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Working together for a caring home

Speech by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, at the Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes 2017 Awards Celebration

17 November 2017

Mr Leslie Wong, President, YMCA of Singapore,
Ms Julia Raiskin, Managing Director, Head of Investor Sales and Relationship Management, Citi Asia Pacific,
Mr Ho Chee Hon, Chairman, Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes Committee,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.


    A very good evening to all. It gives me great pleasure to join you here for the Awards Celebration of the Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes (or YFC for short). Tonight, we celebrate the achievements of our youths in championing social causes that they believe in. This year is especially significant as it marks the 15th year for the YFC. The YFC has grown from strength to strength over the years, receiving more than 100 proposal submissions this year. This is triple the number of submissions since YFC’s inception in 2003. It has also achieved greater impact by supporting more social service organisations - from 20 in the first year to almost 50 this year. Happy 15th anniversary, YFC! 

Working together for a caring home

2. Over the years, the YFC has empowered our youths to lead their own projects and raise funds for their chosen causes. Through this process, they have been challenged to step out of their comfort zone and come up with innovative ideas. From door-to-door sales, to approaching strangers on the streets, and even organising a fundraising concert from scratch – these are all examples of our youths’ commitment towards serving our communities.

Commending our youth participants

3. I would like to thank all 400 youths who have participated in YFC this year. I am sure this has been a rewarding learning experience for all of you. More importantly, your efforts have helped the beneficiaries of your chosen organisations.

4. I’d like to make a special mention of Team Edutomahawk, who will be receiving the Best Fundraiser Award, in addition to the YFC Distinction Award, for their efforts in raising more than $50,000 for Canossaville Children’s Home. This is a milestone for the team representing ITE College West, as it is the highest amount raised through the school’s participation in YFC for the past five years.  Their achievement speaks volumes about the dedication of the students and teachers of ITE College West, in being able to pass down a desire to do good through social entrepreneurship, to each successive batch of students.

5. Another team that I’d like to highlight is Solidarity (家), who championed the cause of promoting strong families through their support for Focus on the Family. Solidarity represents the network of home-schooling families, which has been sending teams to participate in the YFC programme for several years now. The team displayed a strong spirit of entrepreneurship and resourcefulness by partnering different companies to conduct robotic classes, sell customised pillows, distribute vouchers, and manage deliveries. They were also able to raise more than 15 times the amount of seed funding given to them, with the help of volunteers from their home-school community and personal networks.

6. There’s a Chinese idiom that goes, “积少成多”, or every little bit adds up. Apart from the youth participants, YFC is supported by close to 40 school partners, and more than 15,000 volunteers. Through all of your hard work, I am glad to share that YFC has raised over $700,000 for 49 social service organisations this year! Congratulations on your excellent achievements.

7. I encourage you to continue the work you have started at YFC, and to explore how you can do good better. If you are looking for more opportunities to volunteer and champion causes you are passionate about, the National Youth Council can support you through Youth Corps Singapore (YCS) and the Young Change Makers Grant.


8. At the national level, the SG Cares movement seeks to inspire everyone to do their part in building a more caring and inclusive Singapore. For our youth, SG Cares is about strengthening and sustaining youth volunteerism. We call this “SG Youth Cares”. The National Youth Council is supporting ground-up youth volunteerism initiatives through the National Youth Fund, and has issued a grant call for this purpose. I encourage our youths and youth sector organisations to tap on the fund to support initiatives that benefit our communities.

9. Finally, I would like to commend Citi and YMCA for providing this platform for our youths to make meaningful contributions to organisations year after year. I call upon more private sector and social service organisations to step forward and help nurture our youth to be the leaders of their generation, and who play an important role in shaping Singapore’s future. Once again, my heartiest congratulations to all of you. Thank you.

Last Updated: 20 November 2017

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