Sound Bites From The AVPN Global Conference 2023

AVPN Mental Wellbeing fund

“THIS is a room of problem solvers.”

Malaysia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Hannah Yeoh (fourth from right, above), made this observation at the launch of the USD3 million Asian Youth Mental Wellbeing Fund at the AVPN Global Conference 2023, in Kuala Lumpur.

The three-day AVPN Global Conference, which drew to a close today in Kuala Lumpur, brought together 254 speakers and 1,329 delegates from 44 countries interested in developing a stronger ecosystem in Asia’s social sector. 

The largest conference of its kind in Asia, this year’s theme is about looking for Asian solutions for global problems.

In a region where social issues continue to dog progress, the search for collaborations, partnerships and funding to create opportunities that generate profit at the same time brought together a wide range of social investors.

Here are some sound bites from the sessions.

“It is important that philanthropy moves beyond charity and becomes a key mechanism that supports social justice by addressing the root causes.”

Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Dato' Maimunah

“By empowering women we are empowering communities.

“Women must be at the table, otherwise we become the menu.”

Dato’ Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat on the importance of empowering women (above)

“There needs to be more education that mental illness is a medical condition. It’s about chemical imbalance. Don’t think nothing is wrong just because you can’t see it. You should see a doctor about it. After all, if you break your leg, you will see a doctor to heal it.”

Nicholas Lee, Board Director Binjai Tree Foundation

“I am very worried. AI could replace outsourced call centres, for example. There could be unemployment on a large scale.”

Chan Chi Ling, Co-founder, better.sg on the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs.

“Nothing is as toxic as the toxicity of poverty. There needs to be less bureaucracy, less restriction and more trust. Philanthropy is a real profession. But it’s only 1% of social welfare giving.”

Gabriel Leung, Executive Director, Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust

Ajay Piramal

“Any conscious capitalism would say that business is a force of good. ‘Profit’ is a good word. Sometimes, I find in social circles, people don’t like the term ‘profit’.

“In my view, profit is the oxygen that keeps us alive.”

Ajay Piramal, Chairman Piramal Group (above)

“In Asia philanthropy comes from families. Families own companies and they create opportunities for the community.”

Dato’ Kathleen Chew, Programme Director, YTL Foundation

“Mental health is three times more prevalent in rural areas than in urban areas.” 

Nur Anuar Abdul Muthalib. Head of Education, Yayasan Hasanah

“Short height, or stunting, is correlated with the brain’s underdevelopment and is a result of severe malnutrition. Stunted children are susceptible to long-term developmental delays and weakened immune systems. We’ve made incredible progress, bringing down the stunting rate from 33% to 20%, but more work needs to be done.”

Belinda Tanoto, Member, Board of Trustees, Tanoto Foundation 

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