UOB launches UOB My Digital Space education programme for disadvantaged children across the region

Programme to be rolled out across six markets as part of UOB’s global #UnitedforYou COVID-19 Relief Programme

SINGAPORE, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — United Overseas Bank (UOB) today launched UOB My Digital Space, a multi-year education programme to bridge the digital gap for children from disadvantaged backgrounds across the region and to connect them to a world of digital learning opportunities. In the first year, UOB My Digital Space will be rolled out across six markets starting with Singapore. The UOB My Digital Space is part of the Bank’s broader global #UnitedForYou COVID-19 Relief Programme[1] which brings together the strengths of the UOB network and like-minded partners to help customers, colleagues and communities through to better times.

Nur Muliana Binte Mamat, a Primary 2 student from Fuhua Primary School who has received a UOB digital learning kit to aid in her home-based learning
Nur Muliana Binte Mamat, a Primary 2 student from Fuhua Primary School who has received a UOB digital learning kit to aid in her home-based learning


With the COVID-19 pandemic challenging and changing traditional ways of learning, UOB My Digital Space offers support to help disadvantaged children across the region with the essentials for their digital learning journey now and into the future. Through UOB My Digital Space in Singapore, UOB will provide students with digital learning kits comprising a new laptop and online learning resources that include enrichment content to take them beyond the school curricula for their longer term development.

On the launch of the regional programme, Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB, said, "At UOB, our duty of care to our communities includes helping the members of our society who may be struggling through these difficult to better times. Through UOB My Digital Space, we are bridging the digital gap for children from needy families and ensuring that they are not left out of the world of opportunities education can bring. COVID-19 has brought with it disruption to school-based learning across Asia and this is being most keenly felt by children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This initiative is part of our #UnitedForYou COVID-19 Relief Programme to help our communities and customers through the COVID-19 pandemic and to emerge stronger together."

Bridging the digital gap for disadvantaged children in Singapore

In Singapore, UOB has partnered Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Singtel to distribute close to 250 digital learning kits to disadvantaged students. The Bank is providing a new laptop in every digital learning kit, a Wi-Fi dongle with monthly data usage from Singtel, and a complimentary online subscription to The Straits Times, as well as the student’s choice of vernacular newspaper such as Lianhe Zaobao, Berita Harian, or Tamil Murasu.   

The Bank has also helped ensure that the digital learning experience is a safe and convenient one for students and their parents by configuring each laptop before distribution. For instance, UOB has installed filters on every laptop to protect children from accessing inappropriate online content and installed desktop shortcuts to make it easier to access useful home-based learning platforms such as the Singapore Student Learning Space and Google Classroom.   

Through the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s Volunteer Centres[2] and the Bank’s community partners across Singapore, UOB has been identifying students including those with special needs, who most need the digital resources for remote learning. The digital learning kits will be provided to the students for one year with the option to extend the duration based on their needs. Volunteers from UOB are also on standby to provide technical support to beneficiaries who face difficulties during their digital learning journey. 

Nur Muliana Binte Mamat is a Primary 2 student from Fuhua Primary School who has received a UOB digital learning kit to aid in her home-based learning. Muliana’s 49-year-old mother Mdm Sufia said, "The new laptop and resources from UOB and its partners have made it possible for my daughter to focus on her studies through digital learning from home. Being the sole breadwinner for my family, I have to care for my four children as well as my husband who is in poor health. I’m grateful to be receiving support during this difficult time to help my daughter stay connected and keep up with her learning."

As part of UOB My Digital Space, the Bank is also setting up a UOB Online Learning Resource Centre where students across the region can explore a series of educational topics including art, sustainability, financial literacy, cybersecurity and cultural discovery through interactive content. Given the diverse cultures and languages in Asia, UOB is working with educational partners across the region to co-create content in multiple languages and to localise it for each market where the programme will be rolled out.

UOB’s global #UnitedForYou COVID-19 Relief Programme focuses on ways to help alleviate the financial burden or distress many are facing during this difficult period through various initiatives. These include relief assistance schemes to help with customers that are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak as well as initiatives to see the Bank’s people and communities through to better times.

Quote Sheet

Mr Andrew Buay, Vice President, Group Sustainability, Singtel 

"As COVID-19 keeps thousands of students home, supporting continued education is important with the switch to full home-based learning by Singapore schools. Access to an internet connection is crucial for remote learning but for some families and their children, it might be an added expense that is hard to cope with. We are pleased to be able to contribute our resources and extend further help to the community, especially to those who need connectivity more than ever." 

Mr Eric Ng, Deputy Head of the Circulation Division at SPH

"We are very happy to be a part of UOB My Digital Space, and to give back to the community. SPH believes that students from all walks of life should have access to trustworthy news and information. We hope that by gaining access to our stories and publications, the beneficiaries will be empowered as they continue to strive academically, especially during this time of crisis."

Media Factsheet

UOB #UnitedForYou COVID-19 Relief Programme

UOB’s global #UnitedForYou COVID-19 Relief Programme brings together the strength of the UOB network and our like-minded partners to help alleviate the financial burden or distress many are facing during this difficult period. #UnitedForYou offers various support options essential to helping communities, customers and colleagues see through to better times[3].


For Whom

Relief Assistance


Raising funds to support the most vulnerable

We have set up the UOB Heartbeat COVID-19 Relief Fund, a global fundraising
effort across 16 markets to rally our colleagues to support the most vulnerable in
each of their communities.  The funds raised will go towards providing more than
1 million pieces of personal protective equipment[4] for frontline healthcare workers
and essential food supplies for disadvantaged groups globally.


Supporting the digital learning journey for disadvantaged students

We launched UOB My Digital Space, a multi-year education programme to bridge
the digital gap for children from disadvantaged backgrounds across the region and
to provide them with the essentials for their digital learning journey now and into
the future. In the first year, UOB My Digital Space will be rolled out across six
markets starting with Singapore. 


For Whom

Relief Assistance

Mainland China

Surgical face masks for frontline workers and the vulnerable

We teamed up with charity partners Youcheng China Social Entrepreneurship
Foundation and YesKids to distribute 102,000 surgical face masks to frontline workers
in the public service sectors, as well as the elderly in provinces and cities across
China including Hubei Province during its lockdown period.

Hong Kong

Essential care packs for disadvantaged children

We distributed care packs comprising canned food, non-perishable items and health
supplements to 100 children from the Kwun Tong Happy Teens Club, a non-profit
organisation that supports children living in low-income families.


Surgical face masks for disadvantaged families

We distributed 10,000 surgical face masks to disadvantaged families and individuals
through five non-profit organisations.


Protective equipment for healthcare workers

We donated 100,000 surgical face masks, 5,000 N95 masks and 1,000 hazmat
protection suits to frontline healthcare workers across 10 hospitals that care for
COVID-19 patients and/or lack adequate protective equipment.


Medical equipment and essential supplies for healthcare workers

We contributed RM500,000 through The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) to
MERCY Malaysia’s COVID-19 Pandemic Fund to provide healthcare workers with
adequate critical medical equipment needed to care for patients such as ventilators,
powered air-purifying respirators and testing kits, as well as essential supplies
including 5,000 surgical face masks, 1,500 food packs and 200 bottles of hand sanitiser.


Essential care packs for disadvantaged families

We donated 1,000 essential care packs comprising five surgical face masks, a bottle
each of anti-bacterial handwash and hand sanitiser, and two bottles of Vitamin C
pastilles to disadvantaged households in the Central Singapore District.


Rides for healthcare workers with GrabCare

We donated S$20,000 towards GrabCare, a dedicated ride hailing service by Grab
for healthcare professionals. Our donation was also matched dollar-for-dollar by Grab
at S$20,000 (collective total of S$40,000).


Protective equipment for healthcare workers

We donated 1,000 protective coveralls to the Rajavithi Hospital, one of Thailand’s
main Government hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients. We are also assembling
10,000 face shields to be distributed to healthcare workers across various hospitals
in Bangkok.


Donation to the State Bank of Vietnam

We donated VND250 million to the State Bank of Vietnam to aid the government’s
efforts in helping those impacted by COVID-19 and the drought in the Southern


For Whom

Relief Assistance


Cheque deposits for Solidarity Payment

We are supporting the Government’s efforts by helping Singaporeans who will receive
their Solidarity Payment via cheque to access their cash payout quickly and
conveniently. This group of Singaporeans can deposit the cheque at their respective
bank’s Cheque Deposit Box, choose to visit one of the 16 Community Centres where
there will be Bank staff and volunteers from Singapore Pools on-site to help with the
encashment of Solidarity Payment cheques, or visit one of UOB’s 32 branches
offering encashment services for Solidarity Payment cheques. 


Defer repayment of property loans

Under the Special Financial Relief Programme (SFRP), we enable eligible individuals
to defer both principal and interest payments for their UOB property loan up to 31
December 2020 and will extend their loan tenure according to the duration of the
deferment period.


Lower interest rate on personal unsecured credit

Under SFRP, we enable individuals to convert their outstanding unsecured loan
balances from their UOB credit card or UOB Cashplus account to a new Personal
loan with loan tenure of up to five years, at a reduced effective interest rate of eight
per cent from 6 April to 31 December 2020.


Relief measures for SMEs

To alleviate cash flow challenges faced by Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises
(SMEs), we provide a range of relief measures including the option to defer payment
of principal on secured SME term loans as well as flexible premium instalment plans
for General Insurance Policies. 


Financing assistance for SMEs

With the MAS SGD Facility for ESG Loans by the Monetary Authority of Singapore
(MAS) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), we are helping SMEs access much-needed
funds at lower interest rates during this crucial point in time such as through the
Enhanced SME Working Capital Loan and the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme.
We also provide additional credit support for trade facilities under the Loan Insurance
Scheme / Enterprise Financing Scheme, with increased subsidy by the Government.

Pre-approved loans for small businesses

To help ease the short-term liquidity woes of small businesses and to enable them to
gain access to much-needed funds quickly, we are proactively providing pre-
approved, collateral-free loans of up to S$200,000.


Training programme to help business leaders of SMEs

We partnered Google to launch a new curriculum for the SME Leadership Academy
training programme which is customised to help business leaders of SMEs from the
retail, tourism and food and beverage sectors to respond to the unprecedented
challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The SME Leadership Academy will expand
its capacity to help 4,000 SMEs by end 2021.


For Whom

Relief Assistance


Shortened work days and a more flexible schedules

We have reduced the daily working hours of our people wherever possible so that
they can attend to their family commitments. For colleagues whose job requirements
and roles require them to continue to come into the office, we have staggered work
hours and split shifts so that they can avoid the crowds on public transport during
peak hours.

Surgical face masks for colleagues

We have distributed a box of 50 surgical face masks to each colleague for their
personal use and are providing almost 20,000 surgical face masks a week to our
people who are working in the office and at the branches through the nation’s "circuit
breaker" period.


Additional day of leave

We have given every colleague an extra day of leave to help them manage their
personal responsibilities during this period.


Building mental resilience

To help our people maintain strong mental health, we have put together an online
training programme aimed at improving their well-being and building resilience. We
are also helping them better cope with feelings of uncertainty during this period
through digital learning resources that focus on areas including managing stress and
achieving work life balance.  


Defraying expenses for colleagues

During the "circuit breaker" period, we are providing a transport reimbursement of up
to $30 per day to help defray expenses incurred for colleagues working in our
branches and office premises who do not receive a monthly transport allowance.


[1] Please refer to accompanying fact sheet for more information on UOB’s relief assistance initiatives for communities globally.

[2] The Volunteer Centres are made up of community groups partnered by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) to meet the needs of residents in their respective towns better.

[3] As at 30 April 2020

[4] Figure includes contributions that have been made to communities across our markets in Asia as of 30 April 2020

About United Overseas Bank

United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. UOB is rated among the world’s top banks: Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA- by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. In Asia, UOB operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as branches and representative offices across the region.

Over more than eight decades, generations of UOB employees have carried through the entrepreneurial spirit, the focus on
long-term value creation and an unwavering commitment to do what is right for our customers and our colleagues.

We believe in being a responsible financial services provider and we are committed to making a difference in the lives of our stakeholders and in the communities in which we operate. Just as we are dedicated to helping our customers manage their finances wisely and to grow their businesses, UOB is steadfast in our support of social development, particularly in the areas of art, children and education.

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