Social sector leaders must be bold and innovative: Halimah
Social sector must come up with creative ways to help lives affected by Covid-19
The social sector needs leaders who can come up with creative ways to help Singapore's vulnerable groups, whose lives and livelihood have been upset by the Covid-19 pandemic, said President Halimah Yacob.
The President, who was speaking to a group of 40 aged below 40, called on them to be bold and innovative as they strive to bring change to the organisations they serve.
Her address yesterday at the National Council of Social Service's (NCSS) 40-Under-40 programme also praised Singapore's social service agencies for rising to the challenges created by the pandemic.
"I'm encouraged by the creativity and resourcefulness (they) have shown during this period."
She noted that some have digitalised their functions and programmes, such as engaging seniors through video chat.
Still, the President added, the agencies need to look into how they can further collaborate across sectors and agencies to serve their beneficiaries better.
The three-day programme, which started on Tuesday, is to build a community of young leaders empowered to solve problems and drive change in anticipation of a new normal in the post-Covid-19 world.
The participants were nominated by social service agencies, social enterprises as well as organisations from the public and private sectors.
They also heard yesterday morning from Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration Desmond Lee, who was appointed Minister for National Development in the recent Cabinet reshuffle, and will hear from Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin today.
NCSS president Anita Fam said: "In addition to being a leadership forum, the programme builds a network of the next generation of leaders who can, in turn, leverage each other's strengths and experiences to respond to increasingly complex needs."
Two young leaders - Ms Chen Shiling and Mr Mohamed Fareez Mohamed Fahmy - shared their experiences in working amid the pandemic.
Mr Fareez, 39, senior assistant director at AMKFSC Community Services, a social service agency that serves residents in Ang Mo Kio, said one major problem is that some families do not have the basic equipment for home-based learning.
"We realised that having Wi-Fi and a tablet or computer is actually a basic need for every household... and this became even more emphasised during this Covid-19 pandemic," he added.
Ms Chen, 38, head of Hua Mei Intellectual Disability Service at non-profit organisation Tsao Foundation, said the pandemic has been a reminder of how a situation can change suddenly.
She hopes to see greater integration in the social service sector as well as across sectors.