Self-help groups play an important role in Singapore society: President Halimah Yacob
SINGAPORE – Self-help groups play an important role in building a cohesive and collaborative society, President Halimah Yacob said on Saturday (Jan 18).
Madam Halimah added: “We all want to do a common good, with all the communities. This is the way we should move ahead.
“There is scope for self-help groups because they understand the needs and the challenges facing the community and therefore can provide very dedicated service in order to uplift the community.”
Madam Halimah was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to the Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda) in Beatty Road.
Sinda, a self-help group that aims to uplift the socio-economic status of the Indian community, was established in 1991 and offers a wide range of services to support less fortunate students and their families.
Madam Halimah noted that Sinda has grown from just providing financial assistance to offering holistic programmes that cut across various types of services for a wide range of beneficiaries, such as needy families, those who have family members who are incarcerated and children who need education.
She added that the self-help groups in different communities can also work together across social boundaries.
“The important thing is also that … the different self-help groups are very collaborative in the work that they do. They create a lot of common services and common spaces, such as giving collaborative tuition (to students) for instance,” she added.
“I think that is good because then it encourages the cross fertilisation of ideas and the common use of support services and crosses the boundaries of race or religion.”
Madam Halimah also talked to Sinda beneficiaries and volunteers and met social workers from its family service centre to better understand the issues facing the Indian community.
She also toured the Sinda bus, which has been retrofitted to serve as a hub for activities such as reading sessions for children.
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