President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards honour heroes confronting social issues

The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) announced the eight distinguished winners of the 2018 President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) on Wednesday (24 October).

President Halimah Yacob presented the PVPA to this year’s winners at an awards ceremony this evening, honouring individuals, companies, ground-up movements, non-profit organisations and educational institutions that have achieved excellence in giving. Several of this year’s awardees have embraced issues pertinent to society today, such as the fostering of social inclusion and religious harmony in Singapore. Their stories and contributions serve as a platform to connect communities and serve causes that are often overlooked.

President Halimah Yacob, said, “I’m heartened that this year’s winners include firms that made giving an integral part of their corporate culture, as well as individuals who are passionate in helping those around them. Through their selfless acts, they have shown that volunteerism can be a part of all our lives. When all of us pitch in to help those around us, we can make a greater and longer lasting impact on society.”

Representing this year’s winners in “Non-Profit Organisation” category, are the Assisi Hospice and volunteers from their No One Dies Alone (NODA) programme. Since the group’s formation in 2014, the team’s pioneering efforts have helped 53 patients and provided 735 hours of care. This includes 33 end-of-life vigils, making Assisi Hospice the first in Singapore to be able to support this programme on a sustained basis and powered by volunteers from all walks of life.

Other PVPA 2018 winners, such as Mr. Abbas Ali Mohamed Irshad (representing Individual: Youth category), and Blessings in a Bag (representing Kampong Spirit category) have been inspired by their own personal experiences which became starting points for their giving journeys.

Mr. Abbas Ali Mohamed Irshad set up Roses of Peace (ROP), a youth-led ground-up interfaith initiative, created in response to the Charlie Hebdo incident in Paris. To date, the organisation has engaged more than 2000 volunteers, and distributed over 40,000 roses as a means of spreading messages of peace, building bridges, and fostering inter-faith harmony since 2012.

Blessings in a Bag founder, Ms. Emily Teng, turned the challenges she faced growing up into a force for good, providing disadvantaged youth in Singapore with opportunities to discover their passions and interests through mentorship programmes, after-school care, field trips, and classroom activities.

Through their efforts, these PVPA 2018 winners have the potential to create ripple effect for doing good and their contributions encourage others to bridge divides and build communities. Their actions exemplify how giving can take many forms, from philanthropy, skills-based volunteering to advocacy, each moving Singapore towards a City of Good in their own unique way.

“As we come together as a community to celebrate Singapore’s Giving Heroes, we reaffirm the values that hold us together as a society in the midst of many forces that always threaten to divide us. Giving unites people and reminds us that we share a great deal in our common humanity. ” said Melissa Kwee, CEO, NVPC.

“The winners remind us that each of us can chose to use our power and influence in private and public arenas to uplift, comfort, create and expand our imagination of what it means to do good and do well. Together they represent a microcosm of what is best and beautiful about our society. May we start to put our hands to the plough to give towards the future we collectively envision.”

The winners of PVPA 2018 are:

This year’s PVPA winners were selected from close to 100 nominations, undergoing a stringent selection process based on volunteerism and/or philanthropy best practices; innovativeness of ideas; inspirational value; and the impact their efforts have created.

PVPA 2018 Awards Ceremony celebrates social inclusion

The Awards Ceremony, which took place at Capella Singapore, was hosted by Special Olympics athlete leader, Florence Hui and Mediacorp personality, Yasminne Cheng. PVPA 2018 winners received hand-crafted trophies which were co-designed by Tru-Marine and students from Yio Chu Kang Secondary School. Singaporean artist, Aaron Gan, mentored the students on the design of the trophy.

The evening’s performances showcased a diverse and socially inclusive range of artists including OnWheels Dance Group, Cactus Rose Band and Danial Bawthan “Wheel-smith”. Guests were also invited to participate in a sign language pledge, led by Hush TeaBar.