26 May 2018

MDIS continues 23-year tradition, pumps in another $230,000 to help students and families in needLatest News

Following a tradition of philanthropy since its establishment 61 years ago, MDIS awarded $230,000 in scholarships and bursaries to over 400 deserving and needful students at its 23rd MDIS Scholarship and Bursary Awards Ceremony on 26 May. 

This year, bursaries worth $18,000 were awarded to 36 children from Special Education Schools. Initiated two years back at its 60th Anniversary, MDIS has awarded 112 bursaries worth about $50,000 to date to children from Special Education Schools. Additionally, a $3,000 special bursary was awarded to a recipient to extend an extra helping hand to her family. 15-year-old Nur Zidney is the third beneficiary of the MDIS special bursary, initiated just last year, to which $13,000 has been awarded to date.  

Guests-of-Honour Ms Denise Phua, Mayor, Central Singapore CDC and MP for Jalan Besar GRC and Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament and MP for Marine Parade GRC graced the morning and afternoon sessions respectively. Both strongly support charitable causes.

“The MDIS Scholarship and Bursary Awards has been a 23-year journey in the making that builds on our continued pledge to give back to the community”, shared Dr R Theyvendran, MDIS Secretary-General. “Our work is not finished – every year, we ask ourselves what more can we do to fulfill students’ potential and dreams? Reviewing the case stories is a very humbling, even heartbreaking experience. It fires us up to do more to help those in need.”

Making a Difference
Last year’s special bursary award recipient, Jerlyn Loh, suffers from renal hypoplasia, a condition that occurs when a kidney does not fully develop in the womb. As a result, she has only one functioning kidney at 25% efficiency. Her 12-year-old brother too suffered the same condition, but was at end stage renal failure.

“Javier was successfully placed for a kidney transplant last year. Thanks to the bursary, my family was able to partly defray the heavy medical bills incurred from the frequent doctor’s visits, medication and hospital stay for Intravenous Immunoglobulin (or IVIg) treatment. Javier still has a way to go but it gladdens my heart that he no longer needs to be tied for hours on end to a dialysis machine at home,” shared Jerlyn. 

Elhann Bin Sudirman, another recipient from last year, was able to realise his dream of travelling. Elhann suffers from hearing loss. One of the best ways to enrich his learning is to let him experience places and cultures visually. His mother, who has had to singlehandedly raise him and his two brothers after her husband’s passing, was able to bring him and his brothers to Batam for a day to experience the local culture and bond over experiences like go karting.

Enabling Education and Opportunities for All
These stories and more drive the heart of our charitable endeavours. Since its founding days, MDIS believes in giving back to society and the community. The institute was founded by philanthropist Dato’ Loke Wan Tho and has emulated his spirit of giving.

“There is a lot more that corporations and individuals can do to help the less privileged. Public awareness of challenged youth and children, especially children with special needs, need to be enhanced. We hope that through the MDIS Scholarship and Bursary Awards, we have been able to help our beneficiaries come that much closer to realising opportunities and give wings to their aspirations,” said Dr Theyvendran.

The MDIS scholarships and bursaries are awarded through the MDIS Education Trust Fund that supports deserving and needful students who have financial difficulties pursuing their education in Singapore. The fund was created on the belief that education is the key to sustaining the economic growth and social fabric of Singapore, by investing in human capital and providing opportunities for improve social mobility.