Singapore Soka Association Youth Join Interfaith Youth Forum
Over a period of three months beginning November 2006, 26 young people from various religious faiths paid courtesy calls on different religious organizations, held workshops and engaged in frank discussions on interfaith matters as part of Singapore Interfaith Youth Forum (SIFY) 2007. The project was initiated by the National Youth Forum 2006 with support from the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) of Singapore, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC).
Ang Boon Kheng, one of three Singapore Soka Association (SSA) participants, said she was glad for the opportunity to work with fellow Singaporean youth. While visiting various religious groups to garner support for the SIFY 2007 program Ms. Ang said she realized that people of different faiths can work together for peace. She states, "Though we have different faiths, we could choose to focus on our commonalities and take action to work together for peace."
On January 27, 2007, a panel of participants shared their impressions at an event held at the Singapore Management University attended by 200 people. The guest of honor was Mr. Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports. The finale to SIFY 2007 included an exhibition showcasing the various activities leading up to the forum such as Camp Connect, where religious youth leaders shared their views on youth issues, visited various places of worship and attended an "Interfaith Appreciation" course.
Another SSA participant Huang Suyi reported that visiting a Hindu temple and witnessing Indian youth volunteers assisting in a ceremony where children received study grants left her with a deep impression. Suyi reflected, "Being physically there serves as a fresh interfaith experience. I'm able to deepen my understanding and appreciation for a different faith community. It opens up a new perspective on interfaith learning and sharing which is so crucial for peace."
[Adapted from an article in the February 21, 2007 SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association, Singapore]