Dear SAVH Members,

1. The SAVH Exco met on 29 Oct 2020 and have made some decisions which affect the organisation. It is now my pleasant duty to update all Members on these developments and decisions.

2. To tighten our governance and financial risk management – the Exco has appointed a Governance and Whistleblowing Task Force to look into recommendations for SAVH to implement. Exco has also appointed an Honorary Auditor to help us do internal audits at random and to do spot checks to ensure that we are compliant with all the laws and regulations of Singapore and with our own internal SOPs. The (internal) Hon Auditor is a member of SAVH and has some duties that overlap those of the external auditors. The scope of checks that will be done by both sets of auditors may, but not necessarily, focus on financial and donation matters.

3. Exco has co-opted a retired business executive (who managed the regional business of an MNC) to help us create and grow more social enterprises in SAVH. These enterprises will create more jobs for the visually handicapped; increase training and skills development opportunities to increase the employability of the visually handicapped; and to grow a larger revenue stream for SAVH that will be used to improve and enhance our services.

4. The Singapore Parliament has called for Social Service Agencies (SSA) like SAVH to send in names for consideration as a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP). Exco intends to nominate an outstanding visually handicapped member for the august halls of Parliament. It is good for SAVH to nominate such a member to represent us in Parliament and to the Government; to help us in our advocacy of the needs of the visually handicapped; and in general to raise our profile in Singapore society. We look forward to your support of our candidate. We will keep you informed as details emerge.

5. Exco has also decided to bid (in conjunction and with the support of the Singapore Tourism Board) for the World Blind Union Summit 2024 and the Asia Pacific Summit 2023. These events will bring in many delegates to Singapore and enhance our connectivity with other associations of and for the visually handicapped. It will also raise our profile in Singapore and the world. The event will hopefully also allow us to develop and showcase our visually handicapped talents on a world stage.

6. Finally, Exco wishes to inform all Members that there are no longer any sub committees operating since they were appointed for a one year term from the AGM (31st August 2019) – and that term has expired. The only two Sub committees that remain in operation are the Finance, and the Audit and Risk Sub committees – Sub committees that are required by the Commissioner of Charities (COC) because of their crucial roles in charity governance.

Best Regards,

Dr Toh See Kiat
Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH)