Over a hundred underprivileged children from the Marine Parade Family Service Centre (MPFSC)
had their wishes fulfilled within 24 hours by members from the legal profession in the first charity project organised by The Singapore Academy of Law (SAL).
In addition to granting the children’s wishes, members from the Academy which comprise the Judiciary, private practitioners, the Government Legal Service, corporate lawyers and faculty members of law schools, also donated over $27,000 in cash and book vouchers.
The gifts were handed to the children at an event hosted at the Supreme Court today by the Honourable Justice Lai Siu Chiu, Chairperson of SAL’s Membership and Social Committee.
“This is the first time that SAL, with the strong support of the Chief Justice and members of the legal profession, have organised a charity project and the response from the legal fraternity has been overwhelming. In less than 24 hours after our call for donations, all the wishes were fulfilled and our phones have not stopped ringing. Many of our members have asked what they can do to lend a helping hand. So aside from fulfilling the children’s wishes, our members have donated book vouchers so that each child can take home something extra to commemorate this special event. I would like to thank everyone who has given generously to this worthy cause,” said Justice Lai.
The Marine Parade Family Service Centre provides direct aid to individuals and families who face unexpected hardships and need temporary assistance with food, counselling and utility/rental bills.
“The event is part of SAL’s efforts to do something meaningful outside the courtroom for the community in which we serve by reaching out to the underprivileged children in our society,” said Justice Lai. “It provides us with a wonderful opportunity to bring joy to the children who are trying to overcome significant obstacles and challenges in their lives,” she added.
Many of the children from MPFSC who were visiting the Supreme Court for the first time were given a tour of the building and treated to a sumptuous ten-course buffet reception and a variety of entertainment programmes including a movie, games and a magic
The Asian Civilisations Museum Design Unit also donated their services to this charity event by designing the decorations for a 17- foot Christmas tree that was placed at the Supreme Court atrium.
The Singapore Academy of Law is the umbrella membership body of the legal profession in Singapore. Our members include the Judiciary, private practitioners, the Government Legal Service, corporate lawyers and faculty members of law schools. The Honourable the Chief Justice of Singapore is the President of the Academy.
The Academy’s activities are driven by three strategic priorities –enhancing legal knowledge, improving efficiency of legal practice through the use of technology and supporting the legal industry. The work in each of these areas is directed towards raising the standards and quality of legal practice and building a strong legal community in Singapore.
Members are kept updated on the latest developments impacting the profession, through a series of continuing legal education programmes which the Academy organises every year. The Academy also supports research into law reform and legal heritage, is the official law reporting agency in Singapore and is actively engaged in the publishing of other legal texts. On the technology front, the Academy is responsible for the development and management of LawNet, an IT portal which provides users instant access to a wide range of legal information and transactional
Under its SingaporeLaw initiative, the Academy actively promotes the useof Singapore’s legal and dispute resolution services to the region. A subsidiary of the Academy, The Singapore Mediation Centre, focuses on providing commercial mediation services and conducts mediation training workshops regionally.
More information can be found at www.sal.org.sg
The Marine Parade Family Service Centre (MPFSC) is not merely a welfare organisation. They are a catalyst within the community to actively contribute to the betterment of community life. Since their doors opened in October 2001, they have been serving residents of all ages in the areas of Marine Parade, Geylang and Joo Chiat, stretching all the way to Old
The children who attended the SAL charity event are from the MPFSC’s existing low-income families. They come from a diverse background, including:
· Single-parent families (Divorced, separated, widowed etc)
· Families with low-wage breadwinners (due to lack of skills and/or limited education)
· Unemployed parents due to circumstances (drug, gambling, alcohol dependency or sickness)
· Living mainly in two-room rental government flats
· Families with many children
· Volatile family situation (E.g. Incarceration of parent(s),substance-abuse issues, low education, neglect or poor parenting)
· Families who huge debts
· Families with parents facing difficulties gaining employment
About the Christmas Tree
This is the first Christmas tree set up in the Supreme Court. The Christmas tree is designed by the Asian Civilisations Museum Design Unit. The signature Snow Flake design of the tree is simple and elegant yet poignant in its meaning. The six arrows of the Snow Flake represent Love, Sharing,Giving, Joy, Community and Blessing. The arrows symbolise the raison
d’etre of the Singapore Academy of Law Charity Project 2006 – this symbolism is made complete with the drawing of the circle in the centre. The plastic mirror snow flakes reflect the surrounding lights and images, creating an interesting and unique visual treat and a contemporary feel. It is also an imagery of the glass motif of the Supreme Court building.