Stories > Editor's Note

2020 • Issue 1


Jean Tan
Executive Director
Singapore International Foundation


he world today faces an unprecedented crisis as countries grapple with the impact of Covid-19. Yet it is in times of adversity that the human spirit truly shines through.

Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the mushrooming of ground-up initiatives by both Singaporeans and members of the international community that aim to help the more vulnerable in society. From delivering food supplies to the underprivileged to finding homes for stranded migrant workers, find out how the humanitarians among us are paying it forward in these difficult times.

Beyond the crisis, there are also many among us who are committed to long-term work with communities to bring about change and improve lives. One such person is Aminur Rasyid, whose social enterprise helps disabled and disadvantaged youths gain an independent footing by teaching them digital art. Aminur is one of the 1,000-strong global alumni from the SIF’s signature Young Social Entrepreneurs programme, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. Find out how it has supported and nurtured changemakers to achieve business success while creating a positive social impact.

We are also inspired by the work of Singaporean Mohamed Irshad, whose NGO Roses of Peace aims to provide a platform for interfaith dialogues. In another outreach initiative, overseas Singaporean Sean Pang has set up a food bank for the homeless in Shanghai.

The sentiment of doing good by doing well is echoed by DBS Bank CEO Piyush Gupta, who in an exclusive interview shares his thoughts on the upsurge in corporate philanthropy and the flourishing social entrepreneurism among the region’s youth. He also touches on the importance of diverse cultural nuances in a highly globalised world.

On its part, the SIF continues to champion the exchange of people and ideas to strengthen cross-border collaborations. Our work is enabled by local and international Friends of SIF, many of whom we reconnected with at the last edition of SIF Connects! Singapore – our biennial platform for re-engaging partners, friends and alumni. We are delighted on this occasion to present the SIF Awards to recognise our volunteers and partners both here and abroad.

Now more than ever, our sense of responsibility to one another as members of a global community – and drive to make a positive impact on society – has never been more important. We hope these stories will not only warm your hearts but inspire you to join us in building a better world.

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