Women on a Mission To Support Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore

Babes on a Mission To Support Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore
Babes on a Mission To Support Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore

Other than running her own consulting business, Dream Catalyst founder Bernadette Chua is heavily involved in creating awareness for and supporting social causes. Bernadette is the ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore and Safe Haven Projects and helps them with her professional skills as well.

 

Thriving in our business is an external manifestation of our dreams while engaging in social responsibility is a source of powerful positive energy that keeps us balanced in mind, heart and spirit.

 

Why Do You Choose To Get Involved With CPAS? 

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey…”

It started with my first visit to Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore last year to explore on how my boyfriend and I could contribute to this organization. We are already actively supporting the Safe Haven Projects, a charity set up by our friend to help children in Indonesia and we also contribute to various charitable causes. But we wanted to do more by offering our skillsets to create value for a charitable organization in Singapore.

The CPAS team showed us around the Cerebral Palsy Centre and explained about the various programmes offered by CPAS. At the Day Activity Centre, one of their adult clients Jason said that he wanted to sing for us and broke into an impromptu rendition of “You Are My Sunshine”.

It was the way he so joyously sang it that brought tears to the both of us. Here was someone who faced daily struggles with everyday actions that we take for granted yet feel so much joy and happiness in singing for us. That was my first yes.

CPAS Artist Ng XiuZhenCPAS Artist Ng XiuZhen

Then the CPAS team showed us their art room where beautiful art pieces painstakingly painted by some of their clients were on display for sale. That was my second yes and the inspiration behind our first project for them ‘Art on the Move’. We suggested that we showcase the art pieces in a ‘moving exhibition’ each month at different cafes and restaurants so that more people can have access to the pieces. The CPAS artists could also be present one weekend at the venue to interact with the patrons at the establishment. The team loved the concept and after connecting them with various business owners, the initiative was successfully launched at W Hotel, Kith Cafe and The Cheese Steak Shop with positive media coverage and sale of the art pieces.

And this brings me to my 3rd yes. During the visit, I had candidly shared with Jessie Holmberg, CPAS Executive Director, that when I am committed to a cause, it is important that actions are taken not just all talk. The CPAS team has demonstrated their willingness to commit to making things happen. From the ‘Art on the Move Exhibition’, ongoing staff training and development for their team to their first ever charity dinner held at Marina Bay Sands recently, these are some of the projects where I could actively contribute ideas and my skillsets. It has been a joyous journey and we are looking to collaborate on many more projects together.

 

 

What should people know and care about cerebral palsy?

Cerebral (brain) Palsy (lack of muscle control) is an inclusive term to describe a group of non-progressive disorders occurring in young children in which injury to the brain causes impairment of motor function.

 The degree of the disabilities range from extreme tightness or looseness of the body muscles, improper head, shoulder or hip control to speech impairment. Cerebral Palsy is not curable. This can occur during pregnancy, at birth, or in the early years of the child due to illness or injury to the brain.

 

CPAS With Student Leaders
CPAS With Student Leaders

 

The vision of CPAS is empowering all persons with Cerebral Palsy to realise their full potential and lead fulfilled, dignified lives. The team is dedicated to delivering fully integrated programmes and services at the highest standards with passion, integrity, care, and excellence. As well as creating awareness of Cerebral Palsy, and advocating equal opportunities for all persons with the condition.

Before supporting CPAS, I did not have much social interaction with people with cerebral palsy. When I did meet someone, I often felt pained that they and their caregivers have to struggle so much. Now, instead of feeling pained and helpless, I can contribute meaningfully.

What people need to experience is the joy and courage that the CPAS clients demonstrate each and every single day. I salute them and also the dedication of their caregivers and CPAS team.

 

We do not have to wait till we have more time or money to make a difference. We can begin where we are at. If you are looking for true joy in serving, listen to your heart on what works for you and not what might be a trendy cause to support.

 

Why should woman entrepreneurs engage in social responsibility activities and how can they go about it?

Why not?  The world is a better and brighter place when kindness and goodness reigns.

Woman (in fact, all) entrepreneurs can consider engaging in social responsibility activities because it is awesome to be a catalyst for others’ dreams as we build ours. Thriving in our business is an external manifestation of our dreams while engaging in social responsibility is a source of powerful positive energy that keeps us balanced in mind, heart and spirit.

I believe engaging in social responsibility also provides us with much needed business wisdom to complement business intelligence in ensuring our businesses are sustainable long term and also beneficial to the communities we operate in.

On a business level, instead of jumping onto ad hoc social responsibility activities, entrepreneurs could first reflect on the culture and values that they desire to create for their companies. Then weave the social responsibility element into the fabric of their culture.

For example, my company Dream Catalyst is in the business for creating a better world for all with a primary focus to journey with businesses, their teams and individuals to build a positive work culture.

 

Blessings of a Peaceful Heart by a Client at CPASBlessings of a Peaceful Heart by Bernadette

 

The various charitable causes which I champion are all dedicated to creating better lives for the clients that they serve. In addition, I am able to offer my expertise as a consultant and trainer to the organizations. The activities and organizations are aligned to my business values and culture. So supporting them energizes me tremendously. 

On a personal level, entrepreneurs can begin this journey by reflecting on what social responsibility causes they resonate with the most. From there, to look for organizations or communities that support the cause. We can also tap on the many supportive online communities for resources and guidance. 

There are many ways we can support our causes, depending on the resources we have available be it cash, time or talents.

 

On a personal level, entrepreneurs can begin this journey by reflecting on what social responsibility causes they resonate with the most. From there, to look for organizations or communities that support the cause.

 

I can’t make enormous monetary contributions yet to the causes I support so I create opportunities to fundraise through projects. For example, I enjoy painting and in 2012, I informally auctioned a painting amongst friends which raised around $16,000 for Safe Haven Projects’ initiative to feed and provide education for street children. Recently, three of my paintings were also auctioned off at CPAS charity dinner. We are also planning an upcoming ‘Gift & Receive’ Initiative where I will offer talks to companies in exchange for a donation to CPAS.

We do not have to wait till we have more time or money to make a difference. We can begin where we are at. If you are looking for true joy in serving, listen to your heart on what works for you and not what might be a trendy cause to support.

 

 

Tell us more about the upcoming event

Steptember is a global fundraising fitness initiative with a cause, organized locally by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore. It is a challenge calling out for participants to take 10,000 steps a day in the month of September. This initiative aims to spread awareness and understanding about Cerebral Palsy and in doing so, also raise funds for the children and adult. 

This is the second year that CPAS is organising it, and based on my experience last year, it is a great way for us to stay fit and do good at the same time. I am participating again this year with an all ladies team called “Babes On Mission”. I hope more lady bosses can join us this year!

 

Event Duration

1 to 28 September 2016

Registration Fee

$25 per person, $100 for a team of four. Registration closes 27 August 2016.

Registration Details

  1. Form a team of four and sign up online at www.steptember.sg
  2. Each member will receive a 3D pedometer and a guidebook
  3. Start tracking your steps from 1 September and record your results on the website, anytime and anywhere!
  4. Complete your steps till 28 September to a healthier and happier you.

 

Appeal to your family, friends and colleagues to support your commitment through donations of any amount. Donations can be made online and pledged under your name/ or team to CPAS. All donations directly benefit children and adults with cerebral palsy. The funds raised are used to help defray the cost of transport to the centre from the clients’ homes, programme fees, therapy rehabilitation equipment, medical expenses, diapers, food rations, public education, caregiver support programmes and many more.

 

For more info, please contact Ms Joanna Ng from CPAS at 65855602 or joannang@cpas.org.sg

Written By

Jackie Yeo is the co-founder of Ladyboss. She is an internet marketing specialist who focuses on helping clients build and manage their online presence. Jackie is also a strong advocate of women's rights and is keen to promote entrepreneurship among women. Outside work, she's a self-professed foodie and an avid dancer.

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