Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association (VSFA) Ink Partnership to Connect Communities and Enable Collaborations for Positive Change
New memorandum of understanding reaffirms the SIF’s longstanding friendship of 23 years with Vietnam.
Hanoi, Vietnam, 23 March 2017 – The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and the Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association (VSFA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today, affirming their commitment to further strengthen cross-cultural understanding and people-to-people ties between Singapore and Vietnam. This will be achieved through collaborations on projects and initiatives over the next two years that engage leaders from both communities in the promotion of social innovation and entrepreneurship, arts and cultural exchange, and volunteer cooperation.
The MOU signing ceremony was witnessed by the Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong and Vietnamese counterpart Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in conjunction with Mr Lee’s official visit to Vietnam this week.
Since 1994, the SIF has collaborated in projects with various institutional and individual partners in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, in the fields of healthcare, education and arts and culture. For example, in healthcare, the SIF’s specialist Singapore International Volunteers (SIVs) have trained Vietnamese healthcare professionals to build capacity in areas such as Paediatric Cardiac Care (2011-2014), Cardiac ICU Nursing (2009-2011) and Psychosocial Skills in Palliative Care (2008-2010). This has resulted in the development of about 60 Vietnamese master trainers to benefit more than 1,500 patients annually.
Collaborations in education included enhancing Pedagogical Skills for English Teachers (2012-2015) and a mobile library project called Words on Wheels to impart the love of reading to children (2011-2013). One of the longest-running projects is in Special Education (2010-2018), aimed at addressing the shared challenge of educating students with diverse abilities and needs. The SIF’s SIVs have thus far trained a core group of 75 special education lecturers and teachers in Vietnam to raise their capability in special education teacher training. They will in turn go on to train some 400 teachers to eventually help thousands of Vietnamese children with a spectrum of developmental needs. Mrs Lee Hsien Loong who is part of the delegation today visited the Early Intervention Centre and Practical Kindergarten facilitated by SIVs and National College for Education staff to encourage the successful collaboration that has resulted in significant enhancements made to services delivered to children with special needs in Vietnam.
Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director, Singapore International Foundation, said: “For more than two decades, Singaporeans and Vietnamese have come together to share skills, knowledge and resources through various SIF projects to effect positive change. Our work has centred primarily on volunteer cooperation in healthcare and education. This MOU will broaden connections and collaboration in new areas including youth leadership, social entrepreneurship and arts and culture.”
Mr Vu Viet Ngoan, Chairman, Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association, said: “The VSFA is honoured to partner with the SIF in supporting our mission to deepen ties and foster cooperation between the Singaporean and Vietnamese peoples. We believe that this MOU will open up new opportunities for us to collaborate in meaningful projects. We look forward to building greater bonds with our Singaporean friends and working together towards common goals.”
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