Supporting Social Causes


The President supports charitable and social causes, such as volunteerism, social entrepreneurship, sports, culture and the arts. 


President Halimah Yacob at the launch of President’s Challenge in 2018.


One key platform to do so is the President's Challenge (PC). Established in 2000, PC is a movement to rally the community to help those who are less fortunate. Every year, PC raises more than $10 million for about 60 beneficiary organisations. PC also promotes volunteerism and social entrepreneurship.


In 2018, PC took on a new direction under President Halimah.  PC will continue to raise funds for a broad range of social causes, but over the next five years, $20 million has been set aside by PC and the Government for a new “Empowering for Life Fund” (ELF). The ELF aims to empower vulnerable groups through skills upgrading, capacity-building and employment. It will focus on supporting customised, dedicated services to the most vulnerable groups, and facilitate their integration into society.


To raise awareness of social causes, a new series of PC Memorabilia and greeting cards were also launched in 2018. A collaboration between President’s Office, Volunteer Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and social enterprises, they feature artwork of scenes within the Istana and hand drawn by beneficiaries. The PC Memorabilia is available to visitors who make a donation to President’s Challenge during the Istana Open Houses, or at the Istana Heritage Gallery. More information can be found here.


Youth Volunteerism


One of the social courses championed by President Halimah is youth volunteerism. She believes that our young people can step up and contribute to our nation building efforts.


At the Youth Corps Service Week with the youth volunteers in March 2018. President Halimah is the inaugural Patron of Youth Corps Singapore.


Supporting Community Events


Being a symbol of unity, the President is actively involved in the community. The President often graces events organised by grassroots, community and welfare groups, as well as ethnic and religious organisations.


With representatives from religious organisations at the Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circles Convention 2018.


President Halimah Yacob celebrated MINDS World Down Syndrome Day in March 2018.


With volunteers and beneficiaries of the “Temasek Foundation Cares- Play-Ability” programme.


Meeting the Public at the Istana Open House



The Istana is open to the public five days a year, during Lunar New Year, Labour Day, Hari Raya Puasa, National Day and Deepavali. During these open houses, the President will take the opportunity to interact with members of the public and to wish them well. More information about the Istana Open Houses can be found here.



President Halimah Yacob launched the PC Memorabilia at the Istana Open House in February 2018.


To make the Istana more accessible to the public, President Halimah has introduced initiatives such as Picnic @Istana, Volunteer Gardeners @Istana and Garden Tours@ Istana for more Singaporeans to enjoy the Istana grounds.


Inaugural Picnic @Istana in November 2017 where children from the Dyslexia Association Singapore (DSA) enjoyed an afternoon of fun.



Launch of the Volunteer Gardeners @Istana at the first Garden Tours @Istana in December 2017.


The Garden Tours @Istana in February 2018.


Children enjoying themselves at the second Picnic @Istana with Disney on Ice in March 2018.




Several awards have been named after the President to recognise excellence achieved in various fields that are important for nation building and for strengthening our society. These awards are:


Furthering social causes:

 Strengthening innovation and creativity:

Recognising contributions to society:

Recognising our youths for their talent and spirit of volunteerism:

Furthering social causes:


President's Challenge Social Enterprise Award (PCSEA) 

Launched in March 2012, the President's Challenge Social Enterprise Award (PCSEA) is the only award within the social enterprise sector in Singapore that recognises outstanding social enterprises for their contributions made to the Singapore community.


For more information on the PCSEA, visit the President's Challenge website.



President's Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award 

The President's Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) are pinnacle awards for volunteerism and philanthropy. The awards honour those who have set excellence benchmarks in encouraging the spirit of giving in Singapore. For more information on the President's Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards, visit the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre website.



Strengthening Singapore’s spirit of innovation and creativity:


President's Award for the Environment 

The President's Award for the Environment (PAE) is the highest environmental accolade for individuals, organisations and companies that have made significant contributions towards environmental and water resource sustainability in Singapore. It recognises and honours the sustained environment and water-related contributions by environmental champions from the People, Public and Private (3P) sectors. For more information on the President's Award for the Environment, visit the Ministry of The Environment & Water Resources website.



President's Design Award 

The President's Design Award is Singapore's most prestigious design accolade. Established in 2006, the Award recognises excellence across all design disciplines, including advertising design and visual communications, architecture and urban design, fashion design, furniture design, interior design, landscape design, product and industrial design. For more information on the President's Design Award, visit the Design Singapore website.



President's Science and Technology Award 

First presented in 1987, the National Science and Technology Awards (NSTA) was elevated to the President's Science and Technology Awards (PSTA) in 2009. PSTA is the highest honours bestowed on exceptional research scientists and engineers in Singapore for their excellent achievements in science and technology. It is conferred annually to recognise and celebrate outstanding and invaluable contributions made by individuals or teams to Singapore’s research and development landscape. The PSTA constitutes three different awards – the President's Science and Technology Medal, the President's Science Award and the President's Technology Award. For more information on the President's Science & Technology Awards, visit the A*Star website.



Recognising contributions to society:


President's Award for Nurses 


The President's Award for Nurses is a national award given to recognise nurses who have made outstanding and significant contributions to the nursing profession and the community.

For more information on the President's Award for Nurses, click on this link



 President's Award for Teachers 


The President's Award for Teachers (PAT), introduced in 1998, gives national recognition to the critical roles teachers play in moulding the future of our nation. These teachers prepare their students for life and are committed to their own professional growth and the professional development of other teachers. They are those who, through word and deed, inspire both their students and peers. The award is presented annually by the President on Teachers' Day. For more information on the President's Award for Teachers, visit the Academy of Singapore Teachers website.



Recognising our youths for their talent and spirit of volunteerism:


President's Guide Award 

The President's Guide Award, the highest level of achievement attainable by a Guide below the age of 18, is conferred in recognition of the Guide's love for Guiding, her commitment towards the Guiding Movement, and her efforts in upholding Guiding values and skills to respectable standards.


A President's Guide is an individual, who through her years of Guiding experiences, has proven herself to have assimilated the qualities of leadership, strength of character and moral integrity, and civic consciousness and service oriented. For more information on the President's Guide Award, click on this link.



President's Scholarship Award 

The President's Scholarship is widely regarded as Singapore's most prestigious undergraduate scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to students who have gone beyond excellence in academic pursuits and co-curricular activities to distinguish themselves. In awarding the President's Scholarship, the Public Service Commission (PSC) looks for outstanding young men and women with a strong ethos for Public Service, sound character and a dedication to improving the lives of Singaporeans. The President's Scholarship is awarded on top of another Public Sector scholarship. For more information on President's Scholarship Award, visit the Public Service Commission website.


President's Scout Award 

The President's Scout Award is presented to the nation's most outstanding Venture Scouts, recognising their excellent leadership and personal performance, their dedication to the Scout movements and their service to the community. For more information on the President's Scout Award, click on this link.



President's Young Talents 

Inaugurated by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) in 2001, the President's Young Talents is Singapore's premier commissioning exhibition, featuring the island's most promising artists under the age of 35. Selected by an independent curatorial committee of local art professionals, these artists are mentored through the entire process of art creation, from concept development to exhibition realisation.



Singapore Red Cross President's Youth Award 

The Singapore Red Cross President's Youth Award may be conferred to the most outstanding cadets in recognition of their exemplary contributions and achievements. The individuals would demonstrate leadership qualities, possess good academic scores, and be knowledgeable about the global perspective and current affairs of the Red Cross. For more information on the Singapore Red Cross President's Youth Award, visit the Singapore Red Cross website.



SSO President's Young Performers Concert 

The President's Young Performers Concert was started in 2001 and has grown into a major local event to showcase Singapore's young and promising musical talents, many of whom have gone on to pursue successful careers in music, both locally and overseas.


The Boys' Brigade President's Award 


The highest award in the Boys' Brigade (BB) programme, the President's Award is presented to BB Primers who have successfully completed the demanding requirements in leadership and service in the community, as well as in the BB as adventure activity leaders or event planners. Primers are prepared not only for continued service in the BB but also for young adulthood and active citizenship. For more information on the Boys' Brigade President's Award, visit the Boys' Brigade website.