To many households in the South West District, Festive Cheers @ South West brings welcome relief during the end-of-year festive season. Specially prepared care packs distributed to residents provide them with practical necessities and food items, helping to defray some of the costs of daily living. Koh Kock Leong (KKL) Enterprise Pte Ltd is one of the long-time partners of the South West Community Development Council (CDC) that has funded this initiative. In 2020 the local engineering company contributed $220,000, which benefitted some 8,000 needy families.
KKL’s partnership with South West CDC dates back to 2008, when it started the KKL-South West CDC Meals Bursary to fund school meals for children from vulnerable households. With $200 and $300 disbursed annually to primary school and secondary school students respectively, the programme aims to ensure that no child goes hungry in school because of his/her family’s financial situation.
The company’s dedication to supporting education for vulnerable children and youth has led it to contribute $360,000 to other initiatives it jointly launched with South West CDC in 2020 alone. These include My Schooling Needs @ South West in which pre-schoolers receive new bags and stationery and bookstore vouchers; the South West CDC-KKL Education Grant that helped with the purchase of school essentials such as books and calculators; and the South West Tertiary Grant that helped defray education expenses for polytechnic and university students.
KKL also stepped up to support the community in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, joining South West CDC to set up the South West CDC-KKL Graduate Relief & Individual Training (SWCDC-KKL GRIT) Fund. Worth $500,000, this provided a one-off financial grant of $500 to 1,000 full-time students from low-income families, who are schooling at Institutes of Technical Education, polytechnics and universities to tide them through their job search. To encourage beneficiaries to upskill themselves, they were offered a free course of their choice on the online learning platform Gnowbe, another partner of the SWCDC-KKL GRIT Fund. “We are glad to provide timely support to fresh graduates affected by COVID-19 and hope that our contribution will help them through this trying period,” said Mr Koh Tiam Teck, Managing Director of KKL.
To Mr Koh Kong Wen, PBM, a Contracts Manager at the company, taking part in these efforts to uplift the community adds greater meaning to his work. “We have always been supportive of the CDC’s programmes, often taking cues from it to meet the community’s needs. The CDC is able to match the community’s needs to resources, which can be in terms of funding, donations-in-kind, or simply volunteering one’s time for the CDC’s programmes,” said Mr Koh, who is also a South West CDC District Councillor.
For its exemplary service to the South West community, KKL received the Diamond Award at the South West Caring Corporate Awards 2020. The company has won this accolade three times in a row since 2018. Commenting on its commitment to the district, Mr Koh said, “As we are located in the South West District, we felt it was natural to give back to the community around us. To be of help in some way in someone’s life is why we continue giving back to the community.”
Eight South West CDC programmes supported by KKL
- South West Care Fund
- Festive Cheers @ South West
- South West CDC-KKL Meals Bursary
- South West CDC-KKL Graduate Relief & Individual Training Fund
- South West CDC-KKL Education Grant
- South West Tertiary Grant
- My Schooling Needs @ South West
- Food Connect @ South West