In July, APC welcomed our newest Board Member in Rina Lopez, who is President and Executive Director of the Knowledge Channel Foundation, a powerhouse providing quality educational materials for pre-school and K-12 levels for the most disadvantaged sector of the Philippine economy—school children enrolled in the public education system.
She has been a member of Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) since 2019, and recently joined the Board in July 2022. She was recently named as one of Forbes Asia’s “2021 Heroes of Philanthropy” for her tireless work to ensure continuing access to quality education for children, especially during COVID-19. We invited her to share some of her thoughts on her philanthropy, as well has her own hopes for the future of her own advocacies.
Join us in congratulating Natalie Kennedy, who was recently promoted as Director at APC, and in welcoming our new team members Joan Poh (Head of Administration). Koon Peng Ooi (Projects Manager), and Runchen Huang (Membership Executive).
Collaboration has also been facilitated by the pandemic. How so? People can now see a greater urgency to tackle bigger issues, like the climate crisis. How big issues cannot be tackled properly alone, and how going online can help us bring together partners more quickly and forge quicker and stronger partnerships across borders.
July represents a series of milestones for us. APC had its sixth birthday, welcomed our new CEO Mafruza Khan, while our Founding CEO Laurence Lien moved on to becoming the non-executive Chairman at APC. We at APC continue to be deeply humbled to have opportunity to explore, discover, learn and work together to create a better Asia, together.
So much has changed since the last issue of APC Voices in February 2021. Just when vaccines brought us a ray of hope, the situation in many parts of the world and in our own region has again become dire. How will philanthropy pivot to combine the best principles and practices, and innovate towards allowing all of us to live with dignity?
A year ago, it was easy to make plans, but difficult to carry them out. This year, I found it difficult to make plans, but yet a lot still seems to get done. What has replaced long term plans, are rolling short term ones, where the nimble, resilient and dynamic amongst us have thrived. While general outlook is more optimistic than six months ago, as we look deeper, the situation is a lot more concerning. Vaccine nationalism has reared its ugly head. Most SDGs face considerable setback, with decades of work undone in less than a year. And of great concern are the mental health challenges that many are facing. Hence, philanthropy is more critical now than ever.
Our past half year, as you can imagine, has been dominated by COVID. Beyond the short-term emergency response, we have to brace ourselves for the longer-term impact. It could be an opportunity for philanthropists to demonstrate the important role they can play in society, particularly in a crisis. Or it could be a slide towards irrelevance, as big government takes over. Nobody can be sure what how the covid situation will evolve and end. But we can still work from a reasonable base case. Here is how APC has been adjusting.
As we reflect on the past year and usher into the new decade, one cannot help but feel despair with all the complex challenges we currently face. Despite that, members are still keen to continue learning through connecting with different experts, and with one another at our multiple convenings, to help solve the problems of today’s society. Read on to find out what APC and APC members have been focused on.
The first half of 2019 have been a period of learning for APC and our members. Through our various learning journeys and member interest groups, our members have been able to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects to create learning models. Here’s a look at various events our members attended to begin their journey into expanding the collaborative philanthropy landscape.
Through our members’ collective voices, we hope the wider impact community understands better what strategic and collaborative philanthropy can do for Asia. We showcase our members’ projects, advocate for more innovative philanthropy and solutions, and call out for others who share our vision and eager to go on this journey with us.
Nearing the end of a year provides for a good opportunity to reflect on a period that is about to end. Almost two years have passed since I joined the board of APC and it has been a truly rewarding experience to be part of this Group at a broader and deeper level.
APC recognises the leaders in social impact in Southeast Asia with our ASEAN Social Impact Awards. Growing impact in the region requires collaboration across sectors and scaling it up, which is why we also organised the ASEAN Philanthropy Dialogue with ministers and our members.
We kickstart the year with several exciting projects in the pipeline, including the ASEAN Social Impact Awards and ASEAN Philanthropy Dialogue! We’re excited to have a full year but before that, here’s a look back at 2017.
APC is now two years old and ready to move to our next phase of growth! Our community of philanthropists has grown and engagement deepened. Nonetheless, we are still in start-up mode, and continue to experiment and notch a number of firsts this year!
Our most ambitious project to date is the ASEAN Community Impact Fund (“ASEAN Fund”) for collaborative philanthropy. Still work-in-progress, this is our first pooled Fund to grow collective impact. We intend to focus in the fields of education, nutrition and community building in Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar, through leveraging size, neutrality, a long term focus and a holistic approach.
Here at Asia Philanthropy Circle, we are a small but dedicated and hardworking team. Even as the end of year festive season descends upon us, our team will still be around, working for a better Asia. We hope that the new year will see more progress, impact and development in our ever-changing world! Best wishes to you and your family!