Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and
Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies; and Chairman, SINDA;
Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law, and President, SINDA;
SINDA Board of Trustees and Executive Committee members;
Distinguished Donors; Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very warm welcome and thank you for your time this afternoon at SINDA’s Donor Appreciation Lunch.
- Each year, SINDA hosts this lunch to appreciate and thank the many helping hands that make our mission of uplifting the Singaporean Indian community possible. The principle of having Self-Help Groups like SINDA, allows each community to take ownership of its own needs and progress, in addition to national policies.
- Your gracious and generous donations have allowed for us to benefit thousands, in offering support not only at the right time, but also in an appropriate manner. Collectively, 26 donors present today, contributed $2 million, or 75% of all donations received in 2017. It is heartening to us that many of you are continuous donors and familiar faces are deeply care about the needs of our community.
- With each passing year, these needs evolve. Traditionally, SINDA has focused on education and assistance to students and families, providing them with a strong support system. While education and assistance remain steadfast in our agenda, SINDA is also more invested now, in the areas of pre-school, youth and family. This shift allows for SINDA to provide a more supportive and complementary ecosystem, that tends to the overall development of our people and the inculcation of the soft skills necessary for the future.
- I am excited that we will be launching new initiatives in 2018, to offer our community greater opportunities. At pre-school level, SINDA will offer enrichment programmes to kids as young as three-years-old to encourage active learning. For older children, we are expanding our range of digital programmes, so that they will be future-ready. A fund, for children to tap on for enrichment lessons, will also add value to their growth and allow for holistic all-round growth.
- For youth, SINDA is exploring more values-based programmes that will instil in them good qualities and the right skill sets to face the challenges ahead. These programmes will complement the many enrichment programmes that we currently offer our youth. In addition, our satellite office in Jurong will be repurposed as a hub to offer our youth to have an exciting mix of programmes and an opportunity to network with peers through interest-based programmes.
- We are also excited about Mentor Me, a programme that will pair our older students with captains of industry, for multi-year mentorship and help them chart their course forward. I am heartened that many of our donors, IBR members and EXCO members have expressed keen interest to be part of this programme and do their part to coach our students.
- We will also introduce new programmes for parents-to-be as they start their fledgling journey into parenthood, through baby vouchers and parenting workshops. This will also allow us to identify and reach the younger working adults and bring them into SINDA’s fold.
MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER
- At the heart of all these programmes is the child, and we remain steadfast in our conviction that no child should be denied opportunities either owing to their circumstances or from lack of access to such initiatives. We will do all we can to provide avenues for each and every one in the community, to better themselves and improve their socio-economic status.
- Your contributions to these causes have allowed us to do much, and will allow for us to do even more in coming years. For you as donors, this is a unique opportunity to play an active role in building a strong and vibrant Singaporean Indian community, together. On behalf of SINDA, I look forward to your continued support and collaboration, as we support our community in realising their aspirations. Thank you.