Arts & Culture
The arts – ranging from street art, paintings, theatre to dance– represents a unique facet of culture. The SIF has supported many local artists to share Singapore’s culture with the world while partnering the international community to bring their culture to Singapore. Over time, our programmes have evolved to take on the role of bridging cultures through art and contributing to sustainable development.
SIF’s Arts for Good initiative brings together Singaporeans and world communities to promote awareness of social issues, share best practices and enable action for positive impact through the arts.
For instance, The Living! Project – a collective of artists, social innovators and designers – brought together special needs artists from Singapore and autistic students from France to build a light sculpture and magical garden made from recycled bottles titled The Wishing Tree at the Fête de Lumières festival in France. The collaborative sculpture was subsequently exhibited in Singapore at *SCAPE.
We have always believed in the potential of marrying art and sustainability, and the potential of art to reach out to communities and inspire them to create a more empathetic society. Allan Lim, Co-Founder of The Living! Project
Business & Livelihood
We support the “application of innovative, sustainable, and business-like approaches that achieve positive social and/or environmental change” (World Economic Forum). The SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme seeks to inspire, equip and enable youth of different nationalities to start or scale up social enterprises in Singapore and beyond.
From saving sharks in Lombok (Indonesia) by providing alternative livelihoods to fisherman, to solving municipal issues in India through the use of big data and promoting active citizenry, our youths offer creative ideas and sustainable solutions for wide-scale change.
Being a part of the YSE network and connecting with people set on making this world a better place continues to be inspiring and energising every time. Andrew Yin, winner of YSE 2012, Co-Founder of I.M.Pad, a social enterprise that provides women in rural India with cost-effective, biodegradable sanitary pads
Access to quality education empowers communities and is key to improving lives and sustainable development. Some of our initiatives in education seek to provide youths with opportunities to achieve literacy and an appreciation of cultural diversity. Yet others seek to enhance the quality of education through cooperation in teacher training in developing countries.
The SIF’s Words on Wheels (WoW) programme, for instance, has brought the joy of reading and cross-cultural learning to rural schools across Asia including Indonesia and Vietnam.
When asked what her favourite book was, Nguyen Ho Bao Ngoc, 13, replied, “I like Bubu’s story series.” With a huge smile, she quipped, “Well actually, I like any kind of books!” Ngoc is one of the many schoolchildren in the Bin Chanh district of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, who benefited from the WoW programme, giving her and her schoolmates access to books and IT facilities.
The SIF’s specialist team of early childhood educators have trained teachers in Vietnam and Myanmar to enhance the development of the early childhood education sector. With access to quality early childhood development, more children will have a firm foundation in learning to not only prepare for primary education but build a lifetime of learning.
I’m very inspired by the trainers’ commitment and dedication to liven up our preschool classrooms. During the project, I’ve worked closely with the SIF team to develop the resource centre in Preschool Number 1 to become a reference point for other preschools in Yangon. This experience has allowed me to see first-hand the transformation of the school and the impact it had on the children. Daw Thinn Thinn Sein, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Dharma School Foundation, Myanmar
Our goal is to support environmental sustainability. We promote the principles of sustainable living and development through the exchange of ideas and dialogue. We also work towards reducing the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation through our community development programmes.
Our Water for Life programme, for instance, has brought access to clean water to over 120,000 friends in developing communities overseas, with the partnership of corporations and the commitment of Singapore volunteers. Today, thousands of villagers in Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar enjoy clean drinking water, experience an 85 per cent drop in water-borne diseases and benefit from savings with reduced visits to the doctor. Generally, the overall well-being of each community has improved.
When we fall ill, we have to spend money on travelling to the clinic far from the village and medication. It can cost US$50. The Water for Life project has given my family and the villagers a future. Em Cheung, Village Head of Kampong Speu, Cambodia
Health is central to life and the development of healthy communities. Our goal is to raise standards of medical care in developing communities through cooperation in healthcare training and in providing essential services to improve rural health.
We are privileged to have worked with over 500 Singapore doctors, nurses and allied health professionals in the last 20 years to increase life expectancy, reduce maternal and child mortality, enable dying with dignity, and in addressing many different health issues.
I am so thankful to the Singapore team and Vietnamese doctors for saving Hiem Suong’s life. My hope is that she will grow up to become a doctor, so that she too can save other children with heart problems. Mdm Nguyen Thi Nga, mother of Pham Hiem Suong, a direct beneficiary of the SIF Paediatric Cardiac Care project in Vietnam.