Dentistry alumnus, Dr Soh, believes giving to education is a means to improve livelihoods.
“Do what you can, and give what you can afford.”
This was Dr George Yi-Wei Soh’s (’80) vision for a kinder and more charitable society. The Dentistry alumnus has recently made another gift to establish the George Y Soh Social Service Study Award at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Behind his unique decision to give to Social Work, Dr Soh shares, “Globalisation, technology‐related job losses, and the ageing population widen the income gap causing social inequalities. We will need social workers to alleviate the suffering of those affected. The social sector is expected to grow rapidly, but there is a dearth, currently, of social service professionals in Singapore.”
Dr Soh recognises the need to groom social work professionals in Singapore and his gift seeks out individuals who have compassion for the underserved to become social service professionals. “Their contributions will alleviate poverty, achieve greater social equity, and maintain social stability in the society,” he says.
Believing that he bears a social responsibility towards the needy in society, Dr Soh began his volunteer work 29 years ago when he set up a clinic to provide free dental services at the Woodlands Home for the Aged and served on its management committee. Since then, he continues to work closely with various voluntary welfare organisations to improve the lives of the aged and destitute persons living in welfare homes.
Dr Soh also hopes to encourage fellow alumni to give back to their alma mater. “NUS provided me the opportunities to develop professionally. Having served as an academic staff member at NUS for more than 11 years, I know that the University always aims to provide the best education for its students. NUS also offers the best programmes in educating and training social service professionals in Singapore, as well as in the region.”
Previously, Dr Soh also made a gift to establish the George Y Soh Scholarship at NUS to support outstanding Dentistry students.
Sharing his thoughts on philanthropy for the advancement of education, Dr Soh says, “Giving to education is building human capital for economic growth for the country and improving living standards for society. Education is also the way out of poverty for those who have the potential to contribute to society but do not have the necessary resources. When your contributions nurture good people, they will in turn nurture others.”
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