Stories > Editor's Note

2017 • Issue 1


Jean Tan
Executive Director



ingapore strives to remain an open and globalised society. Despite prevailing anti-globalisation sentiment, we remain steadfastly open to people, ideas, trade and information.

As a multicultural society, our global outlook is anchored in our belief that staying open, remaining engaged with global networks and forging partnerships will ensure that we continue to thrive and progress as a people.

At the Singapore International Foundation, we espouse these values through programmes that facilitate the mutual sharing of ideas, skills and experiences. These efforts in turn help to uplift lives and create greater cross-cultural understanding between Singaporeans and world communities.

To date, we have worked with more than 4,000 volunteers to share their skills and knowledge with communities across 17 countries, contributing to greater international understanding and sustainable development in the areas of healthcare, education and the environment. We also draw on arts and culture to promote people-to-people interactions, and support initiatives that connect Singaporeans and overseas partners through social entrepreneurship. The intention is to harness these cross-cultural relationships for positive ends.

I’m heartened that many Singaporeans also go out of their way to bring about positive change in people and communities. In this issue of SINGAPORE, we celebrate individuals and organisations whose work with different communities have made a difference.

Among them is ceramist Iskandar Jalil, who forged closer ties between Singapore and Japan through encouraging cross-cultural exchanges between the countries’ artisans. Others include photographer and documentary producer Jean Loo, who harnesses her storytelling skills to raise awareness of social issues in different countries and spark action for good.

Social enterprise Ecosoftt is one of several Singapore-based businesses featured in this issue that have put their business acumen to good use through developing innovative solutions that impact the lives of people around the world. It works with rural communities in India to help them gain access to clean water and better sanitation facilities, which has improved their well-being.

All these examples illustrate how anyone or any group can contribute to social good if one is willing to take that first step. I hope these stories inspire you to join us in building networks for good.

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