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CapitaLand's spirit of giving
OVER 100 CapitaLand staff were in Vietnam earlier this month for a three-day trip. But it was no holiday or company retreat - instead, it was part of CapitaLand's 28th International Volunteer Expedition (IVE), a yearly affair to bring its staff from different countries together to give back to the community.
CapitaLand, through its philanthropic arm, CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), contributed more than VND 6 billion (about S$350,000) to expand and refurbish the CapitaLand Tan Tay Hope Kindergarten in Thanh Hoa District of Long An Province, south-west of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The aim is to provide underprivileged children and teachers there with a better environment to learn and teach.
This year, from Nov 9 to 11, staff volunteers from seven countries headed down to Thanh Hoa district to revamp the kindergarten by repainting fences, walls and decorating classrooms.
Tan Seng Chai, chief corporate and people officer for CapitaLand Group and executive director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation said: "On the social front, we support the cause to build a better future for underprivileged children by focusing on their education, healthcare and shelter needs through CapitaLand Hope Schools.
"Through our International Volunteer Expeditions, our staff play their part in contributing to the communities where we operate."
The expanded kindergarten boasts a new two-storey building that houses an additional six classrooms. As the district is seeing a growing number of pre-schoolers, the additional facilities will enable the kindergarten to triple its intake to some 300 children.
"Through the expansion of the new school block, we look forward to accommodating more children in the province and providing holistic education that develops the children's confidence and collaborative skills," said Lam Thi Ngoc Ha, principal of CapitaLand Tan Tay Hope Kindergarten.
On Nov 11, an inauguration ceremony of the new building was held and attended by about 200 children, teachers, staff volunteers and local authorities.
CapitaLand's Mr Tan said: "Many of the schools in the rural areas lack proper facilities. Supported by our philanthropic arm, CapitaLand Hope Foundation, the refurbishment of CapitaLand Tan Tay Hope Kindergarten was a result of combined efforts of staff volunteers, local authorities and partners, enabling us to better meet the early educational needs of children in Thanh Hoa District."
Staff volunteers also got the opportunity to interact with the families of Thanh Hoa District when they made home visits to deliver oil and rice.
It was an eye-opener for those who were part of the expedition for the first time. "My first IVE has been a great experience working with volunteers from different countries and learning different cultures," said Jason Lim, a human resource executive in Malaysia.
"I hope the colourful and spacious environment we have helped to create at the school will encourage the children to study harder and teachers to teach better."
To date, CapitaLand has contributed to building 29 CapitaLand Hope schools across Vietnam and China.
CapitaLand was also the presenting sponsor for Sunburst 2019, a fundraising show organised by The Business Times to raise money for people with muscular dystrophy and for financially disadvantaged arts students.