Stories > Editor's Note

2016 • Issue 3


Jean Tan
Executive Director



often meet people who tell me they want to help and give back to society in some way, but that they don’t know how or where to start.

As with most things, taking the first step is always the most difficult. It is perhaps ironic that, in this information-loaded, interconnected world, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed when it comes to options.

Changing the world may seem like a lofty ideal and a complicated venture, but it is actually very simple to start if one does not get too caught up with thinking and planning. After all, there are many ways to initiate positive change. It can be as simple as bringing your own coffee cup to work instead of using plastic or paper cups.

Whatever form of action you take, one thing is clear: No one can change the world on his or her own.

The Singapore International Foundation helps bring Singaporeans and world communities together to do good in areas like the environment, healthcare, education, arts and culture, and business and livelihoods.

An example of this is the SIF Connects! Jakarta event in May, where we renewed our partnership with the Indonesia Bright Foundation and Indonesian Professionals’ Association to support the educational growth of promising Indonesian youth through mentorships, study visits and other initiatives. You can read more about the Singapore-Indonesia collaboration in this issue of SINGAPORE.

On the social entrepreneurship front, our annual Young Social Entrepreneurs programme saw six teams comprising 13 individuals from six countries – Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Yemen – receive seed funding to grow their social enterprise. They are BeBonobo, KAMA BATIK, NOMAD, Praxium, PsychKick and Saadhan. Find out more about their entrepreneurial journey in this issue.

Within these pages, we also highlight the efforts of many Singaporeans and local organisations that are doing their part in bringing communities together to foster a better future. These include individuals like Jacqueline Chen, who is working to eradicate tuberculosis in countries such as Cambodia, and social enterprise Air Amber, which seeks to build bridges between foreign communities and Singaporean youth, one project at a time.

I hope that these stories will help you realise that change is possible, and it begins with you.

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