President Halimah Yacob Launches President’s Challenge 2021, Announces New National Movement

Last updated: 09 February 2021

Published on: 08 February 2021

  • President’s Challenge 2021 will raise funds for a record total of 92 benefitting agencies 
  • Digital for Life national movement galvanises the community to help Singaporeans embrace digital, to enrich their lives, with $10 million fund

SINGAPORE – 8 February 2021: President Halimah Yacob launched the President’s Challenge 2021 (PC2021), which will raise funds for a record total of 92 benefitting agencies. In line with its focus for this year, PC2021 will also lay emphasis on efforts that equip groups like seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income families with digital tools, skills and connectivity so that they can remain socially and economically active in Singapore’s digital-first way of life and work. In conjunction with the launch of PC2021, President Halimah also launched a new national movement – Digital for Life – which aims to galvanise the community to help Singaporeans embrace digital as a lifelong pursuit, and to enrich their lives through digital.

President’s Challenge 2021 (PC2021)

President Halimah highlighted that as our society capitalises on the opportunities arising from digital technology, it is important that all segments of society stand to benefit and that no one gets left behind. As such, the focus of this year’s President’s Challenge is ‘Building a Digitally Inclusive Society’. PC2021 will also continue to support a broad range of social causes this year, including raising funds for a record total of 92 benefitting agencies[1], to help them tide through the difficult times caused by COVID-19. 

TOUCH Community Services’ “Digitally Ready Families” is one of the programmes supported under PC2021. It supports low-income individuals to more effectively and efficiently use digital technology as well as navigate family relationships within a digital environment. Mr Mohamad Roslan Bin Palil, 54, who has not been able to work since sustaining serious back injuries in a work accident, has been able to upgrade his digital skillset and hopes this will help him secure a new job. His teenage daughters have also learned to be more disciplined with their device use and how to deal with cyberbullying incidents under the programme.

Mr Roslan said: “I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in ‘Digitally Ready Families’. I have learned how to navigate websites and research for information, which allows me to find resources and upskilling courses online. I have also learned to identify online scams, and now have more confidence to navigate safely in the digital age.”

Digital for Life Movement

The newly launched Digital for Life movement will look to bring the whole of nation together in collective efforts to help all Singaporeans have the necessary digital tools, skills and habits to succeed in the future. It will build on the momentum of many community efforts seen during COVID-19, and mobilise more community partners and resources to help all Singaporeans embrace digital, and live enriched lives with digital. It will serve as a platform to bring together corporates, community organisations, government agencies as well as individuals to play a part, coordinating efforts, co-creating solutions and catalysing change. 

The movement aligns well with the PC2021 theme of “Building a Digitally Inclusive Society”, and the overall theme of Empowering for Life, a direction charted for PC to uplift and help vulnerable groups to upgrade their skills and capabilities using digital technologies and solutions.

The Digital for Life Fund has also been established to support digital inclusion projects and activities to help all Singaporeans embrace digital, and enrich lives. As announced by President Halimah, the Patron for Digital for Life, the President’s Challenge will provide a seed funding of $2.5 million in donation to the Fund. 

President Halimah Yacob said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has hastened Singapore’s digitalisation efforts, but also has the potential to widen the digital divide. The President’s Challenge hopes to support efforts to build a digitally inclusive society, where all Singaporeans feel excited, empowered and enriched by digital technologies. The Digital for Life movement and Fund brings us a step closer to achieving Singapore’s vision of becoming a digitally-inclusive society.”

The new fund set up by IMDA will support projects initiated by the community for the community, through to 2023. It will also serve as a channel for community contributions. With the government matching dollar for dollar, the target for the Fund is to grow to $10 million over the next three years.  Community Chest, the fundraising and engagement arm of the National Council of Social Service, will facilitate contributions towards this Fund. 

The Digital for Life Fund will support projects and activities promoting:

  • Digital Technology and Inclusion – which will focus on building digital resilience, and excite different segments of society on how new digital technologies can enrich their daily lives.
  • Digital Literacy and Wellness – which will focus on promoting good digital habits as society engages in the digital domain, including in the areas of cyber safety, media literacy and mitigating the risks of online harms.

Further details of the grant application and criteria will be released in the upcoming months.

 

Related Resources

Annex A: Benefitting Agencies Supported By President’s Challenge 2021 (649.82KB)
Annex B: Digital for Life Logo (595.66KB)
Annex C: Quotes from Digital Learning Circles’ Partners (594.01KB)

[1] Please refer to Annex A for the full list.

 


JOINTLY ISSUED BY THE INFO-COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AND PRESIDENT’S CHALLENGE  


About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.

About the President’s Challenge 

The President’s Challenge is a national movement led by the President to rally Singaporeans to build a caring and cohesive society together. An annual community outreach, President’s Challenge aims to bring together people from all walks of life, under the President’s patronage, to help those who are less fortunate. 100% of the donations raised under President’s Challenge go to beneficiary organisations supported by President’s Challenge.

President’s Challenge was established in 2000 by the late Mr S R Nathan as a fund-raising campaign to help the less fortunate. In 2012, Dr Tony Tan expanded the Challenge to include Volunteerism and Social Enterprises. In 2018, President Halimah Yacob refocused the effort of President’s Challenge towards the empowerment of vulnerable groups with skills and employability. An Empowering for Life Fund was set up to support programmes in skills upgrading, capacity building and employment of vulnerable groups. President’s Challenge aims to raise $10 million for the Empowering for Life Fund over the following 5 years, and the Government will provide dollar-for-dollar matching.

 

 

For media clarifications, please contact:

(Ms) Chew Kia Huey
Senior Manager, Communications Division, Ministry of Social and Family Development
Tel: 9021 0673
Email: Chew_Kia_Huey@msf.gov.sg

(Ms) Deanne Galicia
Associate, Ogilvy Singapore
Tel: 8292 6895
Email:Deanne.Galicia@ogilvy.com

(Ms) Jasmine Xu
Assistant Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
Tel: (65) 6202 4425 
Email: Jasmine_Xu@imda.gov.sg

(Ms) Chloe Choong  
Assistant Director, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6211 0527
Email: Chloe_Choong@imda.gov.sg