SSA Youth Division Awarded Highest Youth Accolade in Singapore
The Singapore Soka Association (SSA) Youth Division as a team won the Singapore Youth Award (SYA) 2005 in the Community and Youth Services category, for excellence in and commitment to community service and youth development. Launched in 1975, the SYA is the highest national youth accolade honoring young people, as individuals and teams, in Singapore, who excel in arts and culture; community and youth services; science and technology; entrepreneurship; and sports and adventure. Besides recognizing and commending youth for contributions that benefit society, SYA also honors young people whose achievements and endeavors will serve as inspiration to others. Nominations are invited from the public throughout the year and are assessed by expert advisory committees in the five respective fields. This year, a total of 71 were nominated and the SSA youth and six individuals were honored.
The conferral took place on June 25 at the official residence of the Singaporean president. Guests included Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong and Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan. The citation reads in part: "To the SSA Youth Division, the principle of value-creation is paramount. Their mission is to live a value-creating life; to create value not only for individual gain but also for the greater good of the nation and the world at large. The SSA (Youth Division) helps young people link with bigger issues in the world, looking beyond their individual selves. They realize that they will be able to make a difference, and contribute to society and humanity." SSA Youth Division Chief Goh Kim Hua received a certificate and a trophy from President Lee.
Mr. Tan Yam Pin, chairman of the SYA Panel, shared that it was "excellence of the heart" that determined the SSA youth's selection for the SYA. At an interview for SSA's organization newspaper Mr. Tan commented: "It did not come as a surprise to me when SSA was nominated. Though you are a Buddhist organization, I understand that your activities know no discrimination when it comes to extending your helping hand to others. Not only have you extended your reach to society and interfaith groups, you have also distinguished yourselves as well as a community [that] serves with a heart. Please continue to do your best, and be passionate about what you are doing!".
Many newspapers covered the SYA conferral, including the English daily The Straits Times and the Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao.