SPEECH BY MR DESMOND CHONG, CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF THE SINGAPORE SCOUT ASSOCATION , AT THE MOU SIGNING BETWEEN SINGAPORE UNIVERSITY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND SINGAPORE SCOUT ASSOCIATION ON 19 FEBRUARY 2022
Ms. Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability, and the Environment
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President, Singapore University of Social Sciences
Mr. Raymond Chia, President of the Singapore Scout Association
Distinguished Guests, Fellow Scouts, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Though the scouts are often known as an organisation of outdoor explorers to many outside of scouting, we are in fact a youth movement that is centered on providing a non-formal, values-based educational programme for young people.
The mission of the Singapore Scout Association is to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.
Through the past century of youth development work in Singapore, the Singapore Scouts have always pride ourselves as an innovator and a trailblazer, from the development of activities badges which many uniformed youth organizations are now using as part of their programme to the incorporation of 21st century competencies into our syllabus and most recently embedding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in our youth programme. These demonstrated our commitment to bring the best youth development experience to our young people.
As we continue to ramp up our programme to serve more young people, we are also of the opinion that today’s challenges are complex and requires collaborations across all sectors. Traditional models of developing programme for and through our members is not going to achieve the social impact that we hope to achieve.
If we want to continue to contribute to “Creating A Better World”, we cannot embark on the journey alone. We need to seek out likeminded partner organizations and collaborate to create more value in our youth programme for more young people.
Today marks an important milestone of that journey of “Creating A Better World” as we embark on a partnership with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) to develop and deliver the UN SDGs Educational Programme for young Singaporeans age 17 to 26. Through this partnership, we would be able to reach out to more young people beyond the Scouting community as it is more important that we harness the collective strength of every Singaporean youth to tackle the challenges confronting us – be it through climate actions, the promotion of responsible consumption or the delivery of quality education, this partnership will allow the Singapore Scout Association to roll out our iconic Youth of the World Award (YWA) Programme – centered around the UN SDGs to more young Singaporeans.
The YWA is the only international youth award that is awarded by the Scout Movement through a partnership with the United Nations. Through this partnership with SUSS, the YWA will be made available to more Singaporeans aged between 17 and 26 years of age. The YWA is an educational programme that helps participants understand and act on global issues through the three main pillars of Peace, Development and Environment, so that they may bring about social change at local or international level to create a more open, just and peaceful society. We are definitely looking forward to more young Singaporeans embarking on the award programme and playing an active role as changemakers in our communities.
In conclusion, I would like to thank our Guest-of-Honour Minister Grace Fu for taking time off your busy Saturday to join us this morning – thank you Mdm. I would also like to thank our friends at the SUSS for their support in this partnership. Thank you, Professor Cheong, Professor Goh, Prof Ang, and Associate Professor Teng.
We hope that through our partnership with the SUSS, we would develop more impactful community engagement programme centered around the UN SDGs and through that, our young people will be ready to take on a more active role in their community and contribute to “Creating A Better World”.