With love, from Singapore
As Singapore celebrates its 52nd year, we revisit stories of eight Singaporeans who are shaping society in the best way they know how - through giving back with love.
We’ve compiled nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from each of them, offering their thoughts and vision on what makes a more inclusive society.
For these individuals, progress is not defined by material wealth, but in raising people’s quality of life, regardless of age, ethnicity, income, or physical ability.
“Let’s always remember that people are more important than things,” says Mavis, who runs Touch a Life, a soup kitchen based in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Giving is joy, and “what delights you is where you should be,” she adds.
With Adrian Pang from Pangdemonium, personal well-being is not something that is exclusive, but “has to have a measure of trying to look after people as well.”
“I always tell people, don’t [only] improve your standard of living, but improve your standard of giving,” shares Randall D’Souza at Dover Park Hospice.
These views represent a society that these Singaporeans are actively building towards, be it through drama, sports, social work, or animal therapy.
The main thread binding these voices is a call for inclusivity.
“I urge Singaporeans to go deeper and not just judge,” says Wei Ng, who works as a social worker amongst women trafficking survivors in Singapore.
In situations where people are coping with illness or grief, volunteer clown doctor, Ghazali Muzakir, keeps his eye out for an opportunity to inspire hope and laughter.
For others like Kenneth who teaches tennis to the blind, inclusivity can be encouraged through sports “to get everyone together, [be it] the abled or disabled.”
With Maureen at Pawsibility, it’s the bond between humans and their furry friends that helps “create positive change” and can “add a lot of value to our lives.”
Fairoz, who empowers women in Indonesia through his social enterprise, argues that young people can contribute, because they have the ability to make meaningful change.
“It’s possible, but you really, really got to be persistent.”
We’ve been inspired by the hearts and perspectives of these Singaporeans while telling their stories.
We celebrate the diverse voices and actions of all who give back with love, at home and beyond.