#SSPWECARE – The Invictus Fund
Every day, we are flooded by news – often more bad than good – of the damage that the coronavirus is causing all over the world. News on the widespread effects of the pandemic have triggered many emotions in people globally; from fear, sadness, anger, to compassion and gratefulness. And for one Singapore Sports School Secondary 4 student-athlete, the feeling of blessedness was what moved her to start #SSPWECARE – The Invictus Fund.
Netballer Smita Ishana Rai was watching the evening news with her family one day and upon hearing the update on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation, expressed how sad it was that so many people were suffering. Her mother then challenged her: “What can you do about it?”
The simple yet thought-provoking question got Smita thinking and the idea of #SSPWECARE campaign was born. Helping others in need is not new to the 16-year-old who had also spearheaded a fundraising project in 2015 when 10 Singaporeans fell victim to an earthquake in Sabah while climbing Mount Kinabalu. The then-Primary 5 pupil gathered some of her schoolmates from CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace and reached out to their network of friends and family to collect donations for the Sabah Earthquake Fund which was started by the Ministry of Education.
#SSPWECARE – The Invictus Fund was launched on 5 May 2020, and would run for two weeks till 18 May. Smita chose The Invictus Fund (TIF) which has been newly set up by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) to help social service agencies to continue to support the vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceeds go towards helping more than 80 social service agencies stay ‘well-oiled’ in their operations so that they can continue to reach out to those in need.
Getting the ball moving was not as simple as the netballer had thought. She had to research for a suitable platform to collect donations, develop publicity material and share her proposal to the school’s management. This project meant an additional responsibility that Smita had to juggle with on top of sport and academic demands.
On her experience, Smita said, “This project allowed me to work with many people, from multiple groups of schoolmates, to staff and even parents. I’m very appreciative of everyone who had come together, and willingly gave their time and effort to help put together the publicity material. Of course, not forgetting the Sports School community who actively spread word of this fundraiser so that more can be collected to help those in need.”
Smita also shared that this project has taught her many life skills in life which, in her words, are “a concoction of Singapore Sports School’s core values: Respect, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence and Resilience”.
“It is Respect for the purpose of the fundraising that will help us achieve our aim in helping the needy. Respecting each other’s diverse abilities in the creation and execution of the project plays a big part in the campaign’s success. Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence and Resilience are, to me, what really makes us a Champion – not only in the sport arena, but also in life.
“My biggest win at the end of all this is that extending a helping hand to others would hopefully become a norm for Singapore Sports School student-athletes, not the amount that was raised through the #SSPWECARE – The Invictus Fund campaign. Champions should rise above and think ‘What can I do about it?’ whenever there are others in society in need.”
Note: #SSPWECARE – The Invictus Fund is collecting donations* from 5 to 18 May 2020. All proceeds will go to The Invictus Fund. Make your contribution at bit.ly/sspwecare
*Donations of $10 and above will be entitled to tax deductions. As part of the Bicentennial Community Fund, the Government will match 20% of donations made to The Invictus Fund.
Alumni Champion Causes Towards COVID-19
National pencak silat exponents Nurul Suhaila Mohamed Saiful, brothers Sheik Farhan and Sheik Ferdous Sheik Alau'ddin have started a fundraising project that literally works the heart. The world champions, who are Sports School alumni, are encouraging people to upload a video of themselves doing burpees with the hashtag #BurpeesForSayangSayang. For every 10 burpees, the trio will contribute a sum to the Sayang Sayang Fund which helps healthcare workers and vulnerable communities.
Footballers Madhu M Mohana and Muhammad Aqhari Abdullah have also reached out to the community by delivering food packets, while wushu exponent Jowen Lim Si Wei donated used laptops so that students without laptops could undergo home-based learning.