Income OrangeAid, the community development arm of Singapore-based ICMIF member NTUC Income (Income), announced this week that it is extending its flagship initiative, the Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme (FDP), for another two years (2018 to 2019). This follows the success of the initiative for the past three years in providing Singaporean students from low-income households studying in polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) with bursaries, financial literacy and character development training.
The extended programme will see FDP offering an additional 800 bursaries, amounting to SGD 2.04 million, to support more underprivileged youths with their school fees and living expenses. It has also introduced an Alumni Programme, which includes coaching and facilitator training, to further support current and past FDP beneficiaries.
Mr Marcus Chew, Chief Marketing Officer of Income said, “The extension of FDP underscores Income’s commitment to help youths from low-income families level the playing field in today’s increasingly competitive landscape and to empower them and their families to break out of their disadvantaged circumstances. It is with this aim in mind that we have introduced the Alumni Programme so that we further lend our support in ensuring that these youths become more future ready.”
FDP Alumni Coaching Programme
The coaching programme aims to expand the horizons of past and current FDP beneficiaries about alternative career choices. The programme is designed to complement career mentoring programmes at polytechnics and ITE, and curates coaches based on the youths’ regular feedback on career interests.
The coaches are specialists and experts in their respective fields, who are keen to share their industry knowledge and expertise with young people in Singapore. They will be participating in the programme on pro-bono basis and each coach will take five FDP beneficiaries under his or her wing for a period of three-months. The programme is intentionally short as it aims only to give youths a quick yet meaningful flavour of the career choice that they are interested in. They are encouraged to then assess if it is a path that they want to pursue further.
First FDP Coach – Andrea Chong
Andrea Chong, influential blogger and founder of dreachong.com and digital advertising agency, DC Creative, headlined the inaugural ‘Income OrangeAid Future Speak’ seminar this week with a session on “Social Media and Your Personal Brand” and joined the FDP Alumni Coaching Programme officially as its first coach. More than 80 polytechnic and ITE students registered to attend the seminar at Income Centre.
Andrea Chong, 26, said, “Having gone through challenges myself when I was in school, I resonated with the circumstances of the youths whom Income OrangeAid is supporting. I’m passionate about supporting education for youth-in-need and I’m glad to have this opportunity to be a coach to them.”
In addition to the seminar, Andrea has curated four workshop sessions with Income OrangeAid between May and August that will focus on her mentees learning about building a social media persona, brand building, creative content development and running a media company. By the end of the programme, students will be tasked to set up a portfolio page online or complete a brand campaign case-study.
FDP Alumni Facilitator Training
The FDP Alumni Facilitator Training was inspired by feedback from FDP beneficiaries who expressed a desire to give back to the FDP as they had benefited from the programme.
By offering facilitator training, Income OrangeAid aims to groom FDP beneficiaries, who are interested to explore a career as a trainer and equip them with the necessary skill-set, while they earn a small stipend when they return to support their peers at FDP workshops. The programme targets to train up to 40 trainees who will support the FDP financial literacy and career development workshops as assistant facilitators tagged to workshop trainers.
Annur Munirah, 22, who is a FDP alumni and has signed up for facilitator training, said, “The FDP has inspired me to help those in need. I am glad to have this opportunity to support youths like me in practical ways through the FDP workshops. I learn to appreciate peer sharing at the FDP workshop previously as it helps me see that others are in similar circumstances like me and we learn from one another. I hope by sharing my journey and learning, I can offer meaningful support to others.”
Marcus Chew added, “While the facilitator training offers portable skill-set such as public speaking, small group communication, effective peer engagement and leadership that can benefit FDP beneficiaries in a school and work setting, the coaching programme aims to expose them to career choices that they may otherwise have limited opportunity to engage with. These two new programmes continue to champion education for youth-in-need, extending our positive social impact from classroom to boardrooms.”
Income was established in 1970 to provide affordable insurance for workers in Singapore. Today, two million people in Singapore look to Income for trusted advice and solutions when making their most important financial decisions. Income has a wide network of advisers and partners who provide life, health and general insurance products and services to serve the protection, savings and investment needs of customers across all segments of society.
As a social enterprise, Income says it was made different. The organisation’s social purpose is to make insurance accessible, affordable and sustainable for all. Putting people before profits, Income says it strives to create and maximise value for customers.
Marcus Chew, Chief Marketing Officer of Income (middle) with FDP Alumni Coach, Andrea Chong and FDP beneficiaries at the inaugural ‘Income OrangeAid Future Speak’ seminar, which kick-started the FDP Alumni Programme at Income Centre this week.