Yesterday, the National Heritage Board (NHB) rolled out its newest initiative: HeritageCares. HeritageCares aims to reach out to the less privileged through a range of heritage programmes at our national museums, heritage institutions and heritage sites. It also offers a chance for Singaporeans to give back to the community as heritage volunteers.
Heritage for Everyone
Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe strongly backed charitable causes and the promotion of the arts and culture in Singapore, giving rise to the auction of three of his pieces, unique dome table clocks, in commemoration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. One of the clocks raised a donation of S$750,000 from Cortina Watch Pte Ltd, which will go towards supporting the first wave of HeritageCares programmes. Over three years, the programmes aim to reach out to about 12,000 Community Chest beneficiaries. Part of the donation will also be eligible for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s Cultural Matching Fund.
One of the clocks raised a donation of S$750,000 from Cortina Watch Pte Ltd, which will go towards supporting the first wave of HeritageCares programmes. Over three years, the programmes aim to reach out to about 12,000 Community Chest beneficiaries. Part of the donation will also be eligible for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s Cultural Matching Fund.
HeritageCares programmes include guided trails of historical sites, hands-on workshops, and interactive programmes at the museums. These are specially tailored to the needs of low-income families, adults and children with disabilities and/or special needs, youths at risk and senior citizens. Family bonding, enhancement of social skills, gaining of educational experiences, and active ageing is encouraged through HeritageCares programmes.
The initiative was launched yesterday by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Ms Grace Fu, who joined Community Chest participants and corporate volunteers from Patek Philippe on a section of the Jubilee Walk. The event was also supplemented by the use of the Family Time Activity Sheet, which NHB co-developed with the Ministry of Education.
Ms Grace Fu brought up how HeritageCares achieves two different purposes. “First of all, it allows us to bring people of different segments of society, particularly those who are needy, to enjoy the heritage we have. It’s important that our heritage is presented to all, and we would like it to be as inclusive as possible. HeritageCares also allows volunteers to contribute to the community. Many of them are very passionate about our heritage, and they would also like to do something for the society, to care for someone else,” she stated at yesterday’s event.
Making Heritage Your Cause
HeritageCares also provides meaningful heritage volunteering opportunities for individuals and organisations. NHB plans to train volunteers to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skillsets needed to facilitate and deliver quality programmes.
Ms Deepa Chatrath, General Manager of Patek Philippe in Southeast Asia, said, “We are glad that with HeritageCares, we are able to do more as an organisation for both the community and Singapore’s heritage, and grow our gift to include guided tours by our staff volunteers. Just as how our masterpieces embody the passing on of family values, we believe heritage should be preserved and shared with future generations.”
Mr Anthony Lim, CEO of Cortina Watch Pte Ltd, said, “Cortina Watch has always supported charitable causes for the less fortunate. HeritageCares is a meaningful opportunity for us to do so as the participants do not just benefit from the programmes, but also get to enjoy and appreciate Singapore’s heritage at the same time.”
In addition, NHB is also leveraging on HeritageCares to attract more youth volunteers. For instance, it is collaborating with Youth Corps Singapore, a champion for youth volunteerism under the National Youth Council. Youth Corps Singapore volunteers will be prepared to serve as trail guides along Jubilee Walk for the underprivileged.
Other than Youth Corps Singapore, NHB is also reaching out to more youths through other tertiary partners such as Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). One such example is NHB’s collaboration with NAFA, where students conceptualise and customise a guided tour of Jubilee Walk sites for the underprivileged as part of their graduation project. The students will be invited to carry out their programmes for relevant Community Chest beneficiaries.
For more information on volunteer opportunities with HeritageCares, members of the public can visit: www.nhb.gov.sg/about-us/join-us/heritagecares
About the National Heritage Board
The National Heritage Board (NHB) was formed on 1 August 1993. As the custodian of Singapore’s heritage, NHB is responsible for telling the Singapore story, sharing the Singaporean experience and imparting the Singapore spirit. NHB’s mission is to preserve and celebrate the shared heritage of Singapore’s diverse communities, for the purpose of education, nation-building and cultural understanding. It manages the national museums and heritage institutions, and sets policies relating to heritage sites, monuments and the national collection. Through the national collection, NHB curates heritage programmes and presents exhibitions to connect the past, present and future generations of Singaporeans. NHB is a statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. Please visit www.nhb.gov.sg for more information.