The Singtel Group is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen in all the markets where we operate, driving positive and sustainable change for our communities.
We want to enable the inclusion and well-being of people and help them realise their potential through our core competence in digital and infocomm technologies. It is our belief that we can drive positive and sustainable changes to disadvantaged communities, especially vulnerable children and youth, through the support of corporate and workplace giving, staff volunteering and leveraging our skills and ICT innovations.
Our programmes support children and people with special needs and disabilities in Singapore so that they can lead independent lives. The elderly on the other hand faces challenges in adapting to constant innovations in technology and we want to support them in this transition and narrow the digital generational divide.
Understanding such challenges allows us to be better positioned to assist these vulnerable and sometimes discriminated groups, focusing on their inclusion and well-being, education and employability, as well as cyber wellness and online safety.
The Singtel Touching Lives Fund is our philanthropy programme that raises funds for charities helping children and youth with special needs in Singapore. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Singtel and our business associates and partners, employees and members of the public, the Fund has raised over S$36 million since its launch in 2002. Singtel fully underwrites all fundraising costs so that every dollar donated to the Fund goes to our beneficiaries. For more information, please visit Singtel Touching Lives Fund.
We leverage our core business and focus on enabling and connecting disadvantaged groups in the community. Singtel has been a Corporate SHARE company since 1992 and matches our employees’ monthly contributions to Community Chest, the fundraising arm of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). Since 1991, we have been providing an annual grant to NCSS to defray the costs of telecommunication services for its charities in Singapore.
Education and Employability
In FY2015, we extended our education support for children with special needs to supporting the training needs of persons with disabilities and help them gain employment. This current gap in the social sector resonates with our community strategy. We worked with national agency SG Enable and donated S$1.1 million to set up the Singtel Enabling Innovation Centre in Singapore. This is a community space with services and experts who assist young people to lead independent lives and enhance their employability. In addition, we will support the curriculum development and provide the expertise and time to support training programmes for the contact centre and ICT literacy courses at the facility, which was launched in end-2015.
Since 1999, Optus has been partnering Kids Helpline to offer free calls to Kids Helpline from all Optus mobiles, and also assisted in establishing the world’s first free, real-time, online counselling session. We developed the Kids Helpline @ School (KAS) Programme to provide primary school students across Australia access to a Kids Helpline Counsellor in their classroom via a video or phone call to discuss topical issues that the students are experiencing in their lives. Since the inception of KAS, we have reached over 30,000 students via more than 1,000 sessions across Australia.
For more information on KAS, visit the Kids Helpline @ School website here!
The Smith Family
Since 2010, Optus has been a proud partner of The Smith Family, which is an independent national children’s charity creating opportunities for young Australians in need, particularly in education, for upward social mobility. One of these initiatives include the student2student (s2s) mobile programme which was launched in 2000 for students aged 8 to 14 years old. The programme aims to develop children’s reading skills and confidence via peer-to-peer mentoring with trained, older student buddies 2-3 times a week for 18 weeks. To support this programme, we provide funding, mobile phones, call credits and technical support.
For more information, visit the Mobile Student2Student page!
As a responsible corporate citizen and the market leader in digital and mobile technologies and services, we believe we have a key role to play in the well-being of our stakeholders, particularly in promoting cyber wellness and online safety among the vulnerable children and youth in this digital age.
Our industry, technologies and services have brought significant benefits to society and individuals. However, the growth of smart devices, social media and pervasiveness of the internet gives rise to problems such as digital ‘exclusion’ and risks to vulnerable segments such as youth and children in areas of cyber safety, cyber bullying and digital addiction. Through the Singtel Cyber Wellness Programme, we hope to reach out to the general public through targeted initiatives designed for parents, children and vulnerable segments of our community.
In 2014, we launched notAnoobie, Singapore's first cyber wellness mobile application designed to help parents better understand and protect their children from online risks. Parents can read up on cyber issues like gaming and mobile technology addiction, social media dos and don’ts, identifying cyber bullying, inappropriate content online and how to protect personal privacy online on-the-go in this one-stop app. notAnoobie can be downloaded free from iTunes and Google Play stores onto any compatible mobile device.
We launched the Singtel Cyber Wellness Toolkit for Special Education (SPED) Schools in late 2016. This is a customised programme which we developed for students with intellectual disability to help them learn to develop safe online habits and identify dangers in the digital world.
Singtel is proud to be the strategic partner of Help123 by the National Council of Social Service. Help123, launched in July 2017, is the first one-stop platform in Singapore that allows users to seek help on cyber wellness issues from counsellors via phone and webchat.
Click here for more information on the Singtel Cyber Wellness Programme.
We encourage our people to take a more active role in their communities, as individuals or as a team. They are given one day of paid voluntary service leave per year to support their favourite charity or a community cause in Australia and Singapore. They actively volunteer for community and environmental projects – both company-organised events and activities at individual and team levels, contributing tens of thousands of volunteering hours annually.
In 2011, we introduced Singtel’s first Overseas Volunteering Programme and have since organised annual expeditions to the Philippines. The Bayani Challenge allows our staff volunteers to work alongside volunteers from Globe, our regional associate, to rebuild villages and communities affected by typhoons.
In 2015, we held our first skilled overseas volunteering programme jointly with AIS, our regional associate in Thailand, to conduct the annual AIS-Singtel English Camp for undergraduates supported by AIS’ Good Kids Great Hearts programme. Staff volunteers from AIS, Singtel, Optus and Globe mentored these students to help them improve their conversational English and confidence.
We believe that innovation and technology can be catalysts for social change. In 2016, we launched our social innovation programmes across Singapore and Australia to build an ecosystem to attract and develop innovators and changemakers who can solve societal problems. Our programmes provide funding, mentoring, acceleration and incubation support for these social impact start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Singtel Future Makers is launched to help build and support an ecosystem of change agents, innovation, capacity building and collaboration that will help transform the lives of the needy and the vulnerable in the community, as well as support caregivers and Social Service Organisations. The programme offers grants for each selected social impact start-up, mentoring by cross-sector experts, competency workshops, networking and strategic partnership opportunities with the Singtel Group and its partners. It is open to passionate individuals who believe that technological innovation plays a key role in making wide-scale social impact that will help shape future success for Singapore. For more information, visit futuremakers.singtel.com
Optus Future Makers programme supports innovative technological ideas that help address the challenges faced by vulnerable young Australians. Optus Future Makers provides changemakers access to an accelerator programme, industry experts and mentors as well as seed funding grants so that bold ideas can become a reality and make a positive social impact. To find out more about the programme, please visit http://www.optus.com.au/about/sustainability/community-grants