Visually-impaired students visit Chek Jawa

On May 12, students from the Singapore School of Visually Handicapped got a chance to experience the wonders of nature at Chek Jawa for the first time. Together with trained guides and volunteers, they explored the mangrove wetlands in Pulau Ubin. Sounds of delight and amazement filled the air as the students gingerly touch the rough skin of a starfish or held out their palm for their guide to put a hermit crab on their hands.

The trip, sponsored by the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation and initiated by the National Parks Board, is part of a ‘Special Projects to Understand Nature’ (SUN) Club programme organised for children with special needs. The programme celebrates its 3rd anniversary this year with 50% more field trips organised for children with special needs.

Since its inception in Oct 2006, the programme has benefited close to 1,600 children with special needs as they visited nature areas and parks such as Pasir Ris Park and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. This year, 60 field trips will be organised for about 1,200 children, a 50% increase from the 40 trips organised last year.

The Chek Jawa Wetlands at Pulau Ubin was added to the list for the first time this year, along with East Coast Park and Fort Canning Park.

Ms Ginney Lim, General Manager of SPH Foundation, said: "Through the SUN Club programme, children with special needs get the opportunity to enjoy the interesting flora and fauna found in our nation's beautiful parks and nature reserves. SPH Foundation is glad to contribute to the children's overall well-being by providing such a meaningful experience for them. To ensure that the students get the most out of the programme, our partner NParks has worked closely with the various schools to customise the nature trips according to their needs."

Commented Dr Leong Chee Chiew, Chief Operating Officer of NParks: “We are glad to have the continuous support of SPH Foundation in this programme.  We look forward to involving more children with special needs in our visits to our parks and nature reserves, so that they can enjoy Mother Nature and learn more about Singapore’s rich biodiversity.”


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