18.05.2018

ADDRESS BY MS INDRANEE THURAI RAJAH, PRESIDENT, SINDA, AT THE 28TH SINDA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, ON FRIDAY, 18 MAY 2018 AT THE CIVIL SERVICE CLUB (TESSENSOHN)

 

Dear Members of SINDA,

SINDA’s mission is the upliftment of the Indian community and in 2017, SINDA paid particular attention to two groups. First, low-performing students and those who are in need of greater support and second, disadvantaged families, especially those with low per capita income, or PCI. We all know there is a strong correlation between the family circumstances, the socio-economic status and the educational outcomes. That is the reason why we concentrated on these particular groups.

 

Empowering Students through Education

We also continued our emphasis on empowering students through education.

We have kept our signature programmes – LYNN, STEP, Project Teach and Saadhana – these offered students a strong and holistic academic curriculum. At the same time, we have launched new programmes to give them additional educational reinforcement.

  • We launched Project Guide, an after-school programme that offers students a conducive study environment to complete their homework.
  • At select STEP centres, counsellors are deployed to guide students with personal development and to identify those in need of greater assistance. Such students and families were then referred to the SINDA Family Service Centre for the appropriate interventions
  • We have also been looking at skills and practical knowledge. The Indian Business-leaders’ Roundtable (IBR), in particular, has been exploring the possibility of mentorship programmes and providing opportunities for internships.

 

Nurturing Resilient Youth and Strong Families

We also want to have resilient youth. SINDA’s youth programmes continue to be popular. In particular, we initiated a pilot programme “ITE Aspire” at ITE College Central, and this has allowed us to gain new ground with ITE students. It is an activity-based programme aimed at strengthening resilience, cultivating life skills and motivation for better academic performance.

 

Connecting with the Community

We are also connecting with the community. Last year, I mentioned that we launched the “flipped-model” of engagement which saw SINDA penetrate estates in communities where there are higher concentrations of low-income Indian families. We will continue with that this year. We also launched the SINDA Bus in the heartlands – this has proven to be very popular. The kids love it and they come down with their families as well. It also gives SINDA visibility because the bus is very nicely decorated and when it’s there in the heartlands, the whole community – Indians and non-Indians – are aware of our presence in the heartlands.

Through these initiatives, we have reached out to the community and we hope to connect better.

 

Moving Forward Together

SINDA is also now expanding its work in the areas of pre-school, youth and family.

Family, in particular, because the Ministry of Education (MOE) and schools have stepped up their efforts in remedial programmes. In fact, when SINDA first started out, the aspect of tuition was very important but the schools have been stepping up to fill in that gap. However, schools have required our help in connecting with families, and in some cases, getting the children to come to school or helping to address specific family issues which the school feels would be best done by a Self-Help Group (SHG) that has the same ethnic profile as the students.

Initiatives planned in 2017 are being piloted in 2018 and this year, we will assess the effectiveness of these pilot programmes. Based on the results, we will either develop alternatives or expand the successful programmes.

Thank you.

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