The three values which anchor Our Better World

The three values which anchor Our Better World

  
Rebecca Lim Rebecca Lim
Leader of the Pack

Passionate and purposeful, Rebecca has an eye for opportunities and a love for people. A stint in India changed the Singaporean’s life and led her into the non-profit space. If you want her on your side, Stroopwafel is the secret.

Seven years after the launch of Our Better World, Rebecca reflects on the team’s unchanging values as it aims to become Asia’s Impact Storyteller

“Would you tell our story?”

The question took me aback for two reasons: Who asked it, and why us.

Who asked

The question came from Ankit Agarwal, co-founder of HelpUsGreen, a social enterprise in Kanpur that employs marginalised Dalit women to recycle waste temple flowers from India’s rivers into incense.

Ankit did not know it at that time, but in a few months, he would be on Forbes India’s 30 Under 30 List and a year later, become one of only 17 selected from more than 8,000 youth from 184 countries to receive the UN Young Leaders Award in 2018.

Why us

For his innovative work, he was getting interest from The New York Times and other prestigious international media outlets to interview him but he was cautious. Instead, he wanted us, Our Better World, the digital storytelling initiative of the Singapore International Foundation, to tell his story.

I was surprised, but came to realise this: Ankit gets what Our Better World stands for. “I believe you take great care in protecting the dignity of the story subjects who are featured in your stories,” he told me.

I deeply value this trust and belief from Ankit, in how we do what we do — telling stories to rally more support so that more lives can be impacted; guided by our values of humility, compassion and authenticity.

Humility

Being the bigger person without thinking that bigger is better. We interact with each other and with you, our community, with an openness to new ideas and perspectives and see each encounter as an opportunity to learn from one another. We do not always get it right, but we learn and avoid repeating mistakes. We are always looking at ways to get better.

Compassion

Having empathy for others along with the desire to help. We tell stories of people helping the vulnerable. We always choose to tell it in a way so people would feel for others and care enough to come alongside to support in small and big ways.

Authenticity

Being real and honest, without fear of being vulnerable. We believe that courage comes with vulnerability and we must be brave and trustworthy in telling the real, human stories of struggle and challenge, but also of hope and love.

Back to Ankit…

Did we tell Ankit’s story? Yes, we did! It was a real privilege to tell it and we are humbled by the impact it immediately created: a 15-fold increase in visitors to HelpUsGreen’s website, products made for Diwali were sold out and a record 1,823 new volunteer sign-ups.

This is one of over 200 stories we’ve told in the past seven years. The world has changed so much since we began this work, and the digital space often seems dominated by those who shouts loudest (truthfully or otherwise), or paid the most for ads.

What hasn’t changed is our commitment to bring out your best through stories, anchored on our values of humility, compassion and authenticity.

Your trust and belief in us, like that of Ankit’s, has allowed us to grow and counter the noise and cynicism with voices and actions of positivity. This has spurred us to improve on our impact year on year and emboldened us to dream even bigger.

We dream of building a movement in Asia, rallying you, who share our values, to come alongside and champion the power of stories to inspire good. Where each of us will discover the power we have to make a difference and shape our better world together.

Our redesigned website is our first step towards that dream. We want to foster a space for heartfelt conversations, and enable actions that matter, regardless of where you are.

If this excites you, come be an active part of our community. Create an account on our site or donate to our work and let’s make it Our Better World, one story, one action at a time.

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Rebecca Lim Rebecca Lim
Leader of the Pack
Passionate and purposeful, Rebecca has an eye for opportunities and a love for people. A stint in India changed the Singaporean’s life and led her into the non-profit space. If you want her on your side, Stroopwafel is the secret.