Singapore International Foundation

Singapore International Foundation

Established in August 1, 1991, the Singapore International Foundation (Abbreviation: SIF; Chinese: 新加坡国际基金会), is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to nurture active global citizens and friends for Singapore.

SIF aims to help the development of communities outside of Singapore through the Singapore Volunteers Overseas (SVO) programme. SIF facilitates the participation of volunteers in capacity-building programmes in areas as diverse as healthcare and health education, organisational and personal capacity development, empowerment of disadvantaged children, women and families, and rehabilitation of the disabled.

SIF seeks to reach out to new audiences and friends of Singapore through a public and cultural diplomacy programme which includes organising concerts abroad and hosting visits to Singapore by foreign thought leaders and influential personalities in the fields of academia, business, civil society, government and the media.

Through our Overseas Singaporeans Programme, SIF seeks to strengthen their connections to home and build a strong and wide network of Singaporean diaspora around the world.

For its work, SIF was presented the Excellence for Singapore Award. Our Patron is His Excellency S R Nathan, President of the Republic of Singapore.

Key Programmes

Programmes initiated by the foundation all aim to connect Singaporeans at home and abroad with international communities in every area of endeavour, such as volunteerism, business development, arts, culture or academia.

Singapore Volunteers Overseas

The Singapore Volunteers Overseas (SVO) Programme is not only SIF's flagship overseas volunteer platform, it is also one of the most established international volunteer sending programmes in South East Asia. The SVO Programme was started on the belief that people from different communities and backgrounds can learn from each other in a spirit of mutual growth.

Since its inception in 1991, the SVO programme has enabled more than 1,500 skilled Singaporean volunteers, up to 30 Singapore institutions, corporations and foundations, and numerous supporters to participate directly in building capabilities in developing communities for long-term, sustainable development.

The SVO programme has been privileged to offer help to 15 countries over the years in areas of healthcare, education, social & community development, business, information technology, administration and governance.

Singapore Executive Expeditions

The Singapore Executive Expeditions (SXX) formed in 2005, is expressly designed to provide cross-cultural exposure to executives within the framework of an overseas expedition. Expeditions are held in environments of selected locations to give first-hand appreciation of the cultural heritage, political and social realities and the challenges of international development work.

SXX courses are designed to strengthen participants’ capacity to lead in diverse cultural environments, develop trustworthy relationships, and become world-ready executives with a sense of global citizenship.

Friends of Singapore

SIF promotes people-to-people links between Singaporeans and the world. We give our friends a better understanding of who we are, what we believe in and how we live through visits, exchanges, and cultural diplomacy programmes, such as the Distinguished Visitors Programme, the Eminent Southeast Asians Programme and the Singapore Encore series.

Through these platforms and activities, we share with the world community Singapore’s culture and way of life.

Youth Expedition Programme

The Youth Expedition Programme (YEP) was an initiative pioneered by SIF that took thousands of young Singaporeans on community service expeditions to China, India, and the ASEAN nations between 2000 to 2005.

Launched in 2000 by then Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the vision behind YEP was for Singapore youths to become active and responsible world citizens, and to inspire them through meaningful overseas community service to make a difference to the lives of others, at home and abroad.

YEP at SIF concluded on 31 October 2005. The project is now under the purview of the National Youth Council. In its final year, SIF sent 48 teams of 14 young people each to aid Sri Lanka in recovering from the 2004 tsunami crisis.

For more information please click:


1. Singapore Volunteers Overseas 2. | SVO Experience 3. | Singapore Executive Expeditions 4. | Visit Programmes 5. | Distiguished Visitors Programme 6. | Eminent Southeast Asians Programme 7. | Singapore Encore 8. | Overseas Singaporeans 9. Youth Expedition Prrogramme

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