Annual pinnacle awards presenting the highest honour for those who have set benchmarks of excellence in Singapore

8 winners for this year’s President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (PVPA).

n its sixth run, eight PVPA winners were honoured at the annual pinnacle awards ceremony which was officiated by President Halimah Yacob for the first time this year.

Singapore, 29 November 2017 – President of the Republic of Singapore Halimah Yacob presented the prestigious annual President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) to eight winners who have demonstrated excellence in giving back to the community in Singapore. Organised by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) for the sixth year running, the awards took place tonight at Shangri-La Hotel.

The eight winners of PVPA 2017 are:

  • DBS Bank (Winner for Corporate, Large Enterprise category)
  • Greenpac (Winner for Corporate, Small & Medium Enterprise category)
  • Dover Park Hospice (Winner for Non-Profit Organisation category)
  • ItsRainingRaincoats (Winner for Kampong Spirit category)
  • Hougang Secondary (Winner for Educational Institution category)
  • Kevin Martens Wong (Winner for Individual, Youth category)
  • Marcus Ang Han Nian (Winner for Individual, Adult category)
  • William Wan (Winner for Individual, Senior category)

This year’s winners were selected from 115 nominations in a stringent selection process based on best practices in volunteerism and/or philanthropy; innovativeness of ideas; inspirational value; and the impact the efforts have created. The pinnacle achievement honours the best in volunteerism and philanthropy, from individuals to organisations.

Melissa KweeCEO of NVPC, said, “This year, we honour yet another batch of outstanding givers who have raised the benchmark for giving and shown us all how to be better givers. What sets these PVPA winners apart is not just their willingness to give back, but also their creativity and vision. These are dedicated individuals and organisations who are thinking, not just about the now, but also about how their giving mindset and initiatives can be embedded into individual and organisational DNA, and sustained for generations to come. I look forward to the great things they will achieve in the coming years.”

Emceeing the Awards Presentation Ceremony with local personality Vernetta Lopez was Lin Wei En, a 12-year-old pupil of Canossian School For The Hearing-Impaired. Having a hearing impairment does not stop Wei En from emceeing for school events and being active in the choir throughout her four years in the Canossian School.

Local award-winning instrumental band, Lorong Boys, kickstarted the evening with renditions of familiar hits with their trademark energy and spontaneity. The night’s entertainment also included an inclusive musical performance produced by Selena Tan, founder of independent arts and entertainment theatre company Dream Academy, which was performed by children from diverse backgrounds from Metta SchoolMINDS and Dream Stage Kids.               

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy awarded two scholarships to two winners for two nonprofit-related courses namely (1) Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management and (2) Governing for Nonprofit Excellence. The two recipients are Dover Park Hospice (Winner for Non-Profit Organisation) and Dipa Swaminathan of ItsRainingRaincoats (Winner for Kampong Spirit).

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PVPA 2017 winners:

Category: Corporate (Large Enterprise)

Winner: DBS Bank

DBS has made it a point to reach out into new areas of corporate giving every year and continually encourage its staff to include volunteerism in their daily lives. Central to DBS’s corporate giving programmes in 2016 was its support of social enterprises (SEs). In 2016, the DBS Foundation awarded over S$1 million in grants to 14 social enterprises which nurtured over 60 young social enterprises. Through their events, DBS has reached 2,600 social entrepreneurs to inspire and encourage them to continue their great work. In addition, DBS saw more than 4,000 employees contributing more than 37,000 hours to the community in Asia in the last year alone. The value of this time is assessed to be worth more than S$1.3 million.

Category: Corporate (Small & Medium Enterprise)

Winner: Greenpac

Greenpac actively works towards sustainability and inclusiveness to build an enviable ecosystem. Its CSR initiatives – that reach out to a diverse group including school children and  inmates – goes beyond providing donations or necessities, to include imparting important practices about the environment and sustainability, as well as ways to raise awareness about the environment. Greenpac’s signature programmes include one that aims to impact the community by equipping them with hydroponics farming system, a skill that helps bring about the possibility of a future Singapore which can be self-sufficient. Another signature programme is the annual GreenGives,, which drives ongoing campaigns and projects such as the sponsorship of ukuleles and tuners to the Pertapis Children’s Home, and the collection and donation of pre-loved books by Greenpac staff to Dignity Mama, an establishment managed by special needs employees and their parents.

Category: Non-Profit Organisation

Winner: Dover Park Hospice

What sets Dover Park Hospice (DPH) apart is its well-integrated volunteer programme, which consists of 400 active volunteers, who work alongside a permanent staff strength of just 140. In 2016, DPH’s volunteers provided over $340,000 in in-kind services, as quantified by the Volunteer Investment and Value Audit (VIVA).

DPH’s volunteer initiatives also aims to include, support and celebrate volunteers for their hard work, rather than treating them as temporary staff.  Each volunteer is supported by two full-time staff members who support the volunteers’ activities, look into their concerns, support their general well-being, ensure they are adequately trained, and be the liaison between volunteers and DPH staff.

Category: Kampong Spirit

Winner: ItsRainingRaincoats

ItsRainingRaincoats (IRR) is an initiative founded and nurtured by Ms Dipa Swaminathan that helps migrant workers in Singapore by donating raincoats, food, and other basic necessities, in addition to creating awareness on the issues they face. IRR’s team of 30 volunteers’ noteworthy efforts in bettering the lives of migrant workers in Singapore include redistributing unsold food from Starbucks every Saturday, raising funds to buy phone cards, and distributing Tiger Balm and Panadol.

What sets IRR apart is how it has inspired others to also give back alongside them. This year, the raincoats given out were designed in collaboration with students from LASALLE College of the Arts, and United World College of Southeast Asia recently hosted a cricket match between their school team and a team of migrant workers. Other individuals and organisations spurred on by IRR’s efforts include the Singapore Kindness movement, which donated 5,000 raincoats, a shoe shop that give out 300 pairs of shoes, and a man who offered 300 biryani meals.

Category: Educational Institution

Winner: Hougang Secondary

 Hougang Secondary has structured a 4/5-year developmental programme for its students, with each year having a different focus. While most other schools introduce volunteer work through ad-hoc projects, at Hougang Secondary, it’s a way of school life, where volunteerism is inculcated from the very beginning. To promote a school-wide culture of regular service, Hougang Secondary initiated a movement in 2013 — 2:168 Mission Troopers, with the vision of building a  sustained,  regular  commitment towards  a  GRC  culture  of  serving  the  needy. Every week, students and staff commit to two hours to serve the needs of the community.

Category: Individual (Youth)

Winner: Kevin Martens Wong

Mr 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. He has reignited interest in Kristang through his initiatives and has 1raised the awareness and profile of this once-forgotten language that was spoken by only a handful of about 100 elderly Eurasians in Singapore. Together with a remaining speaker, Mr Bernard Mesenas, Mr Wong launched the first adult Kristang class in March 2016, which has since seen over 300 students across different ages and ethnicity. The lessons are free-of-charge, with Mr Wong preparing the lesson plans, developing Kristang-specific games and activities, and generating supplementary online materials. The initiative has since grown to include other projects initiated by other members of the nascent community, including the first Kristang Online Dictionary and the first children’s class in Kristang, Kakakikih Kristang. Mr Wong and his team also raised over $100,000 to initiate and fund Singapore’s first-ever first Kristang Language Festival.

Category: Individual (Adult)

Winner: Marcus Ang Han Nian

Dr. Marcus Ang serves as the Programme Director of Singapore Society of Ophthalmology (SSO) Mobile Eye Clinic (MEC), which has helped more than 3,000 beneficiaries, mainly above 60 all over Singapore, to seek evaluation, follow-up eye care, medication and spectacles, and in some cases, eye surgery.

Dr Ang also serves as Director and Head of Vision projects at a Singapore-based non-profit organisation, Global Clinic Ltd. which helps needy beneficiaries overseas who cannot get medical care due to poverty or inaccessibility. Dr Ang goes on 4 to5 self-sponsored trips a year to provide complimentary consultations, spectacles and eye surgery to the needy. To date, Global Clinic has treated more than 30,000 individuals in 11 countries.

Category: Individual (Senior)

Winner: William Wan

 Dr Wan is the co-founder of Prison Fellowship Singapore (PFS) and has contributed tremendously to helping reintegrate ex-offenders. In 2016, he was commissioned by the Singapore Scout Association to write “My Best with Honour” about scouting values that influence 12 outstanding Singaporeans, and the Dyslexia Association of Singapore also commissioned him to write “Clearly Different: Dyscovering the Dyfferences”, a book to celebrate its 25th anniversary. 

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Click here to find out more about our 2017 Winners.