9 Mar 2013

Youths Set Not One, But Two Singapore Book of Records at The Quest 2013

- nEbO shares Work Plans for 2013 at signature event, with Work-Ready and Life-Ready initiatives to promote volunteerism in youths and prepare them for the workplace

1. Over 2,000 youths conquered an Amazing Race style challenge today at nEbO’s signature event, The Quest 2013 – Survivor Legacy. Competing in teams of four at Sentosa, they overcame obstacles and completed activities designed to test their wits, skills, strength and knowledge about NTUC and the Labour Movement. The race, which was flagged off by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community & Youth, also included two record-setting bids by nEbO at the MegaZip Adventure Park and the day ended in a brilliant success.

2. A total of 802 flying fox rides and 198 powerfan jumps in five hours were made by the participants, which saw nEbO inking its name into the Singapore Book of Records for the second time. nEbO will also submit the evidence of its record-breaking attempt for a Guinness World Record for the most number of people down a zip line in one hour. However, the biggest winners of the event were the teams who came in first place in the Team Challenge and the Ladies Challenge. They took home iPads and other prizes worth over $20,000. (For quotes from the winners of both categories, please refer to the Annex.)

3. This is the fifth time that nEbO has been organising The Quest, and its popularity among youths aged 25 years and below each year is a testament to the youth community’s success in meaningful engagement with youths. Through events and activities like The Quest which are catered to their interests, nEbO aims to build a community of Work-Ready, World-Ready and Life-Ready youths by providing opportunities for exposure and leadership development.

Life-Ready Community Aims – Youths as Change Makers

4. Today, the junior membership arm of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) also shared that in 2013, it is focused on growing volunteerism, to instill social responsibility among youths and nurture more who initiate action to make a difference.

5. Taking the next leap, it hopes to ignite more youth-initiated projects by its members that go beyond one-off and ad hoc activities, drawing on their ideas to tackle issues in society and bring about social change. To engage these youths on a long-term basis and encourage them to become lifelong volunteers and Change Makers, nEbO plans to embark on a programme to provide the mentorship and training necessary. With a close working relationship with the following partners – Shan You Counselling Centre, Family Life Centre and NTUC Eldercare, members will learn and gain knowledge about the less privileged through interactive activities such as visits to homes and outings. The participants are then challenged to brainstorm for creative solutions and ideas to address problems that they have observed. To assist them with the planning of their community projects with their peers, they will be mentored and guided by senior volunteers and advisors in nEbO and equipped with the practical skills necessary.

6. Its Care community, which is one of its most active Life-Ready initiatives, has had success in encouraging youths to give back to society. Volunteering opportunities are available for its members every month and over 1,000 members contribute to ongoing efforts to benefit the elderly, children and lower-income group. Bringing youths together who share the same passion was its first step but the community has moved forward and members have graduated from being just participants who contribute to ongoing efforts.

7. When the community first started in 2007, there were just two Care events initiated and organised by members. The figure rose to 20 in 2012, which constitutes about 90% of the Care community’s projects. An example of a recent project was nEbO’s W.I.S.H., a food ration collection drive to benefit the needy and lower-income group from Shan You Counselling Centre. The project started off with volunteers helping to distribute food rations for Shan You Counselling Centre in 2009, before evolving to become an island-wide collection drive in January 2013 to give a bigger hand to the beneficiaries.

8. Elaine Lim who has been a volunteer with nEbO since 2008 as a participant and organiser shares, “After volunteering for a while through school activities and with nEbO, I came to realise that there are many people out there who need a helping hand. Hence, I moved from being just a mere participant to an activist as I feel compelled to do something more to help them and nEbO has given me many opportunities to do so. I really love helping people and it gives me a sense of satisfaction and happiness.” 

9. “Giving is well and alive in Singapore, be it in the form of money or time. According to the National Volunteer & Philanthrophy Centre’s 2012 study, it found that there is a rise in the number of people volunteering. Likewise, more and more members are joining nEbO’s Care community but there is a need for us to deepen our engagement with them and convert them to regular activists who find a cause they are passionate about and initiate change. Change requires the cooperation and efforts of many, just like our record-setting attempts today, we too believe that all things are possible when we work together,” said Mr Lim Eng Lee, Alignment Director (nEbO), NTUC.

Work-Ready Community Aims

10. Not neglecting its other strategic focus on getting youths Work-Ready, nEbO continues its programmes and events in 2013 for preparing the workers of tomorrow for their future and to encourage learning beyond the classroom.

11. The Work Attachment Programme, which was started in November 2011 with just one school – Yio Chu Kang Secondary (YCKSS), will continue and has since expanded to include 2 others – Chung Cheng High (Main) and Si Ling Secondary. An MOU was also signed with YCKSS in January 2013 to allow more students from the different secondary levels to take part for a taste of working life in the service industry.

12. Learning journeys are organised to introduce youths to the daily operations of organisations and introduce the career opportunities available that are related to their course of study. They are also informed of the roles of unions and how they play a part in protecting the interests of workers. An Industrial Exposure Week seminar is planned for November 2013, for youths to be exposed to the hospitality industry and clarify their expectations. It is also targeted at secondary school students so that they can make an informed choice when selecting courses in the tertiary institutions. 

13. Besides encouraging entrepreneurship, the annual Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium also encourages youths to cultivate entrepreneurial qualities. Tertiary students are given the opportunities to network and learn from successful entrepreneurs and interact with like-minded individuals who share the same passion, allowing ideas to spark off from the meeting of minds. Participation in these activities has been growing with the next symposium slated to be held in June 2013.

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