OCBC Bank to deepen its support for MINDS to help its beneficiaries develop vocational skills and employability
Singapore, 1 April 2016 – OCBC Bank announced that it will be deepening its support for the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) to provide realistic vocational training for its beneficiaries in order to help them remain employable and self-sufficient.
In support of this cause, OCBC Bank is the first bank among a group of companies that has committed to purchasing bottled water that is packed and labelled by the beneficiaries of MINDS’ as a social enterprise. For a start, OCBC Bank will purchase 36,000 bottles of water.
Launched in January 2016, the MINDS Water unit is an extension of MINDS social enterprise programme to provide alternative work engagement opportunities for its adult beneficiaries. To date, more than 60 beneficiaries have been employed under this project and they have packed and labelled over 22,000 bottles of water.
In addition, staff from OCBC Bank’s Global Treasury and Investment has raised $18,000 to fund training and purchase of training equipment as MINDS continues to source for new contracts and small scale social enterprise work that its beneficiaries can perform in order to stay socially engaged.
Mr Lam Kun Kin, Head of OCBC Bank’s Global Treasury and Investment Banking Division shared, "I’m happy that my colleagues from our Treasury and Investment Banking teams have been volunteering actively at MINDS since 2015. We encourage a giving and philanthropic culture among the dealing room staff and investment bankers in line with the bank’s focus on giving back to society. Volunteering together as a division also helps us to bond and build team camaraderie."
"The team is happy that the money we raised last year as part of our annual fund raising effort can support MINDS’ on-going training programme to help their beneficiaries stay sustainably employed. This initiative by MINDS is very commendable as the beneficiaries are meaningfully engaged in different types of work, whether it is craftwork, baking, water bottle labelling or even manning the thrift shop. I am inspired by their pride in the work they do, the positive attitude they show and the quality of the products delivered."
"That is why I personally welcome the Budget 2016 measure to offer companies’ tax rebates for volunteer-associated costs. With the government’s support through the tax rebates, I hope more companies and their staff will do more to help the needy in our society. We definitely will be volunteering even more with MINDS."
Over the past year, more than 140 staff volunteers have been supporting MINDS, engaging their beneficiaries through a variety of activities. These include bringing them out on a movie outing, a visit to Gardens by the Bay and making craft items that were eventually sold at the MINDS Craft Store.
Mr Keh Eng Song, CEO of MINDS said, "We thank OCBC for supporting our MINDS beneficiaries’ work engagement training programme through the purchase of the bottled water and donation. OCBC’s generous act will help our beneficiaries be engaged vocationally in something meaningful to them."