Singapore-Indonesia Renews Education Collaboration to Inspire a New Generation of Future Leaders
Jakarta, Indonesia, 28 May 2016 – The Singapore International Foundation (SIF), together with partners Indonesia Bright Foundation (IBF) and Indonesian Professionals’ Association (IPA) Singapore, reaffirmed their commitment to support educational growth for promising Indonesian youths and foster cross-cultural friendships. Announced at the SIF Connects! Jakarta event today, this enhanced two-year collaboration will pave the way for Singaporean and Indonesian communities to work together in capacity building efforts such as mentorship sessions for IBF beneficiaries led by Singapore-based IPA members, more meaningful and substantive study visits to Singapore for the IBF beneficiaries, and the creation of a regular platform to inspire other IBF scholars.
In 2014, SIF initiated a two-year collaboration with IBF and IPA that brought Singaporean and Indonesian communities together to encourage educational development of IBF student beneficiaries, culminating in a study visit to Singapore for four undergraduate students from Indonesia in December 2015.
The IBF beneficiaries who were selected to embark on the inaugural 2015 study visit to Singapore were introduced to Singapore’s strategies for sustainable urbanisation, water sufficiency and management, development in arts and culture, social innovation and technopreneurship. They also had the opportunity to interact and network with fellow Indonesians working and studying in Singapore, as well as a cross-section of the Singapore community including the Singaporean families that had hosted the IBF founders for a semester when they were undergraduates some 20 years ago.
During the SIF Connects! Jakarta event – a platform for SIF to reconnect with programme alumni and Friends of Singapore (FOS) – the four IBF beneficiaries shared their experiences and reflections from the study visit and how it had strengthened their resolve to achieve future success.
IBF beneficiary Syayyidatik Izzaturrohimah said, “I found the study visit programme organised by SIF-IBF-IPA to be highly beneficial for my personal growth as it has enabled me to gain new knowledge and insights. Other than learning about the social and cultural aspects of Singapore, I also managed to forge connections with new Singaporean friends. The opportunity to network with other Indonesians working and studying in Singapore has inspired me to work harder in my studies. I would really encourage other IBF students to take part in this programme.”
The IBF was founded by 135 SIF-ASEAN Indonesian Fellows who were inspired by their past learning stint in Singapore, and helps bright but financially-challenged Indonesian students achieve their academic potential through education sponsorship. To date, the IBF has supported 82 students from Jakarta, Semarang, Solo and Pati.
SIF Executive Director Ms Jean Tan said, “The SIF, like its partners IBF and IPA, believes that access to quality education empowers communities. We are heartened by another meaningful collaboration that signifies our joint commitment towards nurturing future Indonesian leaders. For the past two decades, Singaporeans and Indonesians have shared ideas, skills and resources to effect positive change. Our renewed efforts to support the educational growth of IBF beneficiaries shows the good that can happen when we work together, sharing resources and expertise to solve common societal challenges and uplift lives. It also serves as testament to the “gotong-royong” spirit that underpins the friendship between SIF and the people of Indonesia.”
Mochammad Kurniawan, SIF representative in Jakarta and a founding member of the Indonesia Bright Foundation said, “This year's SIF Connects! Jakarta celebrates the success and growth of the SIF-IBF-IPA collaboration in education. Collaboration is getting individuals with similar interests to work together in an organised endeavour to achieve a sustainable objective. Our objective is to provide our youths access to quality education which includes opportunities for international interactions and friendships.”
IPA President Mr I Komang Narendra said, “IPA is honoured to partner with our friends SIF and IBF in supporting this project and we look forward to our mentorship sessions with the IBF beneficiaries. We are humbled to be given this opportunity to contribute back to the Indonesian society despite working and living away from home. It is our hope that through this renewed collaboration, more international networks will be harnessed to nurture future leaders in Indonesia and strengthen bonds between Singaporean and Indonesian professional communities.”
 The SIF-ASEAN Student Fellowship programme ran from 1992 to 2004 where student leaders from ASEAN lived and learned the way of life in Singapore through spending a semester in the local universities and living with Singaporean host families. The programme, comprising of 400 alumni from all 10 ASEAN countries, forged close ties and friendships among the students though the cross-cultural experience of living and learning together.
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