 or 70. So it is important he learns to do things now."


Exceptional people: Nepalese cyclists on green mission

An earthquake in 2015 killed 9,000 people and injured thousands more in Nepal.

Together with Mr Dilip Chhetri (L), 22, and Mr Nirmal Baral (C), 39, who left their jobs as social workers, Mr Anish Dhakal (R) is cycling around the world to promote peace and spread awareness of environmental issues.

In every country, they try to educate people, especially students, on the importance of the environment, and how economic success has often come at a price. They joined students in their environmental projects.

Singapore is their 11th country since their journey began last December.


Exceptional people: Youth scheme raises $8m for charities

They are aged 15 to 25, with most yet to start their first job. But these young people have raised much awareness - not to mention millions - for charities here through a youth social entrepreneurship scheme.

More than $8 million has been raised for at least 160 charities since the Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes initiative started in 2003.

The initiative - possibly the longest-running youth social entrepreneurship programme here - is organised by Citi Singapore bank and charity YMCA of Singapore.

Each team of four participants under the scheme is given seed funding of $1,600 and other resources to plan and implement a project that will benefit a charity of its choice.


Third fostering agency set up in push for children to stay in family setting

A dedicated fostering agency to be run by the Singapore Muslim Women's Association (PPIS) has been set up.

It is the third such agency and part of an $8 million, three-year pilot scheme announced in 2014 to place more children in foster families instead of institutional settings.

PPIS president Rahayu Mohamad said yesterday that the new agency, expected to be up and running by the third quarter, aims to place 75 children with foster parents and recruit 12 new foster families over the next one to two years.

The other two fostering agencies were set up in 2015 and are run by voluntary welfare organisations MCYC Community Services Society and Boys' Town. The agencies recruit and screen foster parents, and offer training and counselling.

To find out more about fostering, visit


Forum: Ensure pupils have swimming, water-safety skills

My deepest condolences go out to the family of the 12-year-old schoolboy who drowned while swimming off East Coast Park (Do more to equip youth with swimming skills: Tharman; May 10).

According to the boy's family, he did not know how to swim. His former primary schoolmates said this was despite compulsory swimming lessons in Primary 3.

My children went through the same swimming programme when they were in primary school.

The lessons lasted only a week - barely enough to teach them adequate water-safety skills.

While some parents send their children for private swimming lessons, not all can do so because such lessons are expensive.

Swimming is an important life skill.

While many youngsters enjoy playing in the water, they do not know about the dangers of swimming in pools or the open sea.

In the light of the recent drowning incident, schools need to do more to ensure that all pupils are adequately equipped with water-safety and lifelong swimming skills.

Most primary schools have a Programme for Active Learning in place.

Perhaps swimming lessons that incorporate such skills can be worked into the curriculum.

Angelina Lim Bee Kuan (Ms)