Sakura, Sakura: NUS Medicine launches tree-planting programme

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The staff and students of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine) have a dream. They dream that one day, they will be walking amidst tree-lined walkways surrounded by lush flowers. Butterflies dance and twinkle in the light of the morning sun. The scent of fresh Sakura flowers fills the air with hope and joy.

Taking a step towards making this dream a reality, the School’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee launched the NUS Medicine 115th Anniversary ‘Plant-A-Tree’ programme, a special CSR initiative cum fund-raising drive organised as part of its 115th anniversary.

The unique CSR programme will enable NUS Medicine to fulfil its role as a responsible corporate citizen to create a more sustainable environment for one and all. In tandem with this, it aims to plant 115 trees to help offset carbon emissions, inject more fresh air, and create beautiful tree-lined boulevards around the NUS campus.

The School’s goal is also to seek donations for the NUS Medicine Next Generation Fund and the ALCNS Student Bursary to support students who may be facing financial difficulties, or who may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a simple ceremony to mark the success of the CSR programme and to kick start the School’s greening efforts, NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye and NUS Medicine Dean Professor Chong Yap Seng jointly planted the very first Singapore Sakura, or Pink Mempat (Cratoxylum formosum) sapling at the green space outside MD6 on 3 July. Safe management measures such as wearing of masks and social distancing were practised during the ceremony.

“The NUS Medicine 115th Anniversary Plant-A-Tree initiative has been an incredible success. We are heartened by the support of our staff towards this cause. To date, we have achieved almost $200,000 in pledges from the staff of NUS Medicine and NUHS towards the NUS Medicine Next Generation Fund and the ALCNS Student Bursary. All our Sakura gifts were taken up within two months of the launch of the CSR initiative, and we are still receiving expressions of interest for the gifts,” said Prof Chong.

“We are looking forward to the next phase of this programme, where the funds raised will not only help financially challenged students but at the same time, allow us to create oases of lush gardens and mini urban forests around the NUS Medicine campus,” added Prof Chong.