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A day of celebrations for children, by children
CHILDREN dressed up as samsui women, Merdeka supporters and Japanese soldiers pulled off a historical musical for 900 under-privileged children at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) on Thursday.
The 'live' performance by pupils of CHIJ (Kellock) was part of an early Children's Day treat for children who are beneficiaries of the Ministry of Education's financial assistance scheme.
Besides the musical, the pupils visited the integrated resort's S.E.A Aquarium and Maritime Experiential Museum.
Their special day was made possible by the Children for Children (CFC) initiative, an annual fund-raising and charity event jointly organised by The Business Times (BT), CHIJ (Kellock) and The Rice Company Ltd.
The guest of honour at the event was Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community & Youth, and for Transport.
Since 2008, CFC has brought more than 11,000 children to iconic Singapore destinations for Children's Day, including the Singapore Flyer, the Singapore Zoo, Underwater World, Universal Studios Singapore and KidZania.
CFC is also a fundraiser for The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF), which provides financial support for financially disadvantaged children and youth (aged six to 19), to nurture their interests in the arts.
This year, CFC raised a total of S$204,786 for the BT BAF.
Poh Wan En, a 12-year-old beneficiary of the BT BAF, goes to The Little Arts Academy every Saturday for hip-hop and dance classes.
"The classes have helped me learn how to express myself through dance," she said, adding that she looks forward to the class every week as it also provides a form of stress relief. "I hope I will be able to continue my dance classes in future."
BT Editor Wong Wei Kong said: "For the children, CFC is the first touchpoint for BT BAF in making a difference to their lives. Through CFC, we reach out to children directly - to share about our arts training programmes. Over time, increasing numbers of children have come on board our music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and even art-technology programmes - they are fully funded by BT BAF."
He added: "We are extremely grateful to RWS for opening their attractions once again for the children to enjoy Children's Day. Also important to CFC's success are our donors, who have shown their steadfast support each year. We hope CFC will continue to grow in strength to benefit more children."
This year's donors are the Hong Leong Group of Companies (comprising Hong Leong Foundation, City Developments Limited, Hong Leong Holdings Limited, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Hong Leong Finance Limited), ING Bank Singapore, CWT Limited, Perennial Real Estate Holdings Limited, CEI Limited and Singapore Pools.
For the second year, ERA Singapore's staff and agents donated to CFC, with the amount raised matched dollar-for-dollar by the real estate company. There were four new CFC donors this year - Certis, Seagate Singapore International Headquarters, Taste Singapore and UBS.