Welcome Remarks By Ms Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director, At SIF Connects! Jakarta, Rumah Ranadi, Jakarta, Indonesia
HE Anil Kumar Nayar, Singapore Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia,
Bapak Adi Nuryanto, Deputy Director of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture,
SIF-ASEAN Fellows in Indonesia,
Partners and Friends,
Selamat siang! Welcome and thank you for joining us at the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Connects! Jakarta.
SIF Connects! is one of many ways we stay in touch with our friends from across the globe. I am delighted to note that we have held a Connects! in Indonesia almost every year since we first started it in 2011. We are humbled by your belief in our work and for your warm friendship.
In the last 26 years, Singaporeans and Indonesians have worked together in over 100 initiatives – in various parts of Indonesia including Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta. Our work has been focused in healthcare, education, the environment – and more recently, in arts and social entrepreneurship. Allow me to share three recent developments in our journey of collaboration.
First, the SIF is honoured to partner Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture. In August 2017, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop collaboration in the field of education between our two communities, while enabling greater cross-cultural understanding.
Shortly after, in November, we launched our first education project in Yogyakarta. Words on Wheels or WoW is a three-year mobile library programme that brings both English and Bahasa Indonesia books, and IT facilities to 5,000 students from 10 schools in Yogyakarta annually. We first ran the programme in Bandung (2012-15) and its success encouraged us to replicate the project in Yogyakarta. WoW also involves specialist volunteers from Singapore working alongside librarians from Yogyakarta to enhance its library management practices. Almost a year into the programme, programme alumnus and project coordinator Mr Anang Nugroho informed us that he had been awarded ‘Best Librarian 2018’ by the National Library of Indonesia. We were heartened to learn that Anang’s work in WoW had contributed to this achievement.
Finally, in July this year, we started a new collaboration in healthcare education in Surabaya. The four-year training programme will see improvements in standard of care for children and newborns and is expected to benefit over 200,000 lives in East Java.
We believe that quality education at all levels is key to sustainable development from improving access to learning through mobile libraries to upskilling healthcare professionals. Today’s sharing session is aptly themed “Education for a Better World”. And our panel of speakers comprise champions of education from Indonesia and Singapore. Each has either volunteered or partnered the SIF to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal or SDG 4, namely Quality Education.
I would like to thank them and all of you for being here today. And I look forward to another warm and wonderful conversation this afternoon.
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