“The greatest rewards come when you give of yourself. It's about bettering the lives of others, being part of something bigger than yourself, and making a positive difference,” - Nick Vujicic, a renowned international motivational speaker who was born with neither arms nor legs.
Nick’s quote fits well with the SUSS mission to provide lifelong education that equips our students to serve society through our all-rounded education and applied learning. SUSS programmes are designed to inspire our students to take action and make a difference in the lives of others. It is also a springboard for those who have a burning desire to contribute to society to realise their passion and create change.
We want to celebrate the work of four local social enterprises, spearheaded by SUSS students, which aims to promote an inclusive society in Singapore:
1. Society Staples (www.societystaples.com.sg)
Co-founder: Debra Lam, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Sociology
Founders of Society Staples, Debra Lam (left) and Ryan Ng (right).
(Photo credit: Society Staples)
Growing up with siblings with developmental disabilities, Debra witnessed the challenges and differences Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) face first hand. This spurred her to want to help Singapore become a society that accepts people with disabilities as part of the norm. Society Staples focuses on mass engagement platforms and conducts team building activities such as sign language workshops to raise awareness and educate the public on the different issues that PWDs face in their everyday lives.
2. LearnIn (https://www.learninta.com/)
Founder: Bryan Neo, Bachelor of Social Work
Bryan Neo (center) at his LearnIn booth during an event.
(Photo credit: LearnIn Facebook page)
Bryan believes that disabilities should not disable PWDs from realising their full potential in learning. At LearnIn, Bryan devised a specialised tutor-tutee programme that pairs up a tutee with a suitable tutor with disabilities according to their unique needs. Casting the net wider, LearnIn also works with community partners to organise workshops that focus on equipping PWDs with practical life skills. Recently, they collaborated with the Disabled People Association to conduct the “Lifeskills for The Digital Economy for PWDs” to teach them digital and technology skills such as creating an online banking account.
3. ExtraOrdinary Horizons (http://www.eohorizons.com/)
Founder: Lily Goh, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Lily Goh conducting a Sign Language workshop.
(Photo credit: ExtraOrdinary Horizons Facebook page )
A prominent member of the hearing-disability community, Lily Goh, director and founder of ExtraOrdinary Horizons, is also a seasoned performing artiste. The social enterprise is run by people with hearing disabilities. They aim to promote deaf awareness through numerous sign language courses, song-signing workshops and outreach programmes. One of Lily’s notable contributions to the deaf community is expressing her love for music through song-signing, which incorporates facial and body expressions, movements and signs invented to fit the interpretation. She was invited to perform at the ASEAN Festival of Disabled Artists in Myanmar in 2014.
4. Breaking Boundaries (https://www.instagram.com/sussbreakingboundaries/ )
Founders: Ang Xue Er & Nasuha Binte Ramin, Bachelor of Social Work
The Breaking Boundaries service-learning group.
(Photo credit: SUSS Breaking Boundaries Instagram page)
Xue Er and Nasuha bring together different service-learning groups working on disability and inclusion issues to create a collaborative ecosystem to address misconceptions and stereotypes of people with disabilities. They are co-creators of service-learning group, Breaking Boundaries. Currently, they are working with three Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) centres to conduct outdoor activities. The programme gives PWDs opportunities to interact and engage with members of the public.