Madam Halimah Yacob
President of Singapore
Mr Melvin Choo
Executive Vice President of Regional Downstream, NatSteel Holdings
Boys and girls
1. Good morning and welcome to the SPD Education Programme Awards Presentation Ceremony 2018. We are very happy to have all of you here at SPD for the celebrative occasion this morning. It is also our highest privilege that we could have President Halimah Yacob as our Guest-of-Honour.
2. Over the years, much has been done to empower people with disabilities in Singapore. I am encouraged that these efforts haven’t stopped and are, in fact, continuing to gain traction. The SPD Education Programme is one such support to the special needs community. It provides holistic support to students with special needs, and we believe with a good education, they can become the best that they can be.
3. Without the support of NatSteel Holdings, all of these would not be possible. They have been walking this journey with us, every step of the way for the last ten years and we hope, for many more years to come.
The Students, Our Motivation
4. I see so many familiar faces in the crowd today. Children, whom we first met years ago, have now grown into teenagers and young adults. Many have done well to advance to the next level of their studies every year – from primary to secondary schools, and to tertiary institutions, then eventually entering the workforce. It is such aspirations and resilience that we see in so many of our clients that continue to motivate us for the last 50 years to provide and improve in what we can offer to our clients.
5. As the popular saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child”, we have really shown this through the SPD Education Programme. It is with the help and support of so many people along the way that we could make positive impact on these students and their families. So, we want to thank our partners and supporters, notably NatSteel, for joining us on this incredible journey. Thank you!
6. In closing, I would like to convey my heartiest congratulations to every bursary and SPD Youth Aspiration Award recipient today. We’re all so proud of you!
7. I urge the young people here today to study, live and play hard and when you are older, make your impact on the community in your own unique ways. When you are able to contribute and give back to the community, seize that opportunity and make that difference.
8. Here, I want to mention a special volunteer’s name… and my apologies as I have not taken Mr Anupam, the NatSteel CEO’s permission. The generosity of NatSteel, I believe, is in the company’s DNA. The wife of NatSteel’s CEO, Mrs Jaya Sharan volunteers weekly at our Day Activity Centre, working side by side with our staff to engage and enrich the lives of our clients. That is really leading by example, taking the first step to give back to the community and making the world a bit of a better place to live in. Let’s be inspired to do the same!