Keppel has unveiled plans to donate 150 new laptops worth more than $160,000 to the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) Community Link (ComLink) initiative, partnering with AsiaPac in a move designed to support home-based learning by students from lower-income families in Singapore.
Expected to benefit more than 240 students, the devices will be distributed in phases over the coming weeks to the four pilot ComLink communities, which provides support to families with children living in rental housing across the city-state.
The majority of the laptops will be distributed through the ComLink initiative to students from lower-income families for use at home to support home-based learning, while others will be deployed to support ComLink community programs such as academic classes for students.
Spearheaded by AsiaPac - the enterprise technology division of M1 which operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary - the donation forms part of the $4.2 million care package which Keppel announced in 2020 to support communities affected by COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has caused significant hardship around the world,” said Ho Tong Yen, CEO of Keppel Care Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm. “It has also accelerated digitalisation and e-learning, which we believe are long-term trends that will continue post-pandemic.
“In providing access to digital learning tools and promoting digital literacy, we hope to support the education needs of students from lower-income families, especially during periods of home-based learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.”
Beyond Keppel’s donation of laptops, staff volunteers will conduct digital literacy workshops for students at two ComLink communities, spanning topics such as laptop-operating skills, effective use of collaboration tools and cyber-hygiene habits.
“I want to thank Keppel Corporation for stepping forward to support those in need in spite of the economic uncertainty brought about by the pandemic,” added Eric Chua, Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development.
“These efforts will go a long way in helping our students in need. Building an inclusive society is a collective effort. We encourage other corporates and donors to step forward to do the same, and journey with MSF and our community partners as we build a caring community where no one is left behind.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the Keppel Group has contributed approximately $5 million to support global efforts to fight COVID-19.
In March 2021, Keppel also donated $300,000 to the Digital for Life Fund, set up by the Infocomm Media Development Authority. Through the donation, Keppel aims to promote digital inclusion and help lower-income seniors, many of whom have become more isolated during the pandemic, to be more connected with their communities using digital tools.