Singtel champions inclusivity to mark SG51
Singapore, 5 August, 2016 – Singtel is championing inclusivity to mark this year’s National Day by paying tribute to four staff who have, in their personal capacities, walked the talk on promoting a more inclusive Singapore.
The four individuals featured in Singtel’s integrated communications campaign in the lead up to National Day are: Dipa Swaminathan, Singtel’s Assistant General Counsel who leads the #itsrainingraincoats initiative which encourages people to give out raincoats and other necessities to migrant workers; Nur Madiah Hidayah Lim Binte Othman, Singtel’s Customer Care Officer who has overcome her own disability and wants to inspire others to make more room for people like her. Edmund Quek, Singtel’s Radio Network Quality Director who founded the All Saints Volunteer Group which befriends the elderly at All Saints Homes, and Teo Ek Thong Singtel’s Voice Engineer Senior Manager who makes balloon sculptures at charity events, schools and homes, and trades them for smiles.
“All four of them embody that Singaporean spirit we so often talk about,” says Lian Pek, Vice President of Group Corporate Communications at Singtel. “They believe in the Singaporean ideal of inclusivity which makes space for those with special needs, those with disabilities, those who are aging, those who have come here as migrant workers. They remind us that Singapore is not just a model of economic success but also a country with a heart.”
Campaign throws focus on staff volunteering
The four staff also represent Singtel’s firm belief in volunteering. Besides contributing some S$33 million back to the community in Singapore through the Singtel Touching Lives Fund, our flagship CSR programme now in its 15th year, staff have also committed a total of 15,981 volunteering hours to date.
Lian Pek adds, “As a company, we believe philanthropy is more than just financial. It’s also about good old-fashioned caring for our communities. Hence the common thread of giving and connecting you see from the four stories we are sharing. This is more than just another ad to celebrate National Day, this is a call to action if you like, something we hope will inspire people to give and connect, even as we celebrate.”
Created entirely in-house, the inspirational stories will be shared in the newspapers as well as social media to spread the message of inclusivity. Singtel will also run an internal campaign to rally its staff to support and donate to worthy causes through the company’s mobile wallet application, Singtel Dash. The funds raised will benefit disadvantaged communities, especially the vulnerable children and youth.
Please refer to Annex A for the stories of Dipa, Madiah, Edmund and Ek Thong.
Dipa Swaminathan, Singtel Assistant General Counsel & Founder of #itsrainingraincoats initiative
Dipa was driving home during a thunderstorm one day, when she saw two migrant workers crouched under a tree, shielding themselves from the heavy rain with a plastic sheet. She stopped her car, told them to hop on, took them home and gave them hot drinks and dry clothes to change into. Today, Dipa leads the #itsrainingraincoats initiative which encourages people to give out raincoats and other necessities to migrant workers.
“I’m constantly reminded that we all know someone who could use a bit of help and everyone has something they can give.”
- Dipa Swaminathan, Singtel Assistant General Counsel & Founder of #itsrainingraincoats initiative
Nur Madiah Hidayah Lim Binte Othman, Singtel Customer Care Officer
It’s hard not to notice Madiah. Born without limbs, she’s been wheelchair-bound her entire life. When she was younger, Madiah was sensitive to the stares of strangers. But she has learned to ignore them. Other than the obvious, there is nothing very different between her and any young woman. Madiah dreams of having children of her own, she giggles at the same silly jokes, she holds a full-time job.
“Most people think that people with disabilities are needy, cannot do things on their own. But I can be a giver too. I hope my Singapore will make more room for people like me.”
- Nur Madiah Hidayah Lim Binte Othman, Singtel Customer Care Officer
Teo Ek Thong, Singtel Voice Engineer & Volunteer Balloon Sculptor
Ek Thong never thought that balloons would change his life. Tired of queuing up for balloon sculptures for his children years ago, he decided to pick up balloon sculpting, much to their delight. As they grew out of it, he started offering his skills at charities, schools and other voluntary events. Today, he trades balloons for smiles. And he wouldn’t trade that for anything.
“I get one smile back for every balloon I give away. I learned that happiness is not just a nice thing to hope for, but something you can create and give.”
- Teo Ek Thong, Senior Manager, Singtel Voice Engineer & Volunteer Balloon Sculptor
Edmund Quek, Director, Singtel Radio Network Quality & Founder of All Saints Volunteers
What started off as a one-off volunteering event 16 years ago soon became a lifelong mission. As Edmund, then an avid photographer and fresh graduate, captured the different faces of the elderly at a nursing home, he was touched by their sheer joy and gratitude. That first encounter inspired him to found the All Saints Volunteer Group in 2005 which befriends the elderly at All Saints Home. His mission is simple - to bring cheer.
“Saturdays wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t see my ‘kakis’ like Aunty Koh at All Saints Home. I didn’t realise they had become family over time.”
- Edmund Quek, Director, Singtel Radio Network Quality & Founder of All Saints Volunteers