Temasek Review 2018

Making a Difference

At Temasek, we strive to enable and enrich lives.

An Unusual Friendship

Who would have thought that what started out as a community service opportunity would evolve into a life-changing experience for 21-year-old student, Jared Chew?

Despite his hectic school schedule, Jared devotes his Friday afternoons to exercising in the swimming pool with residents of THK Home for Disabled @ Eunos.

Temasek Foundation Cares has funded this Play-Ability pilot programme to run for three years, in 8 to 12 week cycles. Volunteers work with trained coaches to provide the physically and intellectually disabled greater access to sporting activities. Those who show potential and interest in coaching may be offered subsidised training to be qualified coaches, enabling a self-sustaining programme.

Wei Lun (left) and Jared meet once a week to exercise.

If others can’t do it, doesn’t mean I can’t do it.

Jared Chew

While his friends head home to enjoy their weekends, Jared makes the long journey every Friday from his school, ITE College West in Choa Chu Kang, to Heartbeat@Bedok where he meets Wei Lun, from the Home. Together, they practise kicking with floats while having fun in the water, helping to keep Wei Lun active and healthy.

At first, Jared found it challenging to break the ice with Wei Lun. Jared recalls how “it was a bit hard to communicate with him” in the first two sessions but he reminded himself, “my goal is to help people.”

By the third session, Jared managed to break through to Wei Lun. Nearing the end of the programme, Wei Lun began to speak with proper words and warmed towards Jared.

Jared and Wei Lun share a special connection.

If I stop going, I’m going to stop learning things from him.

Jared Chew

Jared recognises that his friendship with Wei Lun has helped him become a better person – to embrace patience, gratitude and empathy. Their heart-warming friendship is the result of unconditional trust and mutual understanding.

“I think there should be more programmes like this because it gives people a chance to help out and participants to feel loved.”

For more information on Temasek Foundation Cares, visit

Painting a smile

Sim Kah Lim took an interest in art from a young age. He participated in his first art competition at 8 years old and took home the top prize – the first of many that followed.

Since he picked up drawing, he did not stop.

Cindy on her brother’s passion for art

However, Kah Lim began hallucinating as he grew older. At 15, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Unable to live independently, Kah Lim spent short stints in the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and moved there permanently when his family was no longer able to care for him. Cindy recalls, “When my brother was admitted, we were very worried, especially my parents. We didn’t know whether he would be able to adjust to life in IMH.”

Kah Lim has been persistent in his passion, spending hours every day painting. All this time, he has kept one dream close to his heart – to host his own art exhibition, just like the ones he used to visit.

In June this year, T-Touch volunteers fulfilled that dream. Unbeknown to him, Temasek staff organised the exhibition of his paintings in the foyer of Temasek’s office in Singapore. They brought him to the venue from his hospital room for an ‘official opening’, complete with a reception, and surprised him with a crowd gathered to view his paintings.

On arrival, Kah Lim’s joy was evident. He was full of smiles and warmed up to the guests, shaking their hands and enthusiastically posing with his pieces.

T-Touch is a volunteer initiative by Temasek staff.

Kah Lim completing a portrait in 30 minutes.
Juliet Teo, a T-Touch Sponsor, welcoming Kah Lim to the exhibition, along with Adjunct Prof Chua Hong Choon, IMH Chief Executive Officer.

See Related:

Mental Wellness 2.0
Fostering Play-Ability

He feels great!
That’s why he’s talking non-stop.

Cindy on her brother’s reaction to the surprise

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