Youth give shape to ideas that help society

Acting out a make-believe YouTube video. Building a 3D model - from a paper box and scrap materials - of a recreation room for the elderly. Roleplaying a home visit.

Groups of participants of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth-The Straits Times Idea Jam got hands-on yesterday, creating mock-ups of their ideas to help a voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) or civic group.

Today, 10 teams will pitch their ideas to a judging panel in ITE College Central.

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Ace this round and groups could receive up to $3,000 in seed funding from the Young ChangeMakers Grant, run by National Youth Council (NYC), to carry out their community projects.

It is the culmination of an event, which started on Wednesday, that aims to equip young people with interview and research skills to create prototype projects to help the community.

Since the first day, the 34 youth participants - aged 17 to 24 - were based at 10 Square @ Orchard Central where they learnt to create solutions based on people's needs and experiences. They also picked up research and interview techniques, which they applied when speaking to their designated VWO or civic group.

Facilitating the discussions were journalists from The Straits Times or staff from the NYC, a partner of the event.

Said Mohamed Gadaffi Mohd Juferi, 18, a student of ITE College West, of yesterday's prototype- making session: "I think it was fun and we got to work as a group. For the past few days, we mainly made plans, while today we made it into something physical."

He and his teammates want to set up a recreation room for the elderly residents of Sunshine Welfare Action Mission Home.

They used a cardboard box and construction paper to create a miniature model, complete with paper representations of soft toys and a karaoke set.

ayiying@sph.com.sg

Additional reporting by Amanda Phoon

Follow the action at www.straitstimes.com/idea-jam