Resilience for a
World of Change

A conversation on confronting change and crisis as a community

The SUSS Student Care Fund is supported by The Ngee Ann Kongsi’s Emergency Relief Fund, which helps students who face unexpected and sudden financial crises during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ngee Ann Kongsi is a non-profit body that empowers young persons to pursue their aspirations, supports educational institutions in providing robust and quality education and builds conducive environments to learn and grow in.

SUSS Student Care Fund Recipient

Lin Siew Ching,
Student, Bachelor of Social Work, Year 2

Dear Mr Teo,

I am no stranger to crisis.

When my twin sister and I were seven years old, our mother passed away from cancer. By the end of 2020, it would be eight years since my sister last studied or worked due to a mental illness. We are 24 now.

I share my story to let others know that if I can overcome, then they can, too. Struggles are part and parcel of life, and it is through struggling that we become more resilient.

In fact, struggles can unite us: we reach out to each other, offer healing and bounce back from adversity together – now stronger.

My life experiences led me to decide on studying social work. I am keen to work with vulnerable groups such as orphans and persons with mental health conditions.

I also want to spread the message of loving oneself and others.

My contribution to the world does not have to be big. It is meaningful enough to do what I can within my means and limits.

However, in my journey, I wish to be courageous always, to keep daring to try.


The Ngee Ann Kongsi
Mr Jamie Teo,

Dear Siew Ching,

Your life is a demonstration of resilience – a skill that has become especially essential as Singapore emerges from COVID-19 and adapts to the post-pandemic new reality.

Resilience is a hallmark of a thriving community, which is something The Ngee Ann Kongsi strives to strengthen in Singapore. A thriving community is one that bands together and remains united in the face of adversity, with those who have the ability to help extending a lending hand to those needing support; and different groups working towards a collective goal to emerge from crises stronger.

We strongly believe in the importance of embodying the spirit of “守望相助”: to support and look out for one another, especially the disadvantaged or less-privileged individuals amongst us.

As the world changes, these relationships and values continue to form the bedrock of a tight-knit community, where hopefully, no one gets left behind. The many helping hands approach is at the heart of a strong, ever-evolving society.

In our work, we also prioritise access to quality education and opportunities, to empower students like you to pursue your aspirations.

The resilience you’ve exhibited is inspiring and admirable. The experiences that have shaped you thus far will be a compass for your future voyages, and I am certain that the strength in you will help you to persevere through difficulties. May you remain courageous in your academic pursuits. We wish you all the best!

How to Build a
Thriving Community

Mr Jamie Teo, President of The Ngee Ann Kongsi, reflects on 3 ingredients for a community to thrive, based on The Ngee Ann Kongsi’s history of community work spanning over the decades.

1. Unity
A thriving community is one that bands together and remains united in the face of adversity.

Mr Teo says: “It’s a community where those who have the ability to help extend a lending hand to those who require support; where neighbours look out for one another; and where individuals, corporations and organisations work towards a collective goal to emerge from crises stronger.”

2. Empowerment
Youths are encouraged and empowered to pursue their dreams, unhindered by family backgrounds or financial situations.

“We have a vibrant education scene in Singapore today, where our children and youths are presented with various opportunities to further develop themselves, travel abroad, chase their aspirations and undergo hands-on learning in different fields, to name a few,” Mr Teo says. “It has been inspiring to observe this progress through the decades. The Ngee Ann Kongsi has always believed in enabling students to access these opportunities, regardless of their circumstances.”

3. Culture
A flourishing arts and culture scene is also vital for a community to thrive. It is a vehicle for expression, which is necessary to strengthen belonging and identity.

“Through the years,” Mr Teo says, “The Ngee Ann Kongsi has had the privilege of contributing to the art scene and arts education in Singapore. Art can connect people and bridge gaps, and in difficult times, inspire hope.”

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