Wednesday, 18 May 2016

400 Young Social Entrepreneurs Set To Make Waves In The Community


400 youths, with their zeal and aspirations to better the world, will be trying to make their mark through Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes (YFC), an annual social entrepreneurship and youth development programme jointly organised by YMCA of Singapore and Citi Singapore. The event, in its 14th year, was launched on Tuesday 17 May 2016, with Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry; Mayor, South West CDC gracing the event as the Guest of Honour.

In teams of four, the youths will promote and raise funds for their chosen voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) for the next 15 weeks till 31 August 2016. Teams were picked from a field of 158 applications by a rigorous selection process whereby their 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.

Each team will receive $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, each team will have a volunteer mentor for guidance and support. The mentors comprise working professionals from various business sectors such as banking, manufacturing and services, to various government ministries, statutory boards and social service providers.

Some of this year’s projects include: a social media challenge to encourage people of all ages to put themselves in the shoes of those with disabilities and attempt to recreate art pieces by beneficiaries of Very Special Arts Singapore to raise awareness for people with disabilities; a concert which showcases the talents and skills of the visually impaired; and equipping the clients of MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled) with life skills so that they can move towards independence and social integration.

Last year, YFC participants raised over $813,000 in support of 46 VWOs. The endeavour mobilised over 5,000 volunteers who came forward to support the teams’ efforts in raising awareness and funds for these adopted VWOs. This programme has continued to support the President’s Challenge list of beneficiary VWOs since 2005. More than 2,000 volunteers were mobilised by 38 YFC teams to champion social causes for 17 VWOs under the President’s Challenge list of beneficiaries in 2015, raising some $284,000 for their chosen VWOs through the YFC programme as part of the President’s Challenge 2015.

Click here to view more photos of the Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes 2016 Official Launch.
Click here to watch highlights from the Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes 2016 Official Launch.

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