YouthSpeak: A series of SG50 conversations organised by National Youth Council Singapore on 10 April 2015

Thank you National Youth Council Singapore and Edelman for the invitation to this Youthspeak: A Series of SG50 conversation. This is the first of 50 conversations for the Youths to be held in Singapore.

This inaugural session of YOUTHSPEAK as we reflect on the opportunities and challenges ahead, and exchange stories on how we as youths can shape Singapore’s future. For this session of YOUTHSPEAK, it focuses on Youths and Social enterprises and Passion. This event was held at Barber Shop by Timbre @ The Arts House.

This event was hosted by Greta Georges. Guest-of-honour for this event was Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Chairman, National Youth Council. The 2 Guest Speakers for this events were Ms Kuik Shiao Yin, Nominated Member of Parliament and Creative Director and Co-founder of The Thought Collective,  and Mr Edward Chia, Co-founder and Managing Director of Timbre Music Group.

The 2 speakers are social entrepreneurs. Mr Edward Chia hires ex-convicts and delinquents in his company as well as provide a platform for local singers (such as Jack and Rai, Goodfellas) and dancers (lindy hop) to perform and showcase their talents. Ms Kuik Shiao Yin

The youth participants were given cards to pen down their thoughts and aspiration and what they can be as the pioneers of tomorrow. All the written cards will be showcase in an exhibition in November 2015. At least of 1 of written cards will be mentioned during the conversation and my written card was selected.

Here’s what I had written down:

What I had written down was from the bottom of my heart. We are all unique individuals, with different strengths and skills.

小人物的心声 (Xiao Ren Wu De Xin Sheng) –

The lyrics of this song really reflected on what I felt then. Of course, as part of the pioneers of tomorrow, this is part of my aspirations.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Reflections for the conversation:

Singapore has changed a lot over the past 50 years.

From this

IMG_7041a

To this

Singapore is a small place with limited resources. It was not easy for our pioneer leaders to turn Singapore from a 3rd world nation to a 1st world nation over a short period of 50 years. Our government had to find ways and means to innovate ideas to find solution to solve water shortage problems.

IMG_1619And voila – NeWater is 1 of the greatest innovations in Singapore. We need it, we drink it, we use it. It became part of our daily lives.

Recently, our founding prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew had left us. However, we will not forget about what his team and himself had worked together to build Singapore into a better place.

This is one of the songs that represents that SG50 and what our pioneer leaders overcame a lot of things to fulfil their dreams.

There were quite a lot of discussion going on during the conversation.

I totally agree with the speakers that people do deserve second chances in their lives. It is not easy for people to accept people with records. It is also not easy for people who failed or given up their lives after hearing bad news. If special people put in special effort and attention on them, they may change into a better person. Why not?

Life choices is like a forked road.We have choices and paths to choose from. Sometimes we have to make decisions to choose the path that we wanted to go. Such as after PSLE, we have to make decisions to choose the secondary schools. We are humans and we may err. Sometimes when we choose the wrong path, we regret and some may learn from the mistakes and look forward. Sometimes, we may get condemned and no one gives the support. Sometimes, with people supporting and guiding you, you may become strong and move on. Failure is the stepping stone to sucess.

I do have passion and hobbies. However, I do not pursue my passion as my career. Passion can be our hobbies that we can do during our free time. Why not? Do not give up passion just because of obstacles. Life still have to go on. We can figure out a way to intergate our passions into our careers somehow. Or join a hobby association to make friends with similar hobbies.

I felt that Ms Kuik said something very good about life and resilence. Sometimes it is good to expose the tough side of life to make people understand situations and with the setback, this will help to mould and grow into a better and stronger person.

It reminds me of the chorus of A1 – Like a rose.

YOU TREAT ME LIKE A ROSE
YOU GIVE ME ROOM TO GROW
YOU SHONE THE LIGHT OF LOVE ON ME
AND GAVE ME AIR SO I CAN BREATHE
YOU OPEN DOORS THAT CLOSE
IN A WORLD WHERE ANYTHING GOES
YOU GIVE ME STRENGTH SO I STAND TALL
JUST LIKE A ROSE

Life is not always smooth sailing one. Sometimes, people do break down over incidents. Some may reactive very negatively and unable to move on over failure. Some may become strong.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew had been through the Great Depression in the 1920s and World War II in the 1940s. With the hardships that he experienced and his near escape from the Japanese troops, these incidents made him to be a stronger person. Even if people trampled or look down, we should not .give up. We still have a lot to learn from people.

The lyrics of Jason Mraz’s I won’t give up song is very meaningful. It reflects very well about what I thought about the conversation. We should not give up hope.

Jason Mraz – I won’t give up lyrics video:

Here’s the summary of the discussion:

So what is your life story? A person who sparkles and does well in life? Or a person who just play, sleep and eat? Or s person who is willing to step out of comfort zone to make a difference in life? You decide your story.

I would like to end off with Dick Lee’s Life Story song:

There will be more upcoming YOUTHSPEAK SG50 conversations soon. Do visit National Youth Council, Singapore for more updates.

Advertisements

Stop Dengue Now (Singapore)

Stop Dengue Now (Singapore)

I hope to share this video with all my readers as dengue is on the rise. This is unexpected, however, I hope people must know how to prevent Aedes mosquitoes from breeding.

Let us all do the Mozzie wipeout! Dengue may cause death. As the weather is getting hotter due to global warming, tropical diseases will be on the rise. So do take care and prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. Drink more water as well.

Panda craze is coming to River Safari & Singapore

Singaporeans are too excited for the public view of Kai Kai and Jia Jia at River Safari on 29 Nov 2012. Are you excited? I am sure most of us look forward to see them.

They will be one of the most attractive attractions in the River Safari, Singapore, as pandas are not frequently seen in many zoos around the world. Except for some zoos in Japan, US as well as China. I had seen pandas in Beijing Zoo. Pandas are adorable yet they are endangered species as pandas only eat particular species of bamboo as their food.

I hope people can do their part to save the pandas from being extinct. Visit www.panda.org (WWF) and save their habitat.

Of course, there will be other animals on exhibit as well. I cannot wait to visit River Safari in Singapore soon to say hello to Kai Kai and Jia Jia and many other beautiful animals too!

Walk with AIDS patients on World Aids Day in Singapore

Since World Aids Day is coming soon on 1 Dec 2012, I would like to share with my readers this event on ‘Walk With Me’ at Orchard – Scape warehouse from 2pm to 6pm. Visit http://www.aidswalk.sg to view the details of the event.

AIDS Walk 2012 walking towards zero new infections, zero deaths, zero stigma and discrimination. Registration is free for taking part in this walking event. I am sure many people  can be very fearful of HIV positive patients or patient diagnosed with AIDS and even sitting or walking near them.

I would like to recap that AIDS cant be spread while having a meal together or even walk together on the streets. It only can be spread through exchange body fluids via sexual activity or open wounds and infected needles.

You also can donate some money to help these AIDS patients as the medication for treatment for AIDS is indeed very expensive. Some of the money will be used for subsiding their medications so that they can live longer. Donations which are $50 and above will be available for tax deduction. To allow tax deduction, please include your NRIC, FRIN or RCB number and full name.

Still can remember my previous post on :

Visit to Patient Care Centre @ Tan Tock Seng Hospital & Be positive with people living with HIV

Patient Care Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital – Communicable Disease Centre 1 do sell quite a number of nice handicrafts for raising funds for HIV positive patients. All proceeds of the sales items will go to Patient care centre. If you are interested to purchase them for gifts or yourself, you can go to 1 of the stall located near Kopitiam at Tan Tock Seng Hospital main atrium area level 1 or email to gina_he_quek@ttsh.com.sg to order them.

I also mentioned about Prevention is better than cureIt is best to prevent with ABC which are:

A – Abstain from having casual sex

B – Be faithful to your partner

C – Use Condom Correctly

Visit  http://www.afa.org.sg/bepositive.php on how you can make a difference in AIDS patients’ lives.

I also hope that more people will be aware of this and understand more about this. Do spread this message to your friends and family as well.

Knut the polar bear gets Berlin Zoo memorial

I pitied this little polar bear named Knut, who died at the age of 4 years. It was so cute when it was just a baby cub. Knut, The first polar bear born at the zoo for more than 30 years, was rejected by his mother and fed instead by his keeper Thomas Doerflein.

Felt sad that there’s lesser and lesser polar bears alive. I hope people can save the polar bears & conserve them despite of global warming & ice cap melting. Some of them died due to loss of habitat & some may not get used to the new environment. It was heart-warming to see so many people being the fans of polar bears & hope people can do something to help them.

Now there’s a memorial for this polar bear at Berlin Zoo in Germany 1 year after its death. It is part of the remembrance of this special polar bear who lived in the Berlin Zoo then. For more details of the story, please visit http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/world/story/knut-the-polar-bear-gets-berlin-zoo-memorial-20121024

Singapore Cord Blood Bank

Singapore Cord Blood Bank

The Celebration of a Baby’s Birth … A Gift of Life to Another!

This precious gift of life, the blood from the umbilical cord, used to be routinely discarded after the birth of a baby. Today, this gift can be collected after the baby’s birth and donated to a public cord blood bank to help someone with a life-threatening disease (mainly leukemia).

More about the Singapore Cord Blood Bank (from the brochure they gave me)

The Singapore Cord Blood Bank is Singapore’s only non-profit public cord blood bank. Officially opened in September 2005, and was set-up in response to a demand for unrelated donor umbilical cord blood for transplantation therapy by Haematologists (doctors who specialise in study of blood) and Paediatrician (doctors who specialise in children’s diseases) in Singapore.

At present, the chances of a Singaporean finding a potentially life-saving stem cell match are slim. While there are a large number of donors of Caucasian origin in bone marrow and cord blood registries around the world, 65% – 80% of Asians worldwide are currently unable to find a match. As a result, many Singaporeans and patients in Asia succumb to diseases that might otherwise be treated with a blood stem cell transplant.

With this national resource  (for cord blood), over 100 patients have been given a chance of survival in Singapore and around the world.

_________________________________________________________

According to staff advocate from Singapore Cord Blood Bank, Singapore Cord Blood Bank is the only public blood bank which has the most Asian based cord blood.

7 Steps to Cord Blood Donations

Of course, the donated cord blood will be used to save lives of those who needed it.

For Expectant mothers, it is up to you to decide whether you want to donate your baby’s cord blood and for those mothers who have donated their baby’s cord blood, do share your experiences.

_________________________________________________________

Visit http://www.scbb.com.sg/Pages/Home.aspx for more informations & learn more about how cord blood helps in saving lives.

Visit their facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/thescbb to be their fan & spread this cause to other people.

You can contact Singapore Cord Blood Bank @ (65) 63945011 or email them at info@scbb.com.sg if  you have any enquiries.

If you wish to make financial contributions to Singapore Cord Blood Bank, you can visit http://www.scbb.com.sg/SiteCollectionDocuments/SCBB_Takeone_Donation.pdf & download the form and send it to:

SINGAPORE CORD BLOOD BANK

KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital
100 Bukit Timah Road, Women’s Tower Basement 1,
Unit OB60A, Singapore 229899

Tax deductible receipts from SingHealth Foundation are available for donations in support of the Singapore Cord Blood Bank.

_________________________________________________________

Many lives are being saved with Cord Blood available. Hope you all will consider to save more lives by donating cord blood. As what I know, it is difficult to find a matching bone marrow compared to usage of cord blood to treat diseases. I am sharing this with all my readers as I hope more lives can be saved too (using cord blood than throwing away) and this move will be meaningful. Don’t you think so?

Thank you for reading this blog post.

Shine Youth Festival 2012: Opening Ceremony at Ngee Ann Civic Plaza

Shine Youth Festival

This is my 5th time attending Shine Youth Festival event. This year theme is slightly different from the previous 2 years and that is “Fire up your passion“. So what is your passion? My passion is contribute to the society.  I did donate my blood to save a few lives. I helped out as a volunteer for some events too.

So have you pledge online? I have pledged. “Whether it takes, I will….”

Even Jayesslee, Mr Chan Chun Sing and a number of people have pledged as well.

“Whatever it takes, I will keep sharing my story and songs.”

Mr Chan’s writing on the board. “Whatever it takes, I will develop a generation of inspired and committed youth.”

Mr Chan’s holding the board with his written message

Pledging can be quite simple. Go to http://shine.startnow.sg to submit your pledge!

Besides pledging, there were quite a lot of interesting activities at Ngee Ann Civic Plaza on 30 June as well. Such as Cosmo Youth Parade (4th year) whereby people wear costumes & parade from Ngee Ann Civic plaza to 313 Somerset and back again at Ngee Ann Civic Plaza.

Some in animal costumes…

Even spiderman’s here. Have you watch the amazing spiderman?

Spiderman

Death note as well…

Death note & other anime characters

Some of them do not wear costumes, however, they are helpers to hold the dragons for the cosmo parade.

Green Dragon

There’s even dragon made up of cans…

Dragon made up of cans

Colour dragon

And the longest dragon amongst all the dragon – the blue dragon

Blue Dragon with red scales – The shot was not good then

The dragon with the red scales was the longest amongst all. About 300metres long.

Shine Youth Festival 2012 has quite a lot of activities from 30 June 2012 to 29 July 2012. A month long event organised by the youths for the youths. They also Singapore Street Festival, BB cares and many more about activities. Visit http://shine.nyc.sg for more upcoming events.

There’s a board for people to write down what they aspired when they were young and what they aspire to be now. So what do you aspire to do?

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew was part of the sponsors which sponsored mountain dew for people to quench their thirst under the hot sun.

Stacks

Do you want to play stacko? Careful if the stacks fall …

Nescafe booth

There’s also Nescafe booth for people to enjoy coffee drinks too.

There’s some voluntary organisations too. 1 of them is Community Social Movement under the wing of National Youth Council.

The other is NUS community service club group.

There’s also Team Singapore Booth too.

This is because London 2012 Olympics is coming real soon on 27 July 2012. Do catch our Singapore athletes competing in Olympics 2012 at London from 27 July 2012 to 12 August 2012.

Team Singapore athletes with Mr Chan Chun Seng, Mr Nabil, Mr Martin Tan

Theresa Goh (swimmer), Jovin Seah (sailor) were there at the Team Singapore Booth that day.

Wanna play with table tennis?

There’s also urban sport challenge whereby participants can take part & have fun. Here’s some of the challenges.

Gladiator Jousting

Sumo-Wrestling

Tennis accuracy

Hockey Manoeuvre

Vortex Smoke Gun – I did not manage to take the picture of their gun.

There are also some performances from Toh Yi Fan (Singapore’s top rapper cum NEA Eco Music Challenge 2 Young Musician winner), Charles Stitch Wong (Beatboxer, Singapore Idol 3), Ridwan Azman (Campus Superstar 3) and Joel Tan from Gentle Bones.

They did 3 songs – Price Tag (Jessie J), Baby (Justin Bieber) and Pieces (Tzire – Toh Yi Fan feat Joel Tan). Their song pieces sounded great.

Here’s the song Pieces.

Opening ceremony of Shine Youth Festival 2012 – Graced by Mr Chan Chun Seng

There’s also Dell-Intel Concert featuring Clarence Liew, 20 year old youtube singer, Jack & Rai and: Jayesslee… I will continue on my next blog post. Stay tune.

Dell-intel concert

For more updates and information on Shine Youth Festival, please visit http://www.shine.nyc.sg!