Partnerships for Sustainable Development

The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) re-affirmed our commitment to recognise and celebrate the contributions of volunteers towards sustainable development - at the International Volunteer Cooperation Organisations (IVCO) 2014 conference in Peru.

Youth delegates from Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru and Canada sharing about youth social innovation and entrepreneurship.

At the heart of SIF’s development work in overseas communities are our Singapore International Volunteers (SIVs). Since 1991, our SIV programme has sent over 3500 volunteers to 17 countries where they helped build greater international understanding by collaborating with overseas partners – effecting positive change and empowering global communities.

From 19 to 22 Oct 2014, we joined international volunteer organisations from all over the world in Lima, Peru, for the IVCO 2014 Conference – to recognise and celebrate the contributions of volunteers worldwide.

The IVCO is an annual conference that brings together volunteer organisations and delegates from public, private, academic and NGO sectors around the world to discuss key issues in the areas of international volunteerism and development to share best practices. The theme this year was Volunteering in a Convergent World: Fostering Cross-Sector Collaborations Towards Sustainable Development Solutions.

SIF’s Executive Director Jean Tan gave the opening remarks at day 2 of the IVCO conference.

The conference culminated with the members from the International Forum for Volunteering in Development signing the Lima Declaration. The Declaration states the agreed priorities and messages for the Post-2015 Development Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes celebrating the work of millions of volunteers worldwide in supporting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and affirming that volunteerism contributes to sustainable development, greater empowerment, and social cohesion.

The United Nations (UN) also set up www.500ways.org, an online platform to tell the stories of volunteers – celebrating the impact of their work and recognising the role they play in achieving the MDG, as part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

At the IVCO, SIF was invited to share our views on Nurturing Young Changemakers For A Better World. We showcased our Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme, sharing how development, social and employment issues can be addressed through social entrepreneurship. The YSE programme was later highlighted as an alternative model for study and consideration to engage youth in sustainable development at the closing of IVCO 2014. SIF’s YSE programme nurtures a network of young change makers who get to learn from and interact with leading global social entrepreneurs, business professionals and other youths who are keen on social innovation. Through the programme, they also get to expand their networks for potential collaborations and partnerships for good.

As the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said, “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace.” SIF also believes that by nurturing a network of young change agents, they will, in their own time, create a better world for all.

Do you have an idea for a social enterprise? Send in your applications for YSE and join like-minded young changemakers from all over the world in developing your ideas for a better world.

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