Youth, the Protagonists of Our Nation’s Future

Youth, the Protagonists of Our Nation’s Future

Three SSA youths were selected to participate in the inaugural National Youth Forum (NYF), organised by National Youth Council, held from November to December 2004. With the theme “This is Our Place, too”, the NYF is a four-week programme where youth aged 17 to 25 gathered to study, understand and propose ideas in the policy-making process. They interacted with decision-makers and carried out discussions with peers. These culminated in a Final Debate on two national issues: foreign talent and social welfare provision.

SSA youth participant Huang Zhongwei is a current final year student in the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS). Another SSA youth participant is social worker Toh Sin Huey and the third is first year student in the Faculty of Law, NUS, Arvindran S/O Manoosegaran, who was selected to be among the finalists for the final debate, against the motion.

SSA Youth Chief Goh Kim Hua in expressing his expectations of SSA youth said: “I am glad that SSA youth have been given this opportunity to learn and develop through the NYF. Our Mentor, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda once said to the youth, ‘It is important for you to ask yourselves what you can do for those who are suffering, what you can do to resolve the mournful contradictions that plague the world, and to boldly take on these great challenges without shunning the subsequent problems and difficulties you will inevitably face!'”

Huang Zhongwei (2nd row, second from left)

[Participants for the National Youth Forum 2004 were recruited through nominations and open applications where 60 were selected out of 140 applications, based on their essays on the challenges facing Singapore in the next 25 years, and their performance in a panel interview. They underwent a developmental programme to equip themselves with relevant skills, and more importantly, an understanding of public-policy making processes and governance in Singapore, in preparation of the Final Debate and the subsequent presentations to relevant agencies.]

(SSA Times issue 207)

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