We thank Mr Kwan Jin Yao for sharing his thoughts on Youth Conversations (Youth dialogue should address diversity and 'so what' issues; March 14) and The Straits Times for its editorial (Youth Conversations: Walk the talk; March 19).
We have learnt from previous engagements that our youth want opportunities for authentic discussions.
The Youth Conversations will be designed so that our youth will have a platform to meaningfully engage one another and the Government to make a difference.
We agree with Mr Kwan on the need to reach out to wider segments of youth, so that participants can interact with their peers from all walks of life.
We will engage with youth beyond our existing networks, by bringing conversations into different communities and locations, as well as via online platforms, on issues that matter to them.
Youth can look forward to having authentic conversations in safe spaces. They will be able to share their ideas candidly, gain insights into policy considerations, and be exposed to differing perspectives.
Through these experiences, we hope that the youth will gain mutual understanding and respect for one another.
We recognise that the outcomes of each conversation matter to them. Hence, we will be open in sharing how their views have been considered in policy deliberations.
Following the conversations, we encourage youth who wish to initiate projects to improve our community to tap the National Youth Fund.
The latest National Youth Survey shows that youth believe they have the ability to make a positive change.
Hence, we encourage all youth to step forward and participate in the Youth Conversations. They can visit https://nyc.gov.sg/youthconversations, vote for their favourite topics, and get conversations going.
Tay Choon Hong
Senior Director, Youth Division
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
Deputy Chief Executive
National Youth Council