NTUC Income may be a household name for affordable insurance policies, but did you know that it is also helping underprivileged youths through its flagship Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme (FDP)?
Just recently, Income announced a two-year extension to the FDP programme, and will see an additional 800 bursaries amounting to $2.04 million made available to youths.
This builds on the programme’s success over 2015 to 2017, where some 1,000 bursaries amounting to $2.55 million were given out to youths from underprivileged backgrounds studying in polytechnics and institutes of technical education.
Besides the obvious benefits of helping these youths cope with school fees and living expenses, workshops on financial literacy, personal and career development have also been made available to them.
Making All The Difference
Sharing just how the bursary awards she received in 2016 and 2017 had made a difference, 22-year-old beneficiary Sharon Peh said: “It helped me a lot, especially in paying my bills and helping my mother take care of family commitments. It helped me with my daily allowance, transportation costs, textbooks and even getting a computer for school.”
She added that since her father, the family’s sole breadwinner, met with a hit-and-run accident in 2013, he had suffered serious fractures to both his legs and arms, and had difficulties walking even after recovering. Being unable to continue working meant that the burden of supporting the family fell on her mother, who earned just $500 to $600 a month.
“When my dad was still working, I was the kind of person who if I had $10, I would spend $11. But after what happened, I learnt how to be more frugal and save up. Especially after attending OrangeAid’s Facilitator Training and Coaching, it taught us how to plan our finances well and set our goals for the future,” shared Sharon.
Besides the extension of the FDP, a brand new Alumni Initiative was also introduced by way of coaching from industry professionals and facilitator training to further support FDP beneficiaries like Sharon.
Through the Alumni Initiative, Sharon also hopes to be able to pay-it-forward and inspire other beneficiaries.
“Because of how OrangeAid has benefitted me, I want to let my juniors know about how it [the burary awards] can help them and inspire them too. I hope that they can learn from my experience and learn that it is important to balance their wants and their needs,” she said.
And while Sharon might have had to grow up quickly, she brushed it off as something that is part and parcel of life.
“I had to really learn a lot of things about life, but that it is only a matter of time, because challenges will come, either earlier or later,” she added.
Click here to find out more about Income’s OrangeAid programme.