Tributes to SIF’s Ex-Patron

Remarks of appreciation from the SIF community on His Excellency S R Nathan's contributions as its Patron as he steps down as President of Singapore.

The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) has been honoured by the patronage of His Excellency S R Nathan, the President of the Republic of Singapore since 2001.

Throughout his career, President Nathan has kept the good of the common people close to his heart and has worked to uplift their lives through his various charitable initiatives and activities. As SIF’s patron, he has been a champion of the international volunteerism work that the SIF conducts in the region.

The Singapore International Volunteers (SIV) programme was founded on the idea that shared skills and experiences help improve the well being of communities and uplift lives. For the past 20 years, the SIF has supported over 1,600 volunteers who have worked with developing communities in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam by sharing knowledge, skills and resources, to create positive and sustainable change.

“President Nathan has been a steadfast supporter of the Singapore International Foundation over these past 11 years and we are deeply grateful for his warm friendship and guidance on our direction. Many of our volunteers and partners who he meets annually often say his sincerity and passion inspires them in their cause to build a better world,” said Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director of the SIF.

Ms Chin Hooi Yen, Director at Gateway Law Corporation who mentored the SIF’s UNITAR Hiroshima Fellowship for Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008 said, “When President Nathan attends every SIF volunteer appreciation event, he asks each of us individually questions of the work we do, takes time to pose for one more photo, shakes one more hand or gives yet more words of support. He displays the spirit of dedication and selflessness that is the best of volunteerism. His sincerity is heart warming.”

At the International Volunteer Cooperation Organisations (IVCO) 2010 Conference co-organised by the SIF last year, Ms Nita Kapoor, Director General of Fredskorpset, Norway’s peace corps, said “I had the pleasure of meeting the President and experiencing his keen interest in the global family of IVCOs and in our work internationally. It was especially interesting to see how he personally interacted with the SIF volunteers, staff and board of Directors. It is rare to see a patron who is so genuinely committed, engaged and dedicated. I found it particularly inspiring to witness a person of influence using his position to encourage and inspire young volunteers in their role as global change agents.”

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