While COVID-19 has affected many individuals and sectors, the impact on persons with disabilities and their caregivers is disproportionately huge. During this period, those who are seeking employment or working are badly affected, with some already losing their jobs. Many have not been able to access rehabilitation and care services when centre-based services are suspended, while others face greater difficulty getting food and necessities due to mobility challenges.
In response to meeting the urgent needs, we are launching C.A.R.E., a direct and customised support scheme during this period to meet the different needs of these identified PWDs and their caregivers. C.A.R.E. comprises four key areas: Cooked meals, Assistance funds, Respite care, and Essentials distribution.
To enable this effort, the Mediacorp Enable Fund (MEF) – a community fund administered by SG Enable – has started a fund raising drive on the Giving.sg platform. With the public’s generous support, vulnerable PWDs and their caregivers will be able to receive:
· Cooked meals – to persons with physical disabilities or those with visual impairment living alone, or frail persons with disabilities/elderly caregivers.
· Assistance funds – a one-time cash relief for families with multiple persons with disabilities as they experience both financial hardship and caregiving stress. This could help defray some costs for daily expenses and last-mile needs (e.g. medical expenses, consumables, etc).
· Respite care – respite care to low-income elderly caregivers caring for persons with disabilities to minimise risks of burn-out and injuries from 24/7 caregiving.
· Essentials distribution – fortnightly distribution of dry food rations to persons with physical disabilities or those with visual impairment living alone, or frail persons with disabilities/elderly caregivers.
Ku Geok Boon, CEO of SG Enable, said, “SG Enable and our Social Service Agency partners have been intensifying our support for persons with disabilities during this challenging time. We have identified multiple needs such as respite care, emotional support, financial help, as well as assistance for daily living. C.A.R.E. is a holistic programme to meet these acute needs. We are encouraged by the unwavering support of Mediacorp in this fundraising effort. We hope that corporates and the public will go the extra mile with us to deliver C.A.R.E. to more vulnerable persons with disabilities and their families.”
Lending their voices to rally support for the C.A.R.E. initiative will be six members of the Supporters of MEF team, a group of Mediacorp artistes and presenters dedicated to supporting PWDs through the MEF. They are: Glenda Chong from CNA, Fadli Kamsani from Warna 94.2FM, Lin Peifen from YES 933, Chris Mak from 987FM, Rafi from Oli 96.8FM, and The Celebrity Agency artiste Denise Camillia Tan. Over the course of this donation drive, they will be doing shoutouts on Mediacorp platforms and social media to appeal for donations to C.A.R.E. Some of the supporters will also be making the calls on their personal social media profiles.
Tham Loke Kheng, CEO of Mediacorp, said, “COVID-19 is without doubt the greatest challenge facing our society today and nobody is spared its impact, in particular persons with disabilities and their caregivers. Mediacorp is committed to working with SG Enable to do our part to help this vulnerable group by leveraging our media network, as well as the reach and influence of our artistes as Supporters of MEF to spread awareness of the C.A.R.E. donation drive. We hope that members of the public who are able to help can support wholeheartedly and generously. ”