Youth get down to active volunteering within their local communities as part of a month-long community service marathon.
Contributed By Fong Ching Hui
The National Youth Council-Youth Expedition Project held a Community Service Marathon 2011 in March to engage young people to volunteer for community projects all over Singapore. The CSM 2011, based on the theme “I Am Somebody, I Make A Difference,” garnered a successful participation of 600 youth involved in activities such as tidying up homes, packing meals and organizing games for the elderly.
The YEP was launched in February 2000 by then Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong. Since then, YEP has supported more than 17,800 youths and 800 expeditions to ASEAN, India and China for international Service-Learning projects.
YEP has been a key youth development program of NYC that encourages volunteerism among youth between the ages of 15 and 35 to embark on community Service-Learning projects. The objectives of YEP are to nurture confident youth volunteers, who are socially responsible and active citizens, who can identify needs and contribute to the community both at home and overseas.
This year, the aims of CSM 2011 were to advocate greater youth participation in community service activities; connect youths with various voluntary welfare organizations to start active community work; and enable the development of youth through personal involvement, decision-making, and advocacy for international youth volunteerism.
The month-long CSM 2011 culminated in The CSM Fair held on the weekend of March 26 and 27 at *SCAPE Youth Park, to recognize the efforts of all the volunteers who participated in various community projects. Each volunteer received a YEP CSM Collectible Pin.
Participants of the fair were treated to performances by local youths, a magic show, popcorn, candyfloss and balloons sculptures. Also included at the fair was a story video put up by the Singapore polytechnic videography team, as well as a photojournalism booth.
The fair featured over 20 VWOs in an exhibition of community engagement opportunities, fund raising efforts and spreading awareness of their various causes. Visitors found out how they could give back to the community by serving the less privileged.
Participating VWOs included Whispering Hearts Soup kitchen, Beyond Social Services, Aidha, The Green Volunteers-Pasir Ris Park Conservation Effort, HighPoint Community Services Association, NUS Monkey Conservation and Blessings In A Bag.