Good Business Connections

The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme is one of many platforms that have been connecting the Singapore and Indonesia communities to nurture a network of changemakers. Scholar4ID, an Indonesian social enterprise and YSE alumni recently conducted a study visit to Singapore for five scholars to support them in their academic and personal development.

Ardan, a scholar from Solo, Indonesia, shared his insights on Singapore gained through the study visit.

Scholar4ID helps nurture gifted high school students from lower income families in small Indonesian cities through a three-year support programme. The programme encompasses an international study visit, internship opportunities, mentorship and financial aid throughout the student’s high school stint.

During the group’s study visit to Singapore, Dimas Harry Priawan, one of the founders of Scholar4ID, said that Singapore was a natural choice as all five founders of the social enterprise had studied in universities here and enjoyed their experience. “As a global and dynamic city, Singapore was a choice destination for inspiring our scholars as we wanted them to learn about how a small city actually developed to achieve first world status. Furthermore, having a shared history and being geographically close allowed the kids to feel more comfortable during the study visit,” he said.

Through this visit, the scholars gained valuable insights into the different aspects of Singapore, including our public transportation systems, urban planning challenges and education policies. They shared with us how learning visits to Singapore institutions such as the National University of Singapore (NUS), Urban Renewal Authority (URA), NeWater plant; and first-hand experiences of Singapore’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society have inspired them to start thinking of ways in which they could contribute to the development of their respective cities.

Dimas, one of the founders of Scholar4ID, rounds up the sharing session.

In gaining a deeper understanding of Singapore, the scholars found that there was much common ground between our two countries after all. Ardan, 16, a scholar from Solo said, “for instance, in both Indonesia and Singapore it’s a melting pot of cultures where people of different races live together in harmony, where you can practice different faiths freely. And in spite of the differences, there is a sense of unity.”

Young changemakers like those behind Scholar4ID are some of the Indonesians whom we have had the pleasure of working with over the past 20 years. Through programmes such as Young Social Entrepreneurs and the Singapore Internationale arts partnership, we have brought together many individuals and organisations to share ideas and build endearing friendships that enrich lives in a variety of ways.

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