A new philanthropic initiative focused on the Asian region has been initiated in Singapore, counting US$200 million in funding commitments from early core members, partners, and supporters.
At the recent annual Philanthropy Asia Summit, Temasek Trust, the not-for-profit arm of Singaporean state holdings company Temasek, announced the initiation of the Philanthropy Asia Alliance. This includes early core members Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, Li Ka Shing Foundation, four companies of Sinar Mas, and Tanoto Foundation.
This includes a US$100 million commitment from Temasek Trust, which will set up the structure of the new organization.
“The Philanthropy Asia Alliance signals changes we are seeing in the philanthropy ecosystem in Asia. The readiness to collaborate, bias for action, and new funding models mean our pooled resources will be flexible and nimble as we develop solutions that can scale good in Asia,” Temasek Trust chairperson Ho Ching said.
The alliance is a result of heightened interest in a more systematic approach to giving in the region through efforts such as the Philanthropy Asia Summit, whose 2022 edition focused on three key areas: Climate Action & Sustainable Communities; Inclusive Education; and Resilient Healthcare
Among the projects featured in the summit with direct involvement for the Philippines: the Regional Energy Management Initiative, led by Clime Capital Management, focuses on Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines to bring energy management technologies that could have considerable impact on emissions reduction. These include energy efficiency solutions that allow commercial and industrial sectors to consume less energy while optimizing operations, and demand-side interventions deployed by utilities to shift energy consumption throughout the day to streamline energy use and flatten peak demand; and
Genomics for Kids in ASEAN, led by Temasek Foundation, aims to bring access to genomic sequencing and diagnosis to more underserved patients in the region with serious undiagnosed medical conditions. The program, overseen by the SingHealth Duke-NUS Maternal and Child Health Research Institute, plans to recruit and conduct genomic sequencing for 740 underserved families in ASEAN with undiagnosed medical diseases, to provide them with genetic counseling and treatment. It is planning to collaborate with up to three ASEAN partners to establish a regional infrastructure, while conducting genomics education training for contacts across the region. The program also aims to build an ASEAN genetic registry to improve understanding of rare genetic diseases in ASEAN.
Also at the Summit, Rose Sagun presented updates on the High Touch High Tech (HTHT) for All initiative that aims to harness AI and personalized learning to tackle the education crisis. The Philippine-born, Harvard-educated Sagun works with the Education Commission, a global initiative pushing for greater progress on Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Education) chaired by United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, the former United Kingdom Prime Minister.
The program recently held a successful prototype run in Vietnam. “The scores improved to an equivalent of two years’ worth of learning in one semester,” said Sagun of the seven-school pilot.
The next step is to bring the program to the Philippines.
“We would love to test HTHT for Grade 3 math, because Grade 3 is a critical grade for children,” she said. Aside from partnering with Ayala Foundation, she is also building out a donor collective calling for additional funders to come on board so they could start the HTHT approach in 10 public schools. “We are using an adopt-a-school model,” Sagun said.
The program is initially looking at a pilot of a cluster of schools in Metro Manila. “If there are funders, though, who are interested in their areas, we could look at those but right now the preference would be within NCR,” she said.