Published on 17 Aug 2023

Making an impact where we belong

The We Belong 2023 campaign successfully concluded on 31 March thanks to the help of alumni, students, faculty, staff and patrons who volunteered their time and talent, and donated generously to support NTU.

Text: Sadia Roohi and Nur Isyana Isaman

With over 4,000 donors contributing more than S$1 million and 900 volunteers serving more than 9,700 hours, the second We Belong 2023 campaign successfully united the OneNTU community to do good through three signature events – NTU Giving Day, NTU Service Week, and Best Foot Forward.

The fundraising and volunteering initiative was first launched during NTU’s 30th anniversary in 2022.

NTU's culture of giving is founded on the belief that education is the key to illuminating lives, society, and the world.

Ms Lien Siaou-Sze, NTU's former Vice President for University Advancement, elaborated: “The flame of philanthropy  and service has been passed down from generation to generation of NTU alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends. We  come together with open hearts and minds to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others, honour the legacy  of giving that is at the heart of NTU, and change the world.”

The funds raised will be channelled to the NTU Bursary Fund, the NTU Priorities Fund, the NTU Sustainability Fund, the NTU Wellbeing Fund and School Advancement Funds.

The passion to serve NTU

NTU alumni who are working in diverse sectors came together to run, volunteer or support fundraising according to their own interests.

"I am glad to be part of this important day and greatly heartened to see many students, alumni, faculty and staff coming together to raise funds for NTU and volunteering to serve the community. I trust that through the fund-raising effort and community service, our NTU students will grow in character and strength as they learn about the needs of society, and how they can play a role in shaping a better future."
- Low Yen Ling (NBS/1996), Guest-of-honour for Giving Day, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, and Culture, Community and Youth, Mayor of South West District

"Clocking 1,229km during Best Foot Forward feels good and I am delighted to be able to do something for my alma mater. I had an angioplasty surgery in 2019, and since then, have been exercising to improve my health. I run at least 15km on weekdays and 40km on  weekends. I wish to motivate others to start exercising too."
- Mohamad Sharizan Abu Bakar (MAE/2007), Top Best Foot Forward runner, Teacher
“I completed 10km for Best Foot Forward 2023. I participate in fundraising runs when i can but this one was special as i got to do it alongside my fellow alumni and juniors. A shout-out to all the alumni and friends who came forward and donated generously.”
- Eric Chua (WKWSCI/2003 ), Top Best Foot Forward individual fundraiser, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Social and Family Development
Kathleen (standing, 4th from left) at NTU Service Week’s kayaking and beach clean-up.
"We partnered with the alumni associations of the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and S School of Biological Sciences and managed to remove over 200kg of trash from the waters off Sembawang and East Coast Park. Young professionals may think it is difficult to volunteer due to their busy schedules, but you can start small. Being part of something bigger and helping to scale it is equally worthy."
- Kathleen Ooi (ASE/2021), President of the Asian School of the Environment Alumni Association, Stakeholder Engagement Executive
"We are stewards of resources we have been blessed with, such as talent, time and money. There are many volunteering opportunities in Singapore for us to give back. In giving and sharing, volunteers benefit too, by making new friends, learning new things and picking up new skills. These skills include people and project management, which I use in my daily work as well."
- Aaron Chia (CEE/2007), Volunteer at NTU Service Week and donor at the Giving Day blood donation challenge, Senior Project Manager (Construction)
"Everyone faces different challenges in their lives, but what matters is how we respond to those challenges. Instead of letting difficulties defeat us, we should focus on how we can turn them around to make a positive impact."
- Dr S. Supraja (EEE/2016), NTU donor and a panellist at Giving Day, Lecturer, NTU School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Pictures of kindness

Relish the moments from We Belong with these snaps from its key events.


NTU is the first university in Singapore to take the Green Nation Pledge. More than 150 new trees were planted on campus during the course of We Belong.

More than 400 students, alumni, faculty and staff took part in the flag-off run, X Campus Run, to  mark the start of Best Foot Forward.

Alumna Liaw Ying Hong (SSM/2017) receiving her gold medal for the X Campus Run women's open category from NTU's Senior Vice President for Administration, Ms Tan Aik Na.Alumnus Paxton Hong (SSM/2022) came in second in the X Campus Run men's open category.

The OneNTU community came forward to volunteer in various activities during NTU Service Week.

Members of the OneNTU family contributed wholeheartedly at Giving Day booths on campus.

The panel discussion "Re: Think, Impact" at Giving Day was moderated by Ms Yap Su-Yin, Executive Director at the University Advancement Office (far left) and included panellists (from right) Year 2 computer science student Ng Tze Kean, an NTU Bursary recipient; Dr S. Supraja, lecturer at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; and Year 3 humanities student Asier Loh, president of the Peer Helping Programme.

Seniors from Yong-en Active Hub showcasing the necklaces they made from recycled garments during NTU Service Week.

The OneNTU community put their Best Foot Forward for a good cause.

NTU Service Week 2023 finished strong with a record 9,700 volunteer hours clocked. The event was launched by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (second from left).

NTU students supporting the blood donation drive during Giving Day.


This article first appeared in issue 3 of U, the NTU alumni magazine