02 Jul 2005 SSA Youth Reach Out to Society through Youth Peace Culture Festival
SSA Youth Division held its first Regional Headquarters (RHQ) Youth Peace Culture Festivals over the weekends of July 2 through July 17. Carrying the theme “Peace@BluePlanet: Passion of youth”, some 5,000 SSA youth members and friends took part in the respective RHQ culture festivals. Training started as early as February (2005). Close to 20,000 people gathered to watch the performances including 300 distinguished guests (an ambassador, grassroots and community leaders, school principals, and local dignitaries). Minister of National Development Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, and Mayor of Central Singapore District Mr Heng Chee How, were the Guests of Honour at the shows.
This year emphasis was placed on community outreach such as collaborations with schools, and the North East and South West Community Development Councils. SSA youth members worked with other youths in preparation for the performances. Some primary and secondary schools kindly extended the use of their premises for practices. The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) also supported the culture festival as part of the SHINE festival (a youth festival launched on 18 June through July 9). In addition, the National Youth Council co-sponsored the event with a grant from the Youth Development Fund, while the Public Utilities Board sponsored some 20,000 bottles of NeWater for the participants.
Besides their regular culture practices and performances, participants of the Youth Peace Culture Festival also contributed their part to the less fortunate through community projects such as folding some 50,200 paper cranes to subsequently exchange for bowls of rice for five charity organisations.
Indeed, the resounding success of the culture festivals could be felt by those who came for the shows. Minister Mah Bow Tan commented that the “energy, enthusiasm and passion” of the participants impressed him most, while Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon shared that she was “touched to see so many youth coming together to put up such creative performances.” Mayor Heng Chee How was also impressed by the unity of the backstage helpers who had helped to make the whole show a great success. He further expressed hope for the youth to lead the era with their positive energy for the continued development and prosperity of Singapore.
(SSA Times issue 218)