Training institute for grassroots leaders, NACLI, marks 50th anniversary

SINGAPORE - An institute which trains grassroots leaders marked its 50th anniversary on Sunday with the launch of a commemorative book and new identity.

The National Community Leadership Institute (NACLI) was first set up in 1964 to empower youths to contribute to national development. Then named the Buona Vista Youth Leadership Training Centre, it was the idea of then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Over the years, its role has evolved to become a place where grassroots leaders are taught how to perform their roles and serve residents better. The institute has trained over 650,000 leaders including Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing.

Chairman of the NACLI Board Grace Fu said the institute's work of grooming grassroots leaders who connect the government to the people will only grow in importance as society changes.

Ms Fu, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Environment and Water Resources and Foreign Affairs, also unveiled NACLI's new logo and tagline. Going forward, the institute will make training more accessible by reaching out to more schools and holding classes in outside venues such as community centres, she said.

The stories of those who played a key role in NACLI are captured in a new book, "Growing as One - 50 years of Inspiring Community Leadership". This includes Madam Lim Ah Yook, 72, who graduated from the institute's pioneer batch and has worked on Chingay every year since the first parade in 1973.

The public may access the book through the National Library Board's eBook collection.