The youth of Singapore will now have a wider platform to enlighten their global perspective through serving the regional community in specialised areas such as technology, entrepreneurship and the environment. The Youth Expedition Project (YEP) coming under the National Youth Council (NYC) will be enhanced from next year.
The intake of youth under this programme has been increased to 6,000 from 4,000. In the programme, young people in the age group from 15 to 35 volunteer and engage with communities in Asia.
David Chua, NYC chief executive officer said, “The NYC’s flagship volunteering programme, inaugurated in 2000 to nurture resilient youths through overseas volunteering experiences, will offer trips that go beyond the typical notion of community service to equip participants with a broader global outlook.”
He added, “The revamped YEP could take the form of conducting an IT boot camp for students in another country or helping to kick off a start-up in an industry the YEP participant is familiar with.”
The programme aims to encourage a larger group of youths with various strengths and interests to come on board. Some of these experiences will also involve partnerships with young people in South-east Asian cities.
Chua said, “We’ve been seeing a growth of dynamic, hungry young people around the region and we want our young people here to learn the spirit of enterprise and push forward, like their neighbours ... so we hope to build more of these youth-to-youth linkages. With that, youths here can better benchmark themselves and spur themselves.”
On the occasion, an exhibition of photographs taken by YEP participants was also displayed.
Urging the YEP organisers and participants to keep their objective pure, Ong Ye Kung, Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) said , “Keep the learning natural, make sure (going on a YEP) does not earn students credits ... Not all things we do have to be for tangible results. Sometimes it’s for our own learning.”
30,000 youths have participated in the YEP since it was launched in 2000, and this is its most significant enhancement.