SIF’s special SG50 edition of SIF Connects! Singapore saw programme alumni and Friends of Singapore (FOS) from 20 nationalities gather in Singapore to reconnect with the Singapore community, while sharing their insights and advice on what’s next for Singapore in the years ahead.
SIF’s special SG50 edition of SIF Connects! Singapore on 3rd and 4th December was truly a triple celebration of friendships.
We were delighted and deeply honoured to host more than 100 programme alumni and Friends of Singapore (FOS) representing 20 nationalities – this being the largest number of FOS participants and nationalities since the launch of our biennial reunion in 2011. Our FOS returned and regrouped in Singapore to reconnect with fellow programme alumni and members of the Singapore community, and to update themselves on the latest developments in Singapore.
SIF Connects! Singapore also celebrated the blossoming of deep and enduring relationships between FOS and the Singapore community. We were heartened to host SIF programme alumni from the early 1990s, who had returned to rekindle their ties with their Singaporean programme peers and also their local host families from their exchange and immersion in Singapore – some of whom had kept in contact for the past 20 years.
Several of our FOS brought with them young undergraduates for the experience, seeding the next generation of FOS. We also had with us several programme alumni from India, Malaysia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, all of whom now volunteer as SIF representatives to grow FOS communities in their home countries. Above all, our FOS were in Singapore as loving critics and critical lovers, to share their insights and advice at the SIF SG50 Dialogue with FOS finale on what’s next for Singapore in the years ahead. Alongside Singaporeans, our FOS freely shared their views and ideas on how we could collectively shape the next chapters of the Singapore story.
The third celebration of friendships was in the collaborations between Singaporeans and FOS in effecting positive change, enriching lives and building a better world together – from SIF’s Singapore International Volunteer (SIV) corps, to the SIF-Indonesia Bright Foundation (IBF)-Indonesian Professionals’ Association (IPA) collaboration in education, which jointly organised the inaugural study visit for IBF scholars in conjunction with SIF Connects! Singapore. Further, there was the gathering of citizen ambassadors and FOS collaborating in the arts and culture, social innovation and entrepreneurship space to bring about arts and businesses for good, respectively.
A major highlight of this edition of SIF Connects! Singapore was the SIF SG50 Dialogue with FOS featuring the SG50 Economic and International Committee Co-chairman, and Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin. Themed “What is Singapore; What’s next, Singapore?”, the dialogue was held against the backdrop of the second edition of Singapore: Insights from the Inside, and continued from SIF’s series of overseas SG50 dialogues with FOS earlier this year in Bandung (June), Kuala Lumpur (September), Washington D.C. (October) and London (November).
Our FOS encouraged Singapore to be more creative and innovative to create value (and not merely value-add), and to leverage our cultural vibrancy and diversity to connect with communities – east and west of Singapore, as well as to build on the current good people-to-people ties to deepen relationships with world communities. Minister Tan built on the well-meaning advice from our FOS with the suggestion to build a “gateless community” – one where there would be frequent conversations and exchanges to promote learning, foster greater cross-cultural understanding and build “a sense of us”.
We look forward to reconnecting with you at the next SIF Connects! Singapore in 2017.Back
Singapore-Malaysia Partnership Spurs Growth of Regional Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Ecosystem
The first ever Kuala Lumpur (KL) edition of the YSE Overseas Workshop series by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) showed the active participation of 36 youths and 13 institutional partners from Malaysia over three days.
Singapore and India Working Together To Achieve Higher Standards of Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Mumbai
A three-year SIF-Muktangan partnership kickstarts a scalable and sustainable collaboration between Singaporean and Indian ECE educators.
Celebrating an Inclusive World through the Arts
The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) is honoured to have received the Patron of the Arts Award 2017 for the sixth consecutive year. We share this achievement with our partners, donors, Citizen Ambassadors and international friends who...
YSE Workshop, Kuala Lumpur 2017
From 18 to 20 July 2017, the SIF’s YSE Workshop | Kuala Lumpur 2017 saw 36 Malaysian youths representing 15 social enterprise teams go through an intensive programme itinerary where they were equipped with social entrepreneurial knowhow and...
Meet some of our Citizen Ambassadors who make friends for a better world and inspire others to do the same. Without them, we would not be able to do what we do. We celebrate their work and how they connect for change.