by Serene Leong on

Today (4 July), 40 student artists from more than 15 schools and 10 nations around the world including the US, France and India, are coming together to perform in a virtual concert “Hope on the Horizon”.

The 2-hour concert, which will be livestreamed at 5pm SGT, aims to raise childhood cancer awareness and funds for Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) to help children and families affected by cancer.

It is the brainchild of four students from Tanglin Trust School and St. Joseph’s Institute International – Nitya, Tanvi, 16, Tarini, 15 and Ila, 14 – who grew up as neighbours. From playing tag as kids to taking daily school bus rides and dancing in festivals together, the team are now joining hands to raise childhood cancer awareness as part of the Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes 2020 programme.

“A virtual concert is the best way to bring hope, positivity and happiness during this time to everyone,” Tarini tells The Pride.

Ila adds: “Cancer is a difficult disease to go through. You lose your hair, your self-esteem. If an adult struggles to go through that, imagine a young child going through that.”

“During Covid-19, CCF needs our help more than ever. Children with cancer are unable to go out to play because it’s dangerous. They don’t stand a chance if they get the virus because their immunity is too low.”

Beneficiaries and their families also have to cope with the pressures of Covid-19 while going through the stress of dealing with their diagnosis.

“CCF provides a safe environment for cancer children which include programmes like play therapy. This helps bring their spirits up and that’s really important,” Ila explains.

Children Cancer Foundation is a social service agency with a mission to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and their families by enhancing their emotional, social and medical well-being.
Image Credit: Facebook / Team Horizon

CCF is a social service agency with a mission to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and their families by enhancing their emotional, social and medical well-being. It is at every touch point of a child’s life, from diagnosis to treatment in hospital, and after returning to a normalised life. CCF also provides palliative and bereavement support to children and youth with very poor prognoses. Over the years, the agency has helped more than 3,100 children and their families at different stages of the illness and recovery.

Chief Executive Officer of CCF Ms Peng Hai Ying tells The Pride: “CCF aims to build a community of support for children and families affected by cancer. Public education is one of our core strategies in creating greater awareness of the challenges they face and the support we can provide in their journey from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.”

“Team Horizon and the performers have selected inspirational songs to bring smiles and hope to our children and families. As music brings people together, we hope that the audience will also come together to support CCF and stand in solidarity with our beneficiaries.”

“The goodwill and support from the community will enable CCF in continuing to provide our free programmes and services for our children and their families.”

The concert line-up includes singer-songwriter Andrew Chen Paul and indie-pop duo The Moon House who have both worked their way up from the streets of Singapore and made waves in the local busking scene in recent years.

Youth For Causes 2020, Team Horizon for Children Cancer Foundation
Image Credit: Giving.sg / Team Horizon

Celebrity guest performer Singaporean singer-songwriter Inch Chua, who has performed at major events locally and overseas and was conferred the National Youth Award in 2018 for her commitment in giving back to the community, is also taking part in the concert.

The group received an outpouring of support from teachers, family and friends, who have donated generously for the cause and helped in bringing everyone together.

Mr Allan Forbes, Head of Senior School at Tanglin Trust School tells The Pride: “It never ceases to amaze me how talented and resourceful our young people of Singapore are. What I cherish most is the spirit of kindness, tolerance and compassion and the desire to give back in a meaningful way. With community-minded students like these, the future does indeed look bright and full of hope.”

“We had many people reach out to us, even strangers messaging us on social media to ask how they can help. Knowing that all these people want to support our cause is heartwarming,” Tanvi says.

Tiong Bahru Bakery also reached out and is organising a giveaway for Singaporeans to spread the word about the concert in support of childhood cancer.

The team said that they were overwhelmed by the response. They had initially aimed to get 20 performers, but when word got around, the number doubled. The performers – the youngest of whom is 7 years old – will be playing a myriad of instruments including the piano, guitar, ukulele and violin. One 11-year-old performer, Sadhwi, has been learning Carnatic music and will be singing a fusion song (Carnatic and Western) inspired by American Youtuber Vidya Vox.

The team has raised $3,700 in donations so far and aim to raise $10,000 from the concert, of which all proceeds will be donated to CCF.

The message they want people to take away from the concert is that there is hope in difficult times like Covid-19.

“Music unites people of all races, ages, walks of life and we hope that this concert reminds people that there is always hope on the horizon and something to look forward to.”

To watch Hope on the Horizon on Saturday 4 July at 5pm SGT, visit
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXbOrdh1tSnZuR1b_IcB1IQ/

To donate to CCF, visit https://www.giving.sg/campaigns/team_horizon_yfc_2020_ccf

If you like what you read, follow us on Twitter and Telegram to get the latest updates.