Speech by Ms Elim Chew, SIF Governor, at the Launch Ceremony of Words on Wheels, Ho Chi Minh
Mr Le Ton Thanh, Vice Director, Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism,
Our Vietnamese friends from supporting Government ministries
Ms Leow Siu Lin, Consul-General of the Republic of Singapore in Ho Chi Minh City
Mr Bui Xuan Duc, Director, General Sciences Library
Mr Doan Anh Hung, General Manager of Keppel Land (Vietnam)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. I’m delighted to be here today, surrounded by friends from Singapore and Vietnam.
Today sees the launch of Words on Wheels, an SIF project organised in partnership with the General Sciences Library, and sponsored by Keppel Land. This mobile library will offer free access to educational materials and IT facilities to over 3,000 schoolchildren in Ho Chi Minh City, and will be accompanied by enthusiastic Singapore volunteers who can’t wait to bring the joy of cross-cultural learning to the children’s classrooms. Specialist volunteers will also be sharing knowledge and expertise with library and teaching staff to enhance library management practices.
The SIF has implemented Words on Wheels in Hanoi and Bandung, Indonesia, impacting over 8,000 children in both countries. We saw how the programme opened a new window to the world for the children, bringing them access to new knowledge about the people and life outside their immediate environment. Building on the success of the programme, we are determined to bring an improved and holistic model to Ho Chi Minh City, with the introduction of English language and IT literacy skills training - and the specialist training in library management.
Words on Wheels is more than just a mobile library – it is really about “connecting”. We are bringing together like-minded Singapore and Vietnamese partners to share resources and bring the joy of cross-cultural learning to schoolchildren in Ho Chi Minh City. The SIF hopes to inspire the spirit of cross-cultural friendship and collaboration to all who participate in the programme – whether they are students, volunteers, librarians or organisations. Especially for the children, we hope that this project will equip them with important knowledge and learning skills to engage this fast moving world so as to build a better life for themselves in the long term.
2014 marks the 20th anniversary of SIF’s work in providing platforms and opportunities for Vietnamese and Singaporeans to come together to share culture, skills and knowledge. With Words on Wheels, building new friendships and forging greater understanding between people from both our countries is the most important and meaningful outcome for the SIF. These friendships and connections forged will go a long way to serving both our countries well.
I would like to extend SIF’s appreciation to our close partner the General Sciences Library and our sponsor Keppel Land. This project would not be possible without you. And to our Vietnamese friends and partners who are here today, special thanks for your support and recognition that this is a meaningful project for Singapore and Vietnam.
On that note, I wish you all a wonderful day ahead. Thank you.
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