Philanthropy and sustainability in action at NUS Plant-It-Forward Day
Fifty trees found their forever homes in NUS’ University Town as part of the inaugural Plant-It-Forward (PIF) Day, held on 4 November 2023. More than 80 NUS alumni, students, staff, friends and families participated in this much-anticipated event, which also marked the official launch of the PIF Challenge – an initiative that ties philanthropy with climate action, paving the way for a fundraising campaign that supports students in financial need and creates a positive environmental impact. The event also served as a platform to celebrate the generosity of those who have supported the PIF Challenge so far.
In his opening address, NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye highlighted the significance of providing equal and quality education for all students regardless of their financial backgrounds, as well as the growing need to address climate change. He also expressed his deep appreciation to alumni and donors for their steadfast support of the University’s commitment to be an equitable educator and an active steward of the environment.
Making a difference to financially needy students and the environment
Funds raised through the Challenge support the Enhanced Financial Aid Scheme (EFAS), which ensures full-time Singaporean undergraduates, regardless of their financial circumstances, have access to a transformative education experience at NUS. For every S$1,000 raised through the PIF Challenge, a tree will be planted on NUS campus – an initiative that aligns with the National Parks Board’s OneMillionTrees movement and NUS' commitment to plant 100,000 trees on campus by 2030.
The PIF Day kicked off with a vibrant burst of colours as participants engaged in a batik painting activity on a single canvas. The final art piece, which will be displayed on NUS campus, serves as a lasting memento of the collective dedication to making a difference for our students and the environment.
The heart of the event unfolded as participants put on their gardening gloves, picked up their shovels and came together for the tree-planting activity. It was an inspiring sight to witness as donors collectively left their mark, fostering a greener and cooler campus. Each of the 50 trees planted symbolises a step towards a more sustainable future and attests to NUS’ commitment to empower students from challenging backgrounds, to become the next generation of changemakers.
As the event drew to a close, Mr Johnny Tan, Chairman of the PIF Challenge, encouraged everyone to spread the word and sustain the momentum beyond the Plant-It-Forward Day.
“Engaging in fundraising with a shared and meaningful objective can genuinely nurture a sense of pride and help bring the community together. Let’s help to spread the message and continue our efforts for this worthwhile and meaningful purpose,” said Mr Tan.