Singapore Soka Association Youth Volunteer at Chinese Primary Schools
From October 10-26, a team of 17 Singapore Soka Association (SSA) youth volunteers took part in a 17-day Youth Expedition Project (YEP), in collaboration with Mercy Relief in Singapore, providing aid to the Changzhi Primary and Xi Jiao Primary Schools of the Changzhi Township in Shanxi Province, China.
Named "Project Shine 2010," YEP, a government initiative spearheaded by Singapore's National Youth Council, was established to nurture confident, youthful volunteers who will continue to be socially responsible and active citizens, identifying service needs and contributing to communities at home and abroad. The initiative is in its second year. Volunteers applied creative teaching methods in classrooms for 400 students from the two beneficiary primary schools. Lessons included English, music and physical education. In collaboration with the schools, the youth volunteers also organized a sports event for the students, which provided the students with opportunities to experience and build team work, including fostering a spirit to take on new challenges.
Along with coordinating the activities, the YEP members donated 400 English books as well as sports equipment and stationery to the school. An evening of cultural exchange to further deepen bonds of friendship took place with the students from the primary schools, and members of the Changzhi community were invited to take part in the celebration. The volunteers from Singapore dressed in traditional costumes and showcased the different ethnicities within Singapore in a small-scale fashion show. One youth also demonstrated poi, spinning glowing sticks in the air to form colorful shapes.
[Adapted from an article in the December 1, 2010, issue of SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association (SSA); photos courtesy of SSA]