On 29 November, the 6th annual President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards 2017 honoured eight winners for their contributions to the community in Singapore. Here are the winners:
Corporate, Large Enterprise winner: DBS
Championing employee volunteerism, DBS gives all staff two days of volunteer leave a year while encouraging volunteer leaders to organise projects for their departments. In 2016, over 4,000 employees contributed more than 37,000 hours in volunteerism – time that is assessed to be worth more than $1.3 million.
DBS also empowers Social Enterpises (SEs) through grants administered by The DBS Foundation’s Social Enterprise Grant Programme, organising social enterprise clinics and increasing public awarenesss of SEs through their online platform AsiaForGood.com.
Corporate, Small & Medium Enterprise winner: Greenpac
Specialising in providing environmentally friendly packaging solutions, Greenpac walks the talk when it comes to advocating green practices. Partnering with the community through schools & residents’ committees, Greenpac raises awareness of food wastage and alternate ways of food cultivation.
Greenpac has also organised learning trips for the Ministry of Education and National Environment Agency among others. These trips give a glimpse of the ‘green’ technology features at Greenpac’s Zero-Energy Office and is a starting point to discuss environmentally-friendly habits.
Non-Profit Organisation winner: Dover Park Hospice
Dover Park Hospice cares for terminally ill patients towards their end of life and despite the immense amount of selflessness required, DPH has managed to build up a team of 400 active volunteers.
Volunteers are valued by DPH with a Staff and Volunteers Nite held to recognise volunteers for their contributions. DPH also supports and equips volunteers to ensure that a high standard of care is maintained in the hospice and each volunteer’s welfare is not overlooked.
Kampong Spirit Winner: ItsRainingRaincoats
A small gesture of kindness that Ms Dipa Swaminathan showed to two migrant workers became the seed that grew into ItsRainingRaincoats (IRR), a project that would eventually go on to help thousands of migrant workers with basic necessities like meals to fill their stomachs and raincoats to weather Singapore’s torrential rains.
Redistribution of unsold food from 18 Starbucks outlets to migrant workers is just one of the initiatives by IRR. From artisan ice-cream to umbrellas and even bicycles and laptops, there has been no shortage of offers to help from individuals and organisations spurred into action by IRR’s efforts.
Educational Institution winner: Hougang Secondary School
Hougang Secondary develops pupils not just academically but also holistically, cultivating a life of volunteerism with the aim of molding students to become youth leaders, willing to put others’ needs ahead of self to serve the community shores.
2:168 Mission Troopers, the name by which student volunteers are known by, is a testament to the two hours, out of a one week of 168 hours, that students and staff commit to serving the community’s needs. This Values in Action (VIA) programme encompasses service of these four domains: children, the elderly/sick, community outreach and the environment.
Individual, Youth winner: Kevin Martens Wong
Mr Kevin Martens Wong is the pioneer of the Kodrah Kristang (Awaken, Kristang) long-term revitalisation initiative, which aims to bring back Kristang, the heritage language of the Portuguese-Eurasians. Mr Wong has launched Singapore’s first adult Kristang class and his influence has since inspied others to take on projects such as the first Kristang Online Dictionary.
Mr Wong also went on to initiate Singapore’s first-ever first Kristang Language Festival with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in attendance. Following the festival, Lion City Languages was formed with aims to provide a safe space for Singaporeans to talk about language revitalisation and how it can continue to go forward.
Individual, Adult winner: Dr Marcus Ang
The Singapore Society of Ophthalmology (SSO) Mobile Eye Clinic (MEC) was born from Dr Marcus Ang’s vision to improve the way community eye care was delivered to those who needed it most. The clinic has helped more than 3,000 elderly beneficiaries, all over Singapore, many of whom are unable to seek proper treatment on their own.
Beyond caring for the needy in Singapore, Dr Ang goes on four to five trips a year – paid for out of his own pocket – to provide free consultations, eye surgery and spectacles through Singapore-based non-profit organisation Global Clinic Ltd, where he is a Director and Head of Vision Projects. To date, Global Clinic has treated more than 30,000 individuals in 11 countries.
Individual, Senior winner: Dr William Wan
At the age of 70, when most seniors are content to take it easy in retirement, Dr William Wan is still actively involved in giving back to society. More than 40 years ago, he co-founded Rehabilitation Life which is now known as Prison Fellowship Singapore (PFS). Today, PFS has grown into a Christian charitable organisation with a social service arm called 70×7, comprising 14 staff members supported by some 500 active volunteers.
Dr Wan’s willingness to give back remained the driving force when he became General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) in 2011. Under his leadership, SKM broadened kindness towards the environment and founded the Keep Singapore Clean Movement with the Public Hygiene Council, on whose board he still serves actively.