With COVID-19 throwing the world off-kilter in recent weeks, the Singapore Global Network (SGN) – a division within the Economic Development Board of Singapore – is reaching out to connect to Singaporeans abroad, with an offer of advice or support if needed.

However, some categories of Singaporeans can be difficult to get in touch with due to the remoteness of their location or the confidentiality of their vocation, such as Christian missionaries in foreign fields.

Students in Christian Bible Colleges abroad may also not be part of other existing Singaporean student networks.

If you know of Singaporean missionaries or seminary students, forward them this article so they can be part of this global network of Singaporeans abroad.

“Over the last few months, we have all seen how fluid the COVID-19 situation can be. Beyond offering help and advice, we also want to make sure that Singaporeans abroad are equipped with the latest and most accurate information so that they can make informed decisions on their next steps,” Ms Jasmin Lau, Executive Director of the SGN, told Thir.st.

“As part of this we would encourage Overseas Singaporeans to sign up with us at go.gov.sg/sgn-covidupdates where we’ll be pushing out updates on the latest developments. Should anyone need to get in touch with us, they can also write in to us at [email protected].”


She reiterated that the SGN’s aim is not to force anyone to come home, but to ensure they are equipped with all the necessary, accurate information needed to make decisions in a volatile climate.

“Some Singaporeans ask if we are trying to force or push everyone to come home, and many of them may feel they want to remain where they are, and continue their current adventures or seasons of life.

“What the Singapore Global Network hopes to do is to make sure that whatever decisions our Singaporeans make, they will also have someone to reach out to when needed, and a source of information that is updated and relevant for them,” said Ms Lau.

“We know that everyone was on their own life journey, season, or serving a unique and special mission, before this global crisis happened.”

For example, many Singaporeans may find themselves torn between continuing to serve in their missions or pursuing a deeper study of their faith, rather than coming home at this moment.

Some will have taken a big step out into the world because they were called to serve, and will have had to prepare themselves emotionally and spiritually for years to go into the world and preach the Gospel.

“To put a pause on their missions or studies and return home may feel like a step back into their comfort zones, and we can understand why these decisions weigh heavily on their minds,” said Ms Lau.

“We want to let them know that they are not alone in these struggles. While we can’t make these difficult decisions for them, we hope that we can at least take away some of that mental burden, by ensuring that they do have accurate information to count on, someone to reach out to, should they need to make any difficult decisions now.

“During this time of global fear and uncertainty, what matters to a lot of our Singaporeans abroad right now is for them to not feel like they are alone and that help is around should they require it.

“We think that during such periods, what many of our families and friends around the world need is assurance, comfort and emotional support as they make decisions and deal with various challenges that come their way.”

This would include students worried about their school terms and graduations, parents worried about their children overseas, and Singaporean professionals working around the world.

“Together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our Regional Directors based in Australia (Melbourne), China (Shanghai), the UK (London) and US (New York and San Francisco), we want Singaporeans to know that there is someone in their locale that they can reach out to when needed,” said Ms Lau of the SGN, whose mission is “to cultivate a global network of family, friends and fans of Singapore”.


SGN website
Email newsletter
Public enquiry email address
Telegram channel

The Telegram channel, for example, was set up less than 24 hours ago (at time of writing) in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but already has about 2,500 members.

“This is a community group where we see Singaporeans all over the world sharing their experiences during their journeys home, or offering each other psychological support during this period. Of course we also use this platform to put out useful information for them,” said Ms Lau.

Given the 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) that is now in place for all travellers entering Singapore, SGN has also worked with various hotels to offer preferential rates for Overseas Singaporeans looking to return to Singapore this period – useful for those who may not have ready accommodation in Singapore to return to, or for those who may not want to live in with their family members while serving out their SHN.

Visit go.gov.sg/sgn-shnaccom for more information.