I Believe Persons With Special Needs Can Also Contribute To Society And Lead A Meaningful Life If They Were Given An Opportunity.
APSN, 40 UNDER 40
Edmund Liew currently oversees 2 vocational departments (Food & Beverage and Retail Operations). His duties are to ensure that the curriculum remains relevant in accordance to industry standards, to ensure smooth delivery of lessons and training programmes. He is also constantly looking at ways to enhance the training programme and to seek new partnership for students job placement and advocate for special needs students.
1) You have dedicated years working in the non-profit sector, helping people and changing lives. What inspired you to step up and reach out to those in need? I have worked with persons with special needs during my career in the F&B Industry. I feel that more support is required for them and there is a shortage of manpower in the Social Service Sector. An opportunity came by and I strongly felt to give it a go. 2) Tell us why you have chosen your current career path in the non-profit sector It is a job that is challenging, but it is rewarding in an intangible way. This sector will also enable me to contribute to society in a very meaningful way. 3) How different is your life now compared to when you were not in the non-profit sector? I am able to empathise with persons with special needs or with other limitations more after working with them on a daily basis. I have seen myself change greatly in being more nurturing and calm over the years. 4) What was your most memorable experience working in ASPN? When my first batch of students graduated, they were able to lead a dignified life by being engaged in the community through doing meaningful work or in employment. 5) Why do you think its important to help individuals with special needs? What do you say to people who say, why should it be your problem to solve? It is important as I believe persons with special needs can also contribute to society and lead a meaningful life if they were given an opportunity. They should not be deemed as unable or incapable. I heard a phrase that It takes a village to raise a child and I strongly believe in it. I will repeat the phrase to everyone to remind them that it is everyones responsibility to help people with or without needs. 6) If you can do/change anything in Singapore, or about life here, what would you do? Person with special needs should be given a chance to be part of military defence in Singapore. Many of them are inspired to be part of Singapore Defence Force (SAF, SCDF, SPF) but the opportunity is not yet given under the current act. 7) What does thriving mean to you? Everyone regardless of their limitation is able to sustain employment or be engaged and contribute to the community by doing meaningful work. Families no longer have to worry over their child/ward as they age. And the community sees the potential of persons with special needs and is able to embrace and accept them.