Ms Melissa Kwee, CEO of NVPC,
Friends from the media,
Good morning. I am honoured and humbled to receive the President’s Award for Volunteerism (Non-Profit Category) on behalf of SIF’s Singapore International Volunteers (SIVs) and my colleagues at the Singapore International Foundation (SIF). We are encouraged by the endorsement of our work in enabling Singaporeans to contribute to international understanding and development.
The purpose of the SIF is to foster ties and trust - at the people-to-people level between Singaporeans and world communities - for a better world. All our programmes bring people together to do good. Whether it is to share ideas, skills, resources or all of them, the aim is to enrich lives and effect real change in specific areas such as healthcare, education, the environment, arts & culture, and business & livelihood.
Singaporeans form the backbone of our work. From artists to social entrepreneurs, doctors to business leaders, youths or professionals, many have joined SIF as our citizen ambassadors. Singaporeans are our strategic enablers, connecting and collaborating with others to build a better world.
Among them are the SIF’s vibrant corp of Singapore International Volunteers. Numbering around 3,500, they comprise doctors, nurses, therapists, teachers, public servants, social workers, bankers, lawyers and more. Whether as specialist or generalist volunteers, they are our agents of change who share their knowledge, skills, and resources to uplift lives. Their hard work, dedication and passion have made a difference – significantly improving lives in developing communities across 17 countries over the past two decades.
Today, our SIVs continue to empower communities in 35 projects across Asia - improving the quality of healthcare, environmental and education services through skills training and provision of direct services. In turn, their efforts have inspired many in their own communities to become change agents themselves.
Allow me to share one example. In 2012, a team of Singapore doctors, nurses, and social workers trained 15 of their Indonesian counterparts in palliative care for terminally ill children in Jakarta. These 15 trainees went on to share their knowledge and skills with another 1,000 medical professionals in Indonesia. Today, the Rachel House homecare model has been endorsed by the National Association of Nurses (PPNI or Persatuan Perawat Nasional Indonesia) as the homecare model to be replicated in Indonesia. The programme also enabled palliative care knowledge to be spread widely among the medical community and help build new standards of paediatric palliative care in Jakarta.
Without our SIVs and other citizen ambassadors, the work of SIF would not be possible. We are delighted to recognise and celebrate today the generous spirit of our SIVs and their contributions to international understanding and development. Together, we can make this world a better place. Thank you.