SINGAPORE - The Marina Bay Promontory turned into a youthful marketplace for a few hours on Sunday (Sept 13), with children ringing handbells and hawking colourful handcrafted goods.
The Kids' Bazaar, organised by the Boon Lay Community Club youth executive committee, saw children as young as six run their own business. At booths allocated to them, they sold crafts such as photo frames and badges which they made themselves, and conducted games and services such as henna painting.
The bazaar, which aimed to teach kids about entrepreneurship, was part of the seventh annual POSB PAssion Run for Kids, a charity run held by the People's Association (PA) and POSB bank.
The morning runs and walks, however, were cancelled due to the haze, but more than 2,000 participants still showed up for the carnival activities.
These activities, which included rock climbing, balloon sculpting and even a robotics and 3D printing station, were funded by the POSB PAssion Kids Fund, which supports community programmes for children. The run raised $1 million for the fund this year.
At the event, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong also launched a book written by children aged six to 13. Titled "Our Homeland in 2065: Musings from Singapore's Children", it is a compilation of 50 stories envisioning the future of the country. These ideas span flying cars, time machines and even houses on clouds.
The book, the result of creative writing workshops organised by POSB and PA, will be distributed to all public and school libraries, community clubs and POSB branches.
Referring to the haze, Mr Wong said: "Hopefully in 50 years' time we can change these sorts of things. If you look at what the children wrote about their vision and their hopes in 50 years' time, it is quite inspiring. They hope to do many things. One of the things...is that we can have better weather, and we can control our weather."
He added: "Many of our children, in 50 years' time, it'll be their Singapore. It'll be their future...Let's continue to aspire to make sure that the next generation and the generation after that can...see and realise a better Singapore."
Chief executive director of People's Association Ang Hak Seng said it is important to understand children's views on the future. He said: "We must create space to hear their wishes, because one day they will run the country, they will be the leaders."
Seven-year-old Seet Jiaxin was one of the 39 children who ran booths at Sunday's bazaar. Her job was to sell cards made from drawing paper and stickers.
"It's fun because we can make money. I want to set up my own business next time," said the enthusiastic pupil from Boon Lay Garden Primary School.
Her mother, housewife Teo Shirli, 35, said: "It's good for her to learn that earning money is not that easy. She has made a lot of friends too."