Multiracial team of young Singaporeans off to Punjab in aid of the less fortunate

 

Nineteen young Singaporeans embarked on a journey of selfless and charitable service in aid of underprivileged and needy children in Punjab, India, on 7 December 2006. They are part of the Young Sikh Association (Singapore)’s community service project team to Moga, (Project Khwaish VI). The word Khwaish means hope or aspiration in Punjabi. They will return on 21 December 2006.

 

The YSA organised a send-off ceremony for the participants on 6 December 2006 at the Central Sikh Temple. Dr Fatimah Lateef, Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC, was the Guest-of-Honour for the send-off ceremony.

 

The project represents truly Singaporean ethnic flavour. It comprises participants from all the racial and religious groups in Singapore - six Chinese, two Malay/Muslims, two Indians and nine Sikhs. This is in line with YSA’s spirit of inclusiveness, reaching out to young Singaporeans from all walks of lives and backgrounds.

 

During the project, the team will set up a library and a computer-cum-multi purpose hall in a school in Dhembru Khurd village in Moga. They will also catalogue the books and conduct briefing sessions for the teachers to manage the library and the computer room. They will make library cards for all the school children. The participants collected 1,300 books, seven computers and 30kg of clothes and toys over a two-month period for the project. They have also prepared stationery gift sets for the 300 children at the school.

 

The participants will, in addition, spruce up and paint the school, conduct workshops for the teachers and hold interaction sessions with the children. They will also distribute the toys and clothes to the children and needy in the local community.

 

Through the use of international service-learning principles, the Singaporean youths will learn more about Sikh culture and Punjab’s socio-economic development issues while serving the community, which will n turn bring them closer to understanding Singapore’s development issues. Also, while making a difference to a community, they will acquire personal and group skills such as confidence, teamwork and leadership. Through it all, they will discover in themselves their ability to contribute to society, making them active citizens, whether in Singapore or abroad.

 

The project is supported by Air Sahara (as the official airline), the Youth Expedition Project at the National Youth Council, Lee Foundation, TriStar Electronics, and individual donors and well- wishers

 

 

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