The inaugural ASEAN Social Impact Awards culminated in the awards presentation on 21 March 2018 at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore.
Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) members, ASEAN ministers, senior officials, and other philanthropists and social sector leaders gathered to celebrate and highlight the power of social entrepreneurs and the positive transformational changes they can make to the communities they serve. Six award finalists, who were chosen out of 160 applications, had the opportunity to showcase their work at the event.
Stanley Tan, Chairman of APC and the awards committee, opened the ceremony with a call for greater support and exposure for social entrepreneurs. He also encouraged increased collaboration between and amongst governments and private sectors to help scale and replicate social entrepreneurial projects for greater social impact in the region.
Tri Mumpuni (Puni) from IBEKA, Ashoka fellow and one of the six finalists, took the stage to share the need for collaborative action to address endemic social issues in the ASEAN region. She asserted the need to empower local communities through capacity building, enabling a sense of community ownership and providing ways for them to exercise dignity. She also pointed out the important role of social entrepreneurs in filling up gaps that the governments find difficult reach.
The top accolade went to Puni, whose vision to create a world where electricity reaches the most remote and inaccessible areas was so inspiring to the audience that some were moved to immediately support her programme after.
The runner-up awards went to Cherrie Atilano of AGREA, whose goal is to replicate her one-island economy model to empower islands to become self-reliant models of agriculture and waste management across all the 7,000 islands in the Philippines, and across ASEAN region; and Somsak Boonkam of Local Alike, who works in his home country of Thailand to redefine tourism by enabling the locals to focus on environmental protection and social consciousness among thousands of travelers.
The top winner receives SGD 50,000 and the two runner-ups SGD 25,000 each to further scale the impact of their work. More importantly, they will also continue to receive mentoring and support from the committee.
The three other finalists present were Goris Mustaqim of Rumah Sehat Garut, Irfan Amalee of Peace Generation, and Maria Loretha of Cinta Alam Pertanian; all from Indonesia.