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Racial and Cultural Integration Programmes

date:Aug 11,2012 source: editorial staff:linan clicks:

 
Over 10,000 local and international youths from over 40 Singapore schools including private education institutions and international schools have participated in sporting activities which seek to build lasting friendships that transcend cultural and racial differences since March 2012.
 
The activities are conceptualised to provide intimate and fun platforms to encourage greater understanding and appreciation of another culture amongst the youths. One of the key programmes Heritage on Wheels, a kick-scooter and cycling race around Singapore’s numerous heritage sites, had teams made up of youths from different ethnicity and nationalities work together to overcome obstacles related to food, history and culture nuances.
 
A foreign student from Bishan Park Secondary School, Mr. Jeff Tan, 14, Malaysian, said, “We played lots of games and learnt lots of values. While helping each other in team-building games, we learnt others’ strengths and also understand each other’s perspectives. I also learnt Singaporean style of cheering and got to know Singlish jokes from lots of Singaporean friends!”
 
A youth participant from SIM Global Education, Mr. Hong Binghui, 24, Singaporean, shared, “Studying at SIM gives me the opportunity to know more and appreciate my classmates and their cultures. Taking part in the activities has been a great experience as I got to befriend more fellow youths from other age groups and institutions.”
 
The sporting activities are part of the numerous pre-summit events leading up to International Youth Leaders’ Summit taking place on Friday, July 20.
 
This year’s summit will be the fourth and largest edition to date. More than 700 local and international youths holding leadership appointments from various local and international schools will converge for the summit, which is focusing on inculcating appreciation for transcultural and racial diversity in Singapore.
 
The summit will also see the launch of a new youth-led initiative – Breaking Boundaries through Youth Transcultural Exchange Singapore (BTYES) @ Campus – as a sustainable continuation of activities done. Youth leaders from their respective campuses will be trained to spearhead team building and character development programmes to forge cohesion amongst their fellow and international peers.
 
Delane Lim, Organising Chairman of the summit, shared, “Cultivating appreciation for cultural and racial diversity is similar to farming. We need to be patient, have faith in the process and put in collective sustainable efforts so as to ensure good harvests when the time is ripe. We need to groom as many leaders who are culturally empathetic to influence their fellow peers in a long-term sustainable way. BYTES@Campus will fulfill exactly such.”
 
Key highlights of the summit also include keynote addresses by renowned international speakers Jacob Ouellette and Jeff Yalden; a global village where international youths showcase their local culture through food, clothing and crafts; and Singapore’s first-ever lou hei cum buka puasa dinner, involving 1,000 youth delegates, families of the Muslim youths and Singapore Special Olympians. The dinner will take place on July 21, which coincides with Singapore’s Racial Harmony Day and also the first day of Ramadan.
 
Joining the youths on July 21 are Guest-of-Honour Mr. Michael Palmer, Speaker, Parliament of Singapore, who will open the summit and address the topic of youth community engagement through transcultural and racial diversity appreciation in Singapore, and Guest-of-Honour Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, who will be with the youths and families in the evening for the dinner.
 
Mr. Chan will also be joining the youths in penning their wishes for Singapore in celebration of the nation’s 47th birthday. Youth delegates will be given a limited edition post-it to pen down their dreams and wishes for Singapore. These will be used to create a wall mural that will be unveiled on National Day at *SCAPE. A token donation of $2 for the post-it is encouraged, to which the proceeds will go towards *SCAPE in support of its youth-for-youth initiatives. Surplus stationery will be donated to needy school children.
 
Organised by Agape Group Holdings (AGH), the International Youth Leaders’ Summit brings together youth leaders of different nationality, ethnicity and cultural backgrounds with the aim of cultivating global leaders and facilitating the establishment of lasting friendships for the future. 
 
This year’s summit is a debut partnership with SIM Global Education.
 
“Our support for this summit is in line with SIM GE’s ongoing emphasis to nurture a global mindset among our undergraduates. We are in fact a microcosm of the global world, with 2,500 international students from more than 40 countries out of a total student population of 21,500. Beyond the classrooms, our students interact by participating in CCAs such as sports and arts and social activities. We hope that such interactions forge mutual understanding, respect and friendships that our graduates can take with them to become better global citizens,” says Ms Ho Soon Eng, Director, Student Life Division, SIM GE

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