Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes 2014 Official Launch

Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes (YFC), an annual social entrepreneurship and youth development programme jointly organised by YMCA of Singapore and Citi Singapore, will be launched on Thursday 22 May 2014, with Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Defence gracing the event as the Guest of Honour. 100 teams of four youths each will raise funds for their chosen voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) for the next 15 weeks till 7 September 2014.

Teams were chosen from a field of 181 applications – an increase of 56% from 2013 – by a rigorous selection process whereby the teams’ proposals were scrutinised and dissected by a Selection Panel comprising senior management executives from both corporate and non-profit sectors. The criteria for judging proposals included innovation, feasibility, as well as level of public and volunteer engagement. 

“This year’s selection was tougher due to the increased competition, but I am heartened by this development as it shows that youths in Singapore are dynamic and willing to come forward to challenge themselves,” said Mr Leslie Wong, Chairman, Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes Committee 2014. “The participants will have to brace themselves to overcome the challenges they will face in the next 15 weeks and I am confident that they will be able to make a positive impact on the lives of others.”

Each team will be provided with $1,600 in seed funding from Citi Foundation and team members will undergo training – in financial management, safety management, volunteer management, events management, marketing and fund-raising – conducted by YMCA in partnership with NUS Business School. In addition to these trainings, each team will have a volunteer mentor for guidance and support. The mentors comprise working professionals from sectors such as banking and social service, to various government ministries and statutory boards.

Mr Stephen Loh, President, YMCA of Singapore said that the mentors were integral to the success of YFC which is part of YMCA’s mission to develop volunteers.

“The mentors, with experience in their respective fields will serve as an invaluable resource for the teams in executing their projects with excellence,” explained Mr Loh. “Through YFC, YMCA will leverage on the mentors’ expertise to develop and empower youths to realise their potential, and groom them into responsible community champions who can positively impact society.”

Mr Han Kwee Juan, Chief Executive Officer of Citibank Singapore Limited, said, “We have seen tremendous success in the programme over the past 11 years with the youth teams raising over $6 million for 156 VWOs and mobilising more than 110,000 volunteers in the process. We are excited to launch this year’s programme for other 100 youth teams. Through their projects, the youths are able to pick up valuable life skills including people and project management skills. More importantly, they will gain a higher level of social consciousness as they seek to fulfill the unmet social needs in Singapore. In addition to funding from Citi Foundation, we are pleased to support the programme with more than 58 volunteer mentors from Citi Singapore who will guide the teams on their projects.”

Last year, YFC participants raised over $756,000 in support of 38 VWOs, the highest amount raised since its inception in 2003. The endeavour mobilised over 8,900 volunteers who came forward to support the teams’ efforts in raising funds and awareness for these adopted VWOs. This programme has continued to support the President’s Challenge list of beneficiary VWOs since 2005. More than 4,000 volunteers were mobilised by 27 YFC teams to champion social causes for 11 VWOs under the President’s Challenge list of beneficiaries in 2013. These 27 teams raised $246,000 for the 11 VWOs through the YFC programme as part of the President’s Challenge 2013.

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