Speech by President Halimah Yacob at the Singapore Red Cross Awards Ceremony

06 November 2021

Mr Seah Kian Peng, Group CEO, FairPrice Group and Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC

Mr Tan Kai Hoe, Chairman of the Singapore Red Cross

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen


Good afternoon. I am glad to join you at today’s Awards Ceremony to honour the individuals and organisations who have selflessly supported the Singapore Red Cross’ humanitarian mission.


The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our mettle, but it has also brought out the best in us. It has highlighted our people’s adaptability, resilience, kindness and generosity. I know I am in the company of many who are rallying together to care for the vulnerable groups in our society, helping them navigate the new normal, and ensuring that no one is left behind. Thank you for helping to make Singapore stronger and more resilient.


I applaud the Singapore Red Cross team for pressing on despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. You continue to fulfil critical roles including serving as medical chaperones and community befrienders to the elderly and persons with disabilities, champions for low-income families, and mentors to the children and youth of these families. Some of you are also blood donor recruiters and help ensure the robustness of our blood stocks.


I am heartened to learn that during the pandemic, the Red Cross Youth initiated numerous community projects. Red Cross Youth from tertiary institutions showed appreciation to frontline workers, while the Red Cross Youth in primary and secondary schools rolled out a Bingo Challenge to rally acts of care in their homes, schools and the community. Even Red Cross Juniors in pre-schools played a part, making colourful greeting cards with messages of encouragement for the elderly and low-income families. These efforts will go a long way in making our society more caring.


The Singapore Red Cross’ enduring efforts in inculcating important life values in our young humanitarians is remarkable. It has produced community leaders like Mr Laurence Goh and Ms Terene Seow, both of whom started their journey as Red Cross Youth in schools and are receiving the Outstanding Service Award today. I understand that a number of other volunteers who will receive Awards today also started out as Red Cross Youth. Congratulations to all of you!


Beyond our shores, the Singapore Red Cross coordinated a commendable international COVID-19 response that involved the provision of $8.5 million worth of health equipment for 28 countries, including China and India. Navigating supply shortages, logistics and freight challenges, Singapore Red Cross’ partners, volunteers and employees rallied together in solidarity to show our commitment towards the global effort against the COVID-19 pandemic.


In times of crisis, we need to draw strength from one another. For more than 70 years, the Singapore Red Cross has mobilised the power of humanity and catalysed volunteerism, philanthropy and partnerships to enhance resilience in communities at home and abroad. I am heartened to see individuals and organisations contribute readily and generously towards this cause.  


As Singapore works towards its goal of becoming a COVID-resilient nation, I am confident that we will rise above the current challenges and emerge stronger than before. I hope that every one of us will continue to exemplify the SG Cares spirit, to build a more caring and inclusive society.


Thank you.

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