My Newsradio Scripts

These are my old radio news scripts on Singapore's current affairs when I worked as a broadcast journalist.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

In Your Neighbourhood #5 - Youth Booster Shots 25/01/02

What do you do when you are national organisations trying to achieve your corporate missions in all the neighbourhoods in Singapore?

Start up a fund and enlist an army of helpers to achieve your goals.

Hi welcome to In Your Neighbourhood with me, Chong Ching Liang.

This week, we visit National Youth Council, or NYC to find out more about the youth booster shots that it has been giving out.

NYC's Tan Choon Hooi on his organisation's strategy.

"The Youth Organisation Fund was started in July, last year. What it aims to do is to help progressive youth organisations built up long term capability, and also to help promising new youth organisations to establish themselves. In short, it support initiatives that are targeted towards capacity building. The National Youth Council already has a lot of grants and schemes but this is the first time that's targeted at youth organisations. The reasons that we are doing this is to achieve the multiplier effect."

One times two, two times four, four times eight ... that sort of thing.

The fund was started after focus groups meetings with youth activists and the lack of money consistently surfaced as a barrier against any start-up organisation.

Last year the Fund was started and it gave out some 370 thousand dollars to 7 youth organisations.

Choon Hooi said a million dollars will be set aside every two years.

He elaborates on what purpose the Fund can be serve.

"There are three different schemes. The first one is called Youth Organisation Development scheme and what it does is helps the organisation reexamine their vision, mission, and internal processes. The second one is called Youth Development Tools in Curriculum. It helps the organisation in developing innovative content or methodology for their programmes and activities. And the third one is called the young social entrepreneur incubator scheme. What this scheme tries to do is to help nurture new start-up youth organisations, who will then, in turn, serves the youths out there."

One organisation that received funding last year was Promiseworks.

Its founder member, Kevin Chan how it got started.

"Promiseworks is essentially a group founded by young professionals for young professional volunteers to reach out to youths. It started out because when we wanted to volunteer in other groups it's not easy to get involve in it and a lot of time you needed to have some experience or you needed to know somebody, so it was driven by that that we develop our programme."

For Promiseworks, the fund capital is less crucial then the intangibles it derived from being one of the winning recipients.

"We are a very low cost organisation. For mentorship, it very often costs nothing much more than time, energy and attention of the volunteer. But with NYC, it has been a great endorsement of our whole mission, our whole vision. It has been a great networking platform for us to reach out and form partnership with other youth groups, with schools and so on because the fact they know that we've been endorsed by NYC gives us a lot of credibility."

The networking opportunities that arrived with being endorsed by the local marquee name of youth services provided the group with an interesting spin-off mission.

"So we have this non-profit consulting programme. What we do, we form these volunteers into teams of non-profit consultants essentially and we attached them as teams with the management committees of youth groups and we support them and help them strategise on projects which are critical in nature to these other groups mission. It has proven rather successful. In the space of the last three and four months, and this is really through NYC's intervention, established partnership with the Sunny Island Tree Climbers, we've got one of our volunteer lawyers to provide non-profit legal advice to them. "

Another recipient of the inaugural award last year was the venerable Boys Brigade of Singapore.

According to its Vice President of programme, Christopher Lock, NYC didn't just threw down a challenge for them to re-invent itself but top it up with funds.

"The Boys Brigade has been in Singapore since 1930s. Things around us have changed around us very quickly, education, trends and fads of young people. It so happens that National Youth Council came to us and told us that we've got this new scheme that could help you. The money did come in very handy for the BB. One it certainly help to get us more resources. We budgeted something like two hundred dollars just to do the revamp of the entire BB programme. Second, besides monetary concerns, it represented a push factor where we had an external body that said 'Hey, Boys Brigade! Why don't you get your acts together and you know, lets see what you can do, we are here to help you. "

Have a plan to energise youths in Singapore but you are in a bit of financial doldrums?

Fret not,

Choon Hooi again.

"For all organisations that are interested in taking advantage of these three schemes, we advise them to check out in more details at our website at <<>> or they can also call us at any of these numbers 8399110 to 115"

you are still in time to apply for a booster shot to realise your dreams.

This Chong Ching Liang for Newsradio 938.

Related Websites:
National Youth Council



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