National Team Coach Tatsuma Yoshida, along with nine members of the senior management staff from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) have come together to establish the OneStrong Fund. This collective trust, which seeks to support less privileged families and children amidst the COVID-19 situation, is a voluntary initiative that has been established as a show of solidarity by the ten individuals.
The seed amount of almost $25,000, comprises the 2019 annual salary bonuses being given up in full by the nine FAS staff as well as Tatsuma volunteering to contribute a significant portion of his monthly salary in support of this cause. The donated funds will be eligible for the additional government support of a bicentennial dollar-for-dollar offer, which will result in close to $50,000 being raised.
Marking his first year since he arrived in Singapore, Tatsuma said he was glad to be a part of this cause. He said: “I am very grateful for the support shown to me by Singaporeans during my time here and this is one way I am able to show my gratitude in return. I have personally seen how different communities, especially the essential workers and all of those who are working on the frontlines, have come together to help those in need since this pandemic started. It inspired me to play my part and show my appreciation since I am part of the community as well. I am happy that the money will be used in a way that is much more beneficial to someone else who needs it more during this period.”
The OneStrong Fund will provide beneficiaries with refurbished computing devices, learning tools and materials, experiential learning journeys and other essential items. To ensure proper governance and control of the fund, it will be administered as part of the Circuit Breaker School Buddies Project, which is a joint initiative by New Life Stories (NLS), a non-profit organization that supports children of incarcerated mothers and Beautiful People (BP), a volunteer movement that facilitates mentoring relationships for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
There will be no administrative cost in the management and disbursement of the fund as all parties have agreed to volunteer their expertise and resources without any compensation. This will enable all donations to the fund to go towards the beneficiaries of this Project.
Speaking on behalf of the nine senior staff, FAS General Secretary Yazeen Buhari said: “During difficult times like these, it is more important to help out the ones who require assistance. The value of football goes beyond the field. It is about how we step up and support our community. This is a personal gesture of solidarity amongst the senior management staff of FAS that embodies the power of sport and the love for our community. On behalf of my senior management team, I would like to sincerely thank Beautiful People and New Life Stories for helping to make this initiative possible.”
Phyllis Ng, Director of Beautiful People, welcomed the collaboration saying: “For close to 15 years, Beautiful People has seen the impact and the power a positive mentoring relationship can have on both the mentor and mentee. We are pleased to be a part of the OneStrong fund and the Circuit Breaker School Buddies Project and hope more organizations can join us in this work of empowering youths and families through mentoring.”
New Life Stories co-founder, Saleemah Ismail added: “This is an unprecedented and challenging time for all of us. And there some in our community who are more disproportionately affected. This is why this mentor project is so important, especially now, for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to have a caring mentor in their lives and for these youth to feel less alone and be more hopeful for the future to come. We are very thankful that New Life Stories can be part of this collaborative project in reaching out to youth in our society.”
List of FAS Staff contributing to the ONESTRONG Fund
|1||Eric Ong Beng Kiong||National Teams|
|3||Fabian Chew Peng Boon||Human Capital|
|4||Gerard Christopher||GS Office|
|5||Jonathan Wong Khong Yee||Marketing & Commercial|
|6||Haiyum Bin Jaafar||Football Science & Medicine|
|7||Zainudeen bin Hassan||Coach Education|
|8||Aloysius Emmanuel Vetha||Competitions|
|9||Tatsuma Yoshida||National Coach|