To drive positive and sustainable change for communities, we have put in place various initiatives that enable us to play a significant role in advancing the progress, development and inclusion of vulnerable segments of society.

Lending a helping hand

Our programmes have helped to equip the vulnerable with skills that enhance their employability and ability to live independently and also bring cheer to their lives.

Now in its fourth year, our Pathways 2 Employment Programme in Australia helps youth from disadvantaged backgrounds improve their future employability prospects, both within Optus and the broader retail sector. Optus Retail employees coached 172 students and 20 of them successfully gained employment with us.

Our staff are also encouraged to volunteer their time and give back to the community through initiatives such as the Singtel Carnival, Singapore’s largest event designed exclusively for children with special needs. The 2019 event was organised by 1,800 staff volunteers and saw more than 1,600 students from 14 special education schools enjoy a fun-filled day of games, activities and performances.

We have also been extending our volunteering outreach to support communities in countries where our regional associates operate through Better Together, our annual overseas volunteering programme. About 100 staff volunteers from Singtel, Optus, Airtel, AIS and Globe participated in four expeditions to Australia, India, the Philippines and Thailand for the ninth edition of Better Together in 2019.

Consumer Singapore CEO Yuen Kuan Moon, Group CEO Chua Sock Koong and Group Chief Human Resources Officer Aileen Tan mingling with children with special needs at the Singtel Carnival 2019.

Promoting online safety for children

Educating our children and youth about online safety has become increasingly important as digitalisation becomes a way of life for many. In the past five years, our Singtel Group Digital Thumbprint Programme has reached more than 540,000 students, parents and educators to support digital safety and responsibility in Singapore and Australia.

We have been collaborating with DQ Institute on its #DQEveryChild initiative, with the aim of empowering every child with digital intelligence. On Safer Internet Day 2020, we supported the launch of DQ Institute’s Child Online Safety Index (COSI), the world’s first real-time analytical platform to help countries better monitor and understand the status of children’s online safety. COSI will enable stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and work on coordinated responses to minimise digital risks for children.

Inclusion and well-being

A key focus of our community strategy is advancing the disability employment agenda in Singapore. As a founder and co-chair of the Singapore Business Network on DisAbility, we have been actively supporting SG Enable’s mentorship and internship programmes for tertiary students with disabilities, as well as university career fairs and CV clinics to help the students build their resumes.

As a technology company, we leverage our strengths to drive digital inclusion for vulnerable segments. We supported 1,000 disadvantaged seniors in Singapore with free mobile services under CareLine’s 24-hour telephone befriending service. We are also helping to bridge the digital divide through our Donate Your Data initiative, which was scaled up in December 2019 and has allowed Optus customers to donate data from their mobile plan to young Australians in need.

Fighting cancer is another cause close to our hearts. We have been the title sponsor of the Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer for 11 consecutive years. In 2019, we donated S$250,000 to the Singapore Cancer Society to support its Help the Children and Youth Programme.

Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung and Singtel’s management flag off the 2019 Race Against Cancer.