Inclusive employers along the Orchard Road belt and their employees with disabilities, joined Guest-of-Honour, President Halimah Yacob, and Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development, to launch the festive lights at the Community Chest Christmas on A Great Street Light-up Ceremony, at ION Orchard Singapore.
This year’s Community Chest Christmas on A Great Street Light-up Ceremony raised close to $1.4 million, which will go towards about 80 social service organisations supported by Community Chest, including those that provide vocational training and employment assistance for persons with disabilities, such as Autism Resource Centre, Metta School, APSN Delta Senior School, and MINDS.
In 2016, Community Chest supported 29 employment assistance programmes that enabled over 900 social service users to be gainfully employed, a 36% increase from 2014. One such programme is the Enabling Academy Initiative, where training providers such as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, SHATEC, and SEOciety Pet Ltd, are equipped to prepare persons with disabilities for the workforce.
The evening was also a true demonstration and celebration of different abilities and inclusivity, with 19-year-old Muhd Aqram bin Mohd Yazed, a former student with autism from Eden School co-emceeing alongside Ms Wong Li Lin; and a performance by The Purple Symphony, Singapore’s largest inclusive orchestra put together by the Central Singapore Community Development Council. Community Chest Christmas on A Great Street Light-up Ceremony is co-organised by Community Chest and Orchard Road Business Association, along with main sponsor, Hitachi Group of Companies.