Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) is doing yeoman’s service to the Indian diaspora by helping youths to prepare for the challenges of the world. It has currently launched several programmes, including Guidance and Mentorship (GAME) and Holiday Engagement Programme (HEP) for the holistic development of Indian youth.
GAME is a group-based mentoring programme that is aimed at nurturing the development of Indian youth by bringing them together as a community and giving them the opportunity to empower themselves and develop their talents. It develops skills in self-awareness and self-confidence.
There are three variations of GAME for youths to develop their skills in specific fields
GAME Music- Develop skills in playing percussion instruments, songwriting and music video production.
Game Dance-Learn different forms of dance from professional trainers and keep fit at the same time.
Game Photography- Acquire knowledge about the technical knowledge and theoretical aspects of photography with emphasis on basic camera handling and photo-taking skills
The purpose of this programme is to equip Indian youth with skills that will empower them to make meaningful life choices and improve their performance in life. The programme also increases self-esteem, self-efficacy, and resilience in youth. The next run for GAME will begin in March 2018.
Another programme, HEP, is widely popular in Singapore. These are half/whole day programmes organised during the school holidays. The programmes are aimed at engaging youth in fun, enriching activities that would gainfully occupy them during the school holidays and aid in personal development.
Another area of concern, particularly among the Indian diaspora, is about the lack of values shown by the youth. However, SINDA plans to raise their interest in developing a traditional value system with incentives in the form of sustained interest-based activities, which include mentoring and life skills enhancement components.
The programmes are designed in such a way that the youths enjoy themselves on top of learning new skills. SINDA also works with the schools and other community youth organisations to raise awareness amongst the students.
Revealing the secret of the excelling of youth in a multilingual and multiracial Singapore, Manesh Rangarajan of SINDA said, “We refer to the 5Cs from the Pittman’s model of Positive Youth Development. The 5Cs are Confidence, Connection, Competence, Character and Contribution.”
He added, “It’s about building and nurturing all the beliefs, behaviours, knowledge, attributes and skills that result in a healthy and productive adolescence and adulthood. The 5Cs are a framework for understanding positive youth development outcomes.
SINDA was established in 1991 to uplift the socio-economic status of the Indian community in Singapore. With its primary focus on education, SINDA aims to raise the academic performance of Indian students and youth through tutorials, enrichment and motivation. In addition, it also offers a wide range of services to support parents and help families in need.