SINGAPORE – During his first two years at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Mr Al-fian Al-lamin, 20, would skip meals at school and make do with just water, because he was worried about finances at home.
But a new grant from the Temasek Foundation to help lower-income ITE students cope with the rising cost of living means he can now afford meals, and it also helps him out with other expenses such as transport.
The charity has pledged more than $3.7 million to fund three support schemes for ITE students, in addition to the $3.2 million it is giving in 2022 to help students affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The grant will support the Monthly Financial Assistance Scheme, which helps up to 2,440 students, as well as the Additional Financial Assistance Scheme with $562,500 for up to 1,875 students.
It will also help about 2,020 students under the Special Student Assistance Scheme and another 500 students with their laptop costs.
Mr Al-fian, a sport management student, who is also a former professional football player in the Singapore Premier League, struggles financially as both his parents are not working.
His father, 68, used to run a home-based business selling kueh, or cakes, but had to stop work due to his declining health. His mother, 60, is a housewife.
He also has three siblings, aged 17, 18 and 19, who are all still in school.
Mr Al-fian said: “When I was playing football, I would give most of my salary, which was between $650 and $750, to my parents to help out as my father is an amputee due to chronic health problems.”
To read more : StraitsTimes