Over the past 17 years, the President’s Challenge focus has been on creating a culture of giving, not just in monetary sense but also in time and skills. These efforts are important and should continue but as the social service landscape in Singapore changes, President’s Challenge will also have to evolve with the changing needs.
Going forward, President Halimah Yacob hopes for Singaporeans to look into more customised and upstream support, to be able to help the most vulnerable amongst us and change their circumstances. As the old saying goes, it is “better to teach one to fish than to merely give him a fish”. Whether it is through skills upgrading, capacity-building or empowerment, it is the President’s hope that together we can bring about more sustained changes to the lives of those we impact.
At the President's Challenge 2018 Launch, President Halimah Yacob announced the new "Empowering for Life Fund" (ELF)
, a fund supporting vulnerable groups through skills upgrading, capacity-building and employment. Donations to ELF will receive dollar-to-dollar matching from the Government. This means that over the next five years, $20 million will be set aside for ELF programmes under the President's Challenge.
ELF will focus on supporting customised, dedicated services to the most vulnerable groups and facilitate their integration into society. The programmes that it funds will handhold the most disadvantaged people on their journeys to improve their circumstances. The aim is to help them bounce back quickly from setbacks and stay adaptable.