Members of Girls Brigade Singapore pick up technology skills to better serve community

Girls Brigade Singapore members demonstrating how to use a voice-enabled device programmed by them to President Halimah Yacob at the Girls Brigade Friendship Day 2018 on July 14, 2018.
Girls Brigade Singapore members demonstrating how to use a voice-enabled device programmed by them to President Halimah Yacob at the Girls Brigade Friendship Day 2018 on July 14, 2018.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Girls Brigade Singapore (GBS) members, in addition to singing and dancing, are now teaching the needy how to use a voice-enabled device programmed by them.

GBS partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to conduct eight-hour instructor-led workshops on cloud computing and coding skills, among other things, for members as part of their curriculum.

GBS members demonstrated their new found skills at the Girls Brigade Friendship Day 2018 on Saturday (July 14) which President Halimah Yacob attended.

Equipping members with the new skills is part of a GBS initiative, D-Serve, to enable them to better serve the community.

"We are pleased to be partnering the various digital and education institutions to align GBS with the national movement of being a Smart Nation, by leveraging on technology to improve our serve, being digitally ready for the future of the work and equipping our girls with new and relevant skills," said Mrs Evangeline Chong, Brigade Commission of GBS.

The voice-enabled device that the members designed to aid the needy is Alexa.

"I think it is very important to learn about technology as it will make life easier for a lot of people. In order to help the needy, we programmed Alexa to be able to switch the lights on or off. This will help them as they can use their voice instead of having to walk and switch off the lights and will be lesser trouble for them," said Joyce Tan, 13, a secondary 2 student from Fajar Secondary School and GBS member who mastered the new skills.

GBS also partnered with Temasek Polytechnic, Girls in Tech Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority to educate members on technological skills.

"By empowering the young generation with cloud computing skills, it builds a future-ready workforce that is critical for Singapore's economic growth as the nation drives towards an innovation-driven economy," said regional head of education for Asia pacific and Japan at AWS, Mr Vincent Quah.