SINGAPORE: 34-year-old Lily Goh is the winner of this year's Singapore Woman Award. Organised by MediaCorp, the Singapore Woman Award is an annual tribute to provide recognition to a woman who has overcome challenges to create extraordinary achievements that are both meaningful and beneficial to society.
Lily Goh may be deaf but her achievements speak volumes. She co-founded ExtraOrdinary Horizons in 2011, a social enterprise that aims to promote deaf arts, culture, heritage and language.
Her focus is on deaf, young persons, who have a love for music. She hires and trains them in the production and performance of musical items.
Ms Goh said: "I didn't expect myself to win. I feel this award is really meaningful to the deaf people, because it gives a big hope to them. They can continue to work very hard for their dreams."
She said that with this award, she hopes to achieve even more for the deaf community, like helping to groom the pool of interpreters here.
"With this award, I hope to create more jobs for the deaf, and also give them more confidence, for whatever they can do," she added.
Last year, Ms Goh initiated the first Project Deaf Cambodia, to empower the deaf in the country. The project imparts knowledge and skills on entrepreneurship and the performing arts.
She also hopes to elevate ExtraOrdinary Horizons to greater heights by running their first annual nationwide event, the Deaf Arts Festival. Through this, she hopes to showcase the artistic talents and skills of the deaf to the public.
The other 2 nominees this year were 54-year-old Kirtida Mekani -- a committed environmentalist, and 24-year-old Qin Yunquan who has trained in hand-to-hand combat and empowers women and children by teaching them self-defence.
The event was graced by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, who said that women in Singapore have made great strides since the country's early days.
She said that they are better educated, with the literacy rate improving drastically in recent years -- up two percentage points to 94 per cent in the past five years.
Ms Fu added that more women than men are entering university. There are also more women entering the workforce, with the labour force participation rate for women improving 3 percentage points to 58 per cent in the last five years.
The annual award is meant to encourage each winner to pursue her passion and inspire others to do the same. This award is open to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. - CNA/ac
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