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EIGHT organisations and individuals were given awards by Singapore President Halimah Yacob in recognition of their efforts towards volunteerism and philanthropy. The prizes were presented at the annual President's Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) event held on Wednesday evening at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Currently in its sixth year, the PVPA is organised by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) with the aim of recognising individuals, corporates, ground-up movements, non-profit organisations, educational institutions and individuals that have achieved excellence in contributing towards social initiative.
Melissa Kwee, NVPC's CEO, said: "This year, we honour yet another batch of outstanding givers who have raised the benchmark for giving and shown us all how to be better givers."
The eight winners were selected from a pool of 115 nominations based on how innovative, inspirational and impactful their efforts were for the community.
In the corporate category, DBS Bank took home the honours for its support of social enterprises as a large corporate, while packing solutions firm Greenpac bagged honours for the Small & Medium Enterprise category for its comprehensive CSR campaigns.
Healthcare facility operator and provider Dover Park Hospice took home an award in the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) category for its 400-strong integrated volunteer programme.
For its 2:168 Mission Troopers initiative, which aims to build a sustained and regular commitment to those in need, Hougang Secondary School came out top among educational institutions.
ItsRainingRaincoats (IRR) took the prize in the Kampung Spirit category. IRR is the brainchild of Dipa Swaminathan and aims to support and create awareness on issues facing migrant workers in Singapore.
While most of the awards were handed out to organisations, three individuals were honoured for their efforts towards the community. In the youth category, Kevin Martens Wong was recognised for his efforts to revitalise Kristang - a heritage language of Portugese-Eurasians - through Kodrah Kristang (Awaken, Kristang).
Meanwhile, Marcus Ang Han Nian's active role in seeking and providing appropriate optical and medical care for the less privileged saw him win the PVPA award for the adult category. Dr Ang is the programme director of the Singapore Society of Ophthalmology's mobile eye clinic, and director and head of vision projects at Global Clinic Ltd, a Singapore-based NPO.
In the senior category, William Wan, co-founder of Prison Fellowship Singapore, took the award for his longstanding efforts towards the re-integration of ex-offenders.
"What sets these PVPA winners apart is not just their willingness to give back, but also their creativity and vision," Ms Kwee remarked.
"These are dedicated individuals and organisations who are thinking, not just about the now, but also about how their giving mindset and initiatives can be embedded into individual and organisational DNA, and sustained for generations to come."
A couple of PVPA winners - Dover Park Hospice and Ms Swaminathan of IRR - were also handed scholarships from The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy to participate in two nonprofit-related courses it will run in 2018 - Strategic Perspective in Non-profit Management and Governing for Non-profit Excellence.
The ceremony was kicked off by local band Lorong Boys and hosted by radio personality Vernetta Lopez and 12-year-old Lin Wei En, a student from the Canossian School for The Hearing-Impaired.
Attendees at the awards ceremony were also treated to a musical produced by Selena Tan, founder of local independent arts and entertainment company Dream Academy.
The musical was performed by children from special education provider Metta School, the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore and Dream Stage Kids.