ICON+ Education Centre and its partner company Aureus Consulting place a lot of importance on social responsibility and giving back to the community. They support several social organizations in Singapore, one of these being the Rainbow Centre, a non-profit organization that helps children with a diverse range of moderate to severe developmental needs, including autism and physical, visual and/or hearing disabilities.
Rainbow Centre caters to children of all ages, with two Early Intervention Programmes (EIP) for children two-months to six-years old, and two Special Education (SPED) programmes for students aged seven- to eighteen-years old. The Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Young Children (EIPIC) aims to give a head start in their development to children with either Down syndrome, developmental delay, cerebral palsy or multiple disabilities. A second EIP is specifically designed to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The SPED programmes are for Pupils with Multiple Disabilities, with another targeted at seven- to eighteen-year olds with Autism. Due to the diverse needs of the children, the Centre groups them according to their special needs, level of functioning and potential. Especially with the SPED programmes, all children have an individualized plan to utilize their individual strengths and target their specific needs. These programs are run at the Centre’s two campuses – Margaret Drive and Yishun Park.
There are many opportunities available for volunteering with Rainbow Centre in different capacities, including helping with fundraising and other events, classroom support and helping with weekly outings, clean up and organization, as well as more professional opportunities for those with specialized skills such as medical training. While Rainbow Centre is funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and programme fees from parents, it also receives a significant portion of its funding in the form of donations from the public and companies such as ICON+.
ICON+ recently held a fundraising staff event that involved making terrariums, which were then sold to raise funds for Rainbow Centre, with ICON+ and Aureus Consulting matching the sales dollar for dollar. These potted plants function as an almost complete ecosystem with very minimal need for ventilation or watering, so they are quite suited to Singapore’s climate. Some of the terrariums made by some members of staff are shown in the picture below.
The workshop on assembling these terrariums was held under the guidance of an instructor from Little Green Pot, an initiative that makes and sells terrariums as items for home decoration or gifts. Staff also had an opportunity to learn from the instructor about caring for the plants, and the rationale behind their composition, and had a chance to learn more about Rainbow Centre itself. Ultimately the project raised $1,000 for the Centre to support their incredibly important work! Not only did the project raise funds, but it was also a worthwhile team-building activity for the employees of ICON+ and Aureus, bringing them together.