This is to Highlight one of The Latest News and to suggest the link.
This is to Highlight one of The Latest News and to suggest the link.

Our Office Team

Pia Bruce, Executive Director

Before joining the Singapore Committee for UN Women as General Manager, Pia Bruce, a former management consultant and Harvard Kennedy School of Government graduate, was on the founding team of aidha. aidha is a 'business school' for migrant domestic workers in Singapore, providing financial education along with entrepreneurship, confidence building, computer training as well as supporting services like business plan counselling and microfinance connections.

Prior to joining aidha, Pia managed the then Citigroup-INSEAD Financial Education Exchange, gaining significant knowledge about financial education in the Asia Pacific region. Pia has also been involved in the design and development of an e-learning resources platform for the US K-12 school community, and has multi-country experience in corporate change management, curriculum development and train-the-trainer course implementation. Click here for Pia Bruce's Bio.

pia.bruce@unifem.org.sg


Mellisa Chong, General Manager

Graduating with a Diploma in Economics under the University of London programme and having become an active alumni member, she has, apart from studying the macroeconomic elements that drive an economy, come to realise the power and deep potential within our "micro" economy - i.e. our youth, especially among the youth at risk, the marginalized and the exploited.

She holds an unwaivering stand that all children own the right, to first and foremost, a quality education and the right to choose their dreams and the oppurtunities to pursue them.

Having volunteered with The Society for The Physically Disabled, bringing the "world out there" into their little classrooms, she has captivated and inspired those within her group to feel no differently to their "abled bodied" counterparts. She has also made it part of her vacation routine to visit an orphanage in every country she visits, volunteering not only to spend time with the children but also the administrators who strive daily to meet funding and and manpower requirements.

Mellisa loves a good laugh and always up for a good time! Click here for Mellisa Chong's Bio.

mellisa.chong@unifem.org.sg


Camilla Adindamaulani, Communications and Project Developments Manager

After more than five years of working in the communication field of the corporate world, Camilla decided to pursue her long time passion of working for a non-profit organization and joined the Singapore Committee for UN Women in February 2010. With her public relations consultancy experience, she's assigned to manage the Stop sex trafficking campaign where she developed the integrated marketing communication plan for the year and drive the preparation for the first national forum to address sex trafficking issue in Singapore.

She's also in charge of the membership portfolio's day-to-day operation and expands the pool of the Singapore Committee for UN Women merchant partners for the recently-launched loyalty card programme.

Camilla holds a master's degree in mass communication from Nanyang Technological University. In her own time, she contributes articles for publications in her native country, Indonesia, covering the subjects of music, art and travel. The task has brought her face-to-face with personalities including Grammy-winner Kanye West and British mega-band, Coldplay.

camilla.adinda@unifem.org.sg


Mrinalini Venkatachalam, Public Awareness and Youth Initiatives Manager

Mrinalini Venkatachalam coordinates and executes all Public Awareness activities and Youth Initiatives. Her experience of over 9 years in the non profit world has ranged from creating communications to generate awareness on mental health and improve the lives of the mentally ill through capacity building and sustainable livelihoods, to advocating accessibility and equal rights for people with disabilities through public interfaces and sign language training, to generating awareness on Solid Waste Management through radio programmes and awareness camps at local schools and slums in India, to her current role, where her priority is to generate awareness amongst the youth and public in Singapore on often neglected women's issues, such the many roles of women in society, respect for migrant women in the house, the incidence of violence against women, trafficking of women and children and other issues that affect us all, in an environment where they can so easily be forgotten due to the affluence our country enjoys.

Mrinalini did her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative English from a university in India and her Masters in Human Rights from Bangkok. She is a budding writer who loves to write and can conjure up a topic of interest with ease. She loves to read and no genre of books is beyond her horizons. Click here for Mrinalini Venkatachalam's Bio.

mrinalini.venkatachalam@unifem.org.sg


Amra Naidoo, Communications and Program Development Associate

Amra is a dreamer. She enjoys laughing, travelling and being surrounded by people she loves.

Amra graduated from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia with a Bachelor of Business Management and Bachelor of Arts, where she majored in International Business and International Relations.

She has spent almost 5 years working in the marketing and event management industry, loving every minute of it. Simultaneously, she has been involved with many aspects of social and not-for-profit enterprises, including the UN Youth Association, Davis Projects for Peace, and Disability Employment Services. The insight Amra has gained throughout her experiences has strengthened her underlying passion for working with and assisting people. Amra thrives on working with others to solve real issues with a social impact in a multicultural, dynamic and fast-paced environment. Amra is a strong believer in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Business as critical to creating sustainable, long-term change.

Amra coordinates local media relations and communications to engage corporate partners, drive outreach and support. She is also the project lead for Project Inspire - UN Women Singapore and MasterCard's global competition for social entrepreneurs. Click here for Amra Naidoo's Bio.

amra.naidoo@unifem.org.sg


Soha Yassine, Communications and Fundraising Manager

Soha Yassine was born in Beirut, raised in Los Angeles, and is currently living in Singapore. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree from the Uiversity of California, Los Angeles in World Religions and her Master's of Arts from Claremont Graduate University in Islamic Studies. Despite her passion for world cultures as manifested through religious traditions, Soha felt compelled by concern over global affairs to resign her dream of being a professor and enter the world of international development.

She brings 6 years of digital communications, volunteer management, outreach, advocacy, and fundraising experience. Prior to joining Singapore Committee for UN Women, Soha worked on international campaigns with Oxfam America and Greenpeace USA. Click here for Soha Yassine's Bio.

soha.yassine@unifem.org.sg


Office Interns

Safarina Seloterio, Intern

My name is Safarina and I will be starting my fourth year as an undergraduate at Singapore Management University, pursuing a double major in Political Science and Public Policy & Public Management. I love music, spending time with my loved ones and discovering interesting facts. I am also a big animal lover, volunteering at SPCA Singapore in my free time with a dream of opening an animal shelter in the future.

I have developed strong interests in politics and international relations at a young age, particularly in social policy and am very fortunate to be able to pursue a degree in a field that I love. Recognizing the importance of effective policies and legislations, I aspire to make positive changes with issues related to gender equality and poverty.

I work best in a team and I love meeting people from all over the world. I enjoy being part of several organizing committees, developing my skills to work efficiently in a team as well as improving my leadership capabilities along the way. I am also currently the Senior Presidential Advisor in my university's Student Council of Discipline where we aim to inform the student community the behavioural standards expected of SMU students.

I am highly passionate in providing assistance and aid to oppressed women and girls. G.B. Shaw has stated that the worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity. Everyone should play a part to provide as much assistance in any shape and form in making the world a more equitable place for women and girls everywhere.


Valery Heng, Intern

My name is Valery and I have just completed my second year of university studying Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore. I love photography, travelling to new and exciting places and reading. I also love yoga and try to practice my handstands at least once a day.

I am taking a gap semester to work with UN Women Singapore. While not many people would want to delay their graduation, I see this internship as a wonderful opportunity to do my part in helping women in need in the region. My strong interest in Gender issues began in Junior College and continued in university when I took a module on Gender studies in South Asia and learnt about the severe manner in which some women are treated in some regions. I also learnt how human trafficking is still rampant in today's world.

All this has spurred my desire to do more to help disadvantaged women in the world.

Through this internship, I hope to learn new things and to also put what I have learnt in my two years of university into practice. Ultimately, I hope to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need.


Erni Salleh, Intern

The desire to be of service to other women has always been an integral part of my growing up life; starting with my 3-year old self's ambition to be an obstetrician. This was hardly a surprise as I come from a large matriarchal family that valued mothers and daughters greatly and invested a lot of time and resources in us to help us achieve great things in life.

Although I didn't grow up to deliver newborns into this world, I always knew that was much more to be delivered for this world and completing my Honours degree in Sociology and History was a stepping stone in that direction. For me, it was an intellectual awakening where social issues centering on inequality came to the forefront of my attention and passion.

Of specific interests to me are the rights of domestic workers in Singapore and the regional and international migration patterns that contribute to the injustices that women face, such as abuse and trafficking. Which is why, I consider my role in public awareness initiatives both an important and challenging one. Having the opportunity to work with youths and be part of the generation of changemakers is truly an exciting journey for me and one that I hope to continue supporting and campaigning beyond my portfolio with the UN Women Singapore.



Office Alumni "you'll have a home here"

Sumita Kunashakaran, Intern

When I am not reading about international policies, travelling the world attending conferences and meeting diverse people from a vast array of cultures, I'm usually with my family and close friends, or watching reruns of Yes, Minister and other political satires. I have also been actively involved with programmes that aim to educate the youth about the dangers of drug abuse and various other youth camps that inspires the younger generation to play an active role in the sustainability of our environment.

Having completed my Bachelor in Sociology from the University at Buffalo and awaiting my commencement of postgraduate studies in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, I am making the most of my time at UN Women Singapore by giving back as much as I can to the international community of women who lack opportunities that I have simply by virtue of their gender. My involvement in Project Inspire has given me the opportunity to realise the huge motivation that aspiring changemakers have in empowering the lives of women within the region and beyond.

My stint in the Singapore military also played a vital part in how I view the international environment. Having studied treaties and protocols has definitely helped me to gain a deeper understanding of the utter devastation that warfare, introduced by national policies, can bring about. My goal is to play an integral role in the fields of international policy making and work closely studying the analyses of social movements and how governmental policies are influenced. I aim to venture into non-profit international organizations in order to make a positive impact on the global community, especially in terms of progressive educational and social policies.

My name's Sumita and I am the change I wish to see in the world.


Marisse Gabrielle Reyes, Fundraising and Communications Manager

Always being creative and inspired by the many layers of life, Marisse Gabrielle Reyes was initially drawn to the world of design and fashion. Writing for publications such as Harper's BAZAAR Singapore and graduating from LASALLE College of the Arts with a BA in Fashion Management, Marisse always felt there was an ungrown seed in her that wanted to sprout.

During a housing build trip with Gawad Kalinga in the Philippines over a year ago, she felt that sprout starting to grow. Here, Marisse reawakened the truth of interconnectedness and the fact that it is each person's responsibility to compassionately uplift the communities and environment in which they share the earth with. Since that experience, Marisse has delved into several NGOs in Singapore such as AWARE, Jane Goodall Institute and now the Singapore Committee for UN Women.

Since joining the Singapore Committee for UN Women, Marisse has taken on the the Singapore Committee for UN Women MoneySend project and marketed it to several migrant groups from various ethnic backgrounds. And has included value added services to the program that benefit the migrant's community in Singapore and in their own countries (such as free financial talks and workshops conducted by newly signed on partner, ipac).

Marisse aspires to merge meaningful and inspired work with her daily life.


Sylvia Koh

I'm an aspiring journalist and writer in my third year of Mass Communications in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. I opted to intern at the Singapore Committee for UN Women to gain firsthand insight into the various gender-based issues present in our society, the region, and beyond, and more importantly, how they are tackled. I've always had a strong interest in social politics and identity politics - more expressly in the areas of gender, sex, and sexuality. I'm trying to continually educate myself; raise questions, and perhaps, be a part of the conversation. Indeed, quite glad to have already joined the fray in my own small way. Before joining the Singapore Committee for UN Women, I interviewed a man who said that purveyors of gender equality live in fantasy, for "some animals are more equal than others". For an Orwell fan, that was absolutely abrasive to my ears. And I believe he missed the point. As do many who say with certitude: This is the immutable state of the world. The fight for gender equality, as with many other fights for equality, aim to eradicate inequality without the naivete of seeking success in absolute, but with the wisdom of seeing success in progress. It's one notion that has stuck and shaped much of my attitude. As an aside, and auxiliary proof of my lack of a social life (as if necessary), I also spend a lot of time buried in music and books. Favourite musicians: The National, Regina Spektor, Sleater-Kinney, Pixies, Arcade Fire, The xx, and Violent Femmes. Favourite novel: 1984 by George Orwell.


Sara Shaaban

My name is Sara Shaaban. I am Egyptian/French, born in Singapore. I am 20 year old, studying Psychology, Art Therapy and Spanish. One of my many dreams and goals is to open my own private practice in Chicago. It will be a Holistic and Healing Art Therapy Center for Exceptional Children (Children with Autism) or to work with a NGO somewhere in the world on a hands on basis.

For 8 or 9 years now, I've been traveling to Costa Rica working with two communities of women and children promoting self empowerment. For the first two years, I was traveling with a group from my church but after taking groups fell through, I took on the project myself and have been going ever since taking with me my family, friends, people from my church community.

I have been promoting and creating a safe and peaceful environment for the women and their children and also teach English for an after school program. I built community centers within both communities ( La Promesa and La Carpio) and have involved my church (Unity Church on the North Shore), grade school (Sacred Heart School Chicago), high school (Loyola Academy Wilmette Illinois) and Evanston community. Through these communities here in Illinois, we have been able to provide thousands of donations for both communities. Along with the donations, I created a calendar with my photographs of the women and children and sold it in the US to provide funds to help with the repair of particular houses in the community.

Everything I do, because it is who I am, involves deep love. I have a true and genuine love for people. Through my deep faith in God, my passion for change and equality, a strong sense of peaceful community and love, I have been living my life exactly the way I know I am meant to. I am up to many things in my life and can do this because I live through the power of communication, effective listening and authenticity.


Syafiqah Omar, Intern

Syafiqah Omar graduated from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) in July 2011 with a degree in Communication Studies, majoring in journalism.

She has written for various publications including The Straits Times on topics ranging from architecture, graffiti art, science as well as travel. In 2010, Syafiqah interned for Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, Dawn News, where she spent 6 months in Karachi writing as well as packaging news for its online desk, Dawn.com. Prior to that, she has lived in Mexico for 5 months in 2009 learning Spanish and international relations, with a focus on Latin American issues at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico's leading private university.

Syafiqah views her internship in UN Women Singapore as an invaluable experience in understanding how international NGOs operate as well as a platform to campaign for women's issues. She is currently looking to further her studies in the near future as she intends to pursue a career in development work.

Aside from her native Malay, she would like to believe that she also speaks some Urdu/Hindi, French and Arabic - and by some she means threadbare.

Catrina Cortes, Intern

Born in the Philippines, then raised in Vietnam, Singapore, and very briefly in San Francisco, Catrina's interest in culture and travel have been the few constants in her life. Her exposure to the various living conditions of people in different countries as well as her own experiences as a young child, led her to be interested in social change and humanitarian causes. Her small attempts to be involved in social issues throughout high school kept alive a strong desire to pursue a career that involved working for the non-governmental sector.

However, university kept Catrina wayward and "realistic", which led to her abandon her childhood dreams to help heal the world. It was only during her final year in university, mostly prompted by a Gender Studies class (which was taught by a greatly admired professor), that she finally regained some courage to participate and involve herself in social issues again, and to perhaps, contribute to the advancement of humanity.

She graduated in 2010 from Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, specializing in Cultural Heritage. After leaving a dead-end music career as well as her first and only job ever, she is now a happy intern for an organization that believes in all the things close to her heart. This internship with UN Women will allow her to re-learn the language of hope, which in her younger days, she was much more fluent in. Women's rights and social inequality preoccupy her most, and are one of the only two topics she has a hard time laughing about.

Catrina loves reading, writing, doodling, tweeting, listening to music and traveling (but not all at the same time).


Valentina Arias, Intern

Born in the midst of a storm in the Amazon River, Valentina witnessed from an early age how her family devotedly engaged in various literacy and social projects with native tribes and populations. Valentina's family shaped and influenced her worldview, which encouraged her to pursue a life full of available means of knowledge through education, passion for social equality, and mutual understanding of diverse others.

Valentina graduated with honors from the department of Communication Studies at California State University Long Beach, and subsequently attended to the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Valentina's philanthropic endeavors have its roots in her native Colombia, where she evidenced the negative impacts of the armed conflict, and decided to take action against the anti-personnel landmines and forced population displacement. Eventually, Valentina engaged in different campaigns against racial and gender inequality in the United States, and has been fully committed to reform societies and improve socio-economic conditions of individuals around the globe.

As a lifetime advocate of human rights, Valentina expects to build a career with UN Women Singapore, and fulfill her dream of inspiring others through the fascinating lenses of non-profit work.


Yasmeen Kassim , Intern

Yasmeen graduated with a degree in Business Management. Refusing to be stuck at a job she hates, she has spent most of her undergraduate years exploring different job possibilities. Yasmeen unexpectedly found her passion in the social and development sector whilst volunteering at local NGO in Cambodia, and later, interning at the Global Poverty Project. Life has had so much meaning and purpose since then.

In such a time where we live in abundance, it is unjustified that 1.4 billion people still lives in extreme poverty. According to Jeffrey Sachs, special advisor to UN secretary general, we can end extreme poverty. How? 90% of it is understanding the problem and having the will to solve it. Women and girls are one of the world's greatest untapped resources...they are the key to alleviating poverty. Being a part of UN-Women, where the heart of what they do is to advocate for women's empowerment, and to be able to contribute towards the solution, no matter how little, is a privilege.

Life's short. Live your dream and wear your passion..


Pu-Reum (Lara) Yim, Intern

Pu-Reum Yim is the United Nations Youth Delegate of the Republic of Korea and is currently based in UN WOMEN Singapore to work on Communications and Youth Engagement and Initiatives side.

As the Youth Representative and the Youth Delegate of the Republic of Korea to the UN, Pu-Reum traveled to New York United Nations Headquarters to speak at the 66th General Assembly. She made a speech at the Third Committee concerning 'Advancement of Women and Protection of Children's Rights' to 193 member-states, and this received a high accolade for being freshly presented in her earnest perspective-- through the eyes of an actual young adult.

Before embarking on the journey as the Youth Representative to the UN, she was appointed as the Honorary Youth Ambassador for the Seoul G20 Summit 2010 through Youth G20 Summit in Seoul - thus was on the very front line when it came to promoting youth awareness and participation by being both a G20-blogger and an intern journalist at the national newspaper.

Featured several times in various publications, she was spotlighted as the Most Promising Students in 2011 by the national newspaper, recognizing her experienced leadership in diplomatic activities.

Growing up in four different countries, Pu-Reum Yim became an accomplished linguist and classical musician: She acquires high enthusiasm for different languages, including her mother tongue Korean, English, French, German and Mandarin, and she continually endeavors to pursue more knowledge and the beauty of languages. As she devotes full-time effort into UN WOMEN Singapore work, she aspires to be a blessing to people who needs her hands, a light people can follow.


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