Reopening borders, reopening minds

BY STACEY CHOECHIEF OPERATING OFFICER I hope things are going well for you as the world starts to open up. At APC, we are beginning to travel, too. In May, we will be visiting some of you in Vietnam, then Malaysia. We will also pop over to Thailand in June. It has been too long—yet none of you have felt very far away with the many online events that have brought us together.  Our in-person events are also increasing, with international leaders like Mark Suzman (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) traveling through Singapore and keen to meet with the APC community….

Regional Early Childhood Research kicks off

The study will map the current ECD landscape in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China towards providing recommendations to improve outcomes in the region.  BY THERESA CUA Early Childhood Development (ECD) is a challenge faced by many countries in Asia—with local priorities, challenges, and models varying across the region. Outcomes vary. APC is coordinating a Regional ECD Research, which recently kicked off in March. The research will map the current ECD landscape for children aged 0-6 in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China. In particular, the research will examine parenting and early learning programmes and policies, identify common measurement tools to…

Examining Philanthropy’s Role in Grantee Wellbeing

As burnout increases in the social change sector, what role can funders in Asia play in creating a culture of wellbeing for grantees? BY NANCY CHANG Leaders in the social change sector continuously advocate for important social issues and are drivers of progress in our world. However, in the pursuit of promoting wellbeing and improving the living quality of people in need, non-profit heroes oftentimes neglect their own. The pandemic has unveiled the widespread feeling of burnout in the social change sector, and along with it, a growing demand for wellbeing support. Thus, APC sought to examine the role of…

Navigating Education Recovery in Thailand

As COVID-19 disrupted learning globally on an unprecedented scale, what are some programmes that have achieved good results in addressing education loss? BY XIANG MIN LIM The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted learning on an unprecedented, global scale over the past two years. With widespread school closures, education loss has unevenly affected different socio-economic classes of students, with the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ bearing the biggest losses. Inspired by current projects in Thailand supported by APC Members from Firetree Philanthropy and Khon Thai Foundation, APC brought together experts to examine Thailand’s education landscape and present recommendations on education recovery. Exploring three…

Diving Deep into APC’s Philanthropy Guides

What were some of the lessons distilled from the recent APC Philanthropy Guide Workshops on Strategising, Executing, Structuring, and Family?  BY BRADLEY WO When APC launched the APC Philanthropy Guides at venn2021, members were asked which of the guides they would want to revisit through a dedicated workshop series. The response blew us away— members wanted to cover nearly every guide! The result is a 4-part workshop series to “deep dive” into the guides, where members can hear and engage directly with experts and one another on the topics. So far, APC is halfway through the workshop series after hosting two workshops…

Making Sense of Tax Incentives for Philanthropic Giving

The latest report by the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (India) examines whether tax incentives induce or increase philanthropic giving in twelve economies.  BY BRADLEY WO One of the challenges that APC comes across in our work is finding comprehensive research on the social sector and philanthropy. Recently, the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University, India published a Report on Tax Incentives for Philanthropic Giving. In this report, they assess whether tax incentives induce or increase philanthropic giving in twelve economies, including Singapore, by looking at numerous previously published studies. The report finds mixed results, but most interesting was that tax incentives do not…

Welcome to new APC Members

Since July, APC welcomed several new members to the circle—bringing APC to its next milestone of 50 members! You may already have met some of them over venn2021. Let us all give a warm welcome to Francesco Caruso (Singapore) from Firetree Trust, Shanthi Kandiah and Brahmal Vasudevan (Malaysia) from Creador Foundation, Aleem Jivraj (Singapore), Elaine Teo (Singapore), and Fung Wing Ah (Hong Kong). Mr. Aleem Jivraj (Singapore) is a senior executive at Nomura in their Global Markets division. He has been based in Asia since 2006 and lives in Singapore with his wife and 2 children. He is the Co-Chair…

Enabling access to education

BY CINDY HSIAO Since the start of COVID-19, more than 800 million children across Asia have had their education disrupted due to school closures and amongst these, more than 27 million children have been waiting for more than a year to return to school. Whilst home-based learning has become the norm for some children across the region, children from vulnerable communities face inequitable challenges in accessing education and are at risk of falling further behind. With education being the top thematic area of interest and work amongst APC members, APC’s final Call for Collaboration of the year sought to provide…

Notes from the Region

BY THERESA CUA Every year, APC looks to support its members in their philanthropic initiatives across the region. However, even as COVID-19 continued to restrict travel for most of 2021, this has not prevented the APC team from convening members and guests to discuss specific issues and challenges to they face in their respective countries. Predictably, COVID-19 relief continues to be a top concern across the membership, as the Delta variant surged throughout Southeast Asia. Thus, we checked in with our members: what initiatives have they been doing for their communities during the pandemic? What lessons have they learned? Where…

Building Mental Wellness Collectively

BY MALEEKA HASSAN Youth mental health in Singapore has shown troubling statistics over the years. In 2017, mental illness was the primary cause of years lost to disease amongst the age group 10-34, with suicide rates on the rise.  The COVID-19 pandemic further worsened mental health issues globally, with unprecedented records of stress, depression, and anxiety. Research into the Singapore mental health landscape found a lack of population-wide initiatives in Singapore that addressed youth mental well-being and preventative measures to reduce the risk of future mental illnesses. These findings prompted APC to organise a series of dialogues on mental health…