Programme aims to encourage youth to do volunteer work

President Halimah Yacob taking part in activities with youth volunteers and beneficiaries at the launch of Youth Corps Service Week 2019.
President Halimah Yacob taking part in activities with youth volunteers and beneficiaries at the launch of Youth Corps Service Week 2019.PHOTO: NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL

A new programme to encourage youth volunteerism in institutes of higher learning will begin in June.

First announced by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu during the 2019 Budget debate, the volunteer training programme targeted at student leaders is the result of a partnership between Youth Corps Singapore (YCS) and the institutes of higher learning.

The partnership will be rolled out as a pilot, with the first phase involving training for the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnic youth leaders in the form of a three-night camp.

Yesterday, President Halimah Yacob, who is also the patron of Youth Corps Singapore, highlighted the pilot programme during the launch of the annual Youth Corps Service Week. "YCS will connect these youth with the larger volunteerism ecosystem to sustain youth volunteerism even after they graduate. Through the programme, we hope that the youth will rally more of their peers to give back to society, and to continue to volunteer beyond their studies," she said.

Launched in 2014 by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the National Youth Council, Youth Corps Singapore is a national institution that supports youth keen to serve the community.

Youth Corps Service Week's launch, which was held at Heartbeat@Bedok, will run over eight days starting yesterday.

About 2,100 young people will take part in community service projects to help 1,300 beneficiaries who include the elderly, people with special needs and children.

MAKING IT A WAY OF LIFE

I encourage you to reach out to your friends to follow your lead, and to join you in our journey to serve the community. By making volunteerism a way of life, we can strive towards building a more caring and inclusive society.

PRESIDENT HALIMAH YACOB, who is also the patron of Youth Corps Singapore.

Encouraging students to continue volunteering, deputy principal of development at ITE College Central Chong Leong Fatt said: "Many of these students continue to volunteer after the programmes are over and they become leaders. In a society, we have to remember our roots and continue to give back."

Madam Halimah gave the reminder that one kind act at a time can help improve society. "I encourage you to reach out to your friends to follow your lead, and to join you in our journey to serve the community. By making volunteerism a way of life, we can strive towards building a more caring and inclusive society," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 17, 2019, with the headline 'Programme aims to encourage youth to do volunteer work'. Print Edition | Subscribe