OPENING REMARKS BY MR K BARATHAN, CEO, SINDA, AT THE SINDA YOUNG LEADERS PROGRAMME 2017 GRADUATION CEREMONY ON 1 JULY 2017 AT THE LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE
Guest of Honour Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence;
SINDA Board and EXCO Members;
SYLP Participants, Parents and Partners;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- A very good morning to all of you, and a Happy Youth Day to all youth and the young at heart! Minister Ong, we thank you for your gracious presence today.
- Today we mark the graduation of 36 youth participants in the SINDA Young Leaders Programme, or SYLP. This is the seventh edition of the programme. Over the last five months, our young leaders underwent extensive training on the themes of community leadership and social change, that invited them to better understand their own leadership potential, challenged their thought processes, offered greater insight into social and community issues and guided them in devising practical solutions that could best address these issues. Later in the programme, our young leaders will present more on their SYLP journey.
- The first step towards leadership is that of self-leadership. By being able to lead the self, one develops a better sense of independent thinking, confidence and decision-making among other skillsets. With self-leadership mastered, one can then go on to leading other individuals with common goals and eventually the community, in our collective pursuit for continuous betterment.
- Leading this multi-level approach towards leadership is the SINDA Youth Club, or SYC. It was founded in 2010 with a purpose to inspire our youth and mould them into leaders. Today, I am heartened that SYC is a leading agent in actively inspiring youths and nurturing in them a sense of civic responsibility and leadership. Through these programmes, SYC impacts the lives of about 400 youths each year. The fact that many of these youths return in subsequent years to mentor their junior cohorts, is testament to SYC’s successful efforts.
- These are part of broader efforts by SINDA to develop youth to their fullest potential, support them in realising their aspirations and encouraging them to be active contributors in society. We believe, that given the right opportunities and the space to develop, each youth can serve as a leader in society and lead fruitful lives. It’s not about leading change on a large or grand scale. It’s really about bringing about change, one step at a time, at personal and ground level. This form of change is what makes a real difference. Programmes such as SYLP entrench our future leaders in this mode of thinking from an early age.
- SYLP graduants, today is a significant milestone in your leadership journey. The community is the sum of a number of individuals, each with his or her own strengths and views. You and your peers must work collectively, leverage upon each other’s skills and contribute towards the greater social good. Be the agent of change that brings people together and facilitates positive social efforts. Never be afraid to step up and make a constructive difference. Most importantly, never underestimate the tremendous power that comes about through your collective efforts.
- I ask from each one of you two things, now that you have graduated from the programme: One, to continue developing your own potential and becoming the very best that you can be, so that you can support the community and the nation better. Two, use the knowledge you have gained at SYLP and inspire your peer circles to join you in creating change. Leverage on the resources and expertise of SINDA and its Youth Club – we will remain a safe space for you to experiment, innovate and refine your ability to identify opportunities and lead social projects.
- I also wish to thank the parents here for being a constant source of support, inspiration and guidance to your children. Each youth is one caring adult away from success, and your continued positive presence in their lives will spur them on to be the very best that they can be.
- With each cohort, SYC gains a wider network of individuals and volunteers who are passionate about making a genuine difference. Over time, this will afford SYC more resources and offer it the capacity and capabilities to do even better and reach more youths. And I look forward to all of you contributing towards this greater outreach. Continue developing yourselves, inspiring your peers and actively engaging in issues that you care about. SINDA stands by you and is ever-ready to invest in your efforts, on your pursuit to success and your endeavour to become leaders in the community.
- Thank you.