SINGAPORE- Despite the challenges, the Red Cross Youth Society (RCY) in Singapore stepped up at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and played an important role in keeping Singaporeans safe, the Minister of Health said on Saturday. Culture, Community and Youth, Edwin Tong.
They helped distribute meals to frontline workers and encouraged seniors by writing messages to them on care kits.
Speaking at the group’s 70th anniversary celebrations at the Red Cross campsite at Opera Estate, Mr Tong said: “Our elderly people are the ones who suffered a lot because they couldn’t go out during the pandemic too. freely as you and me. So those little gestures were very meaningful.”
At the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, RCY members also helped spread the word about the importance of vaccinations.
“These efforts are a very, very strong contribution behind our current figures – one of the highest in the world in terms of vaccination rates,” Tong said.
He added that young members of primary and secondary schools participate in community service, provide first aid at school events and help raise funds for social causes and social services.
Those at higher education institutions spearhead grassroots projects, such as the annual RICE+ project, a collection and distribution campaign to provide food and basic necessities to vulnerable families.
Being exposed to this wide range of experiences and causes will keep these young people grounded and invested in the community, which will help them develop lifelong values and shape their character and growth, said Mr Tong.
“There is a lot more awareness and young people today are much more invested in their results and their future – they want to play a part in shaping the society of tomorrow.
“I think it’s been very well received, and I think the Red Cross infrastructure, leadership and programs are a great fit for them,” he added.
On Saturday, the RCY also launched the RCY Youth Hub at the campsite and Red Cross Junior @ Community – a junior club for children aged five to nine.
The club, which is open to the public, will allow children and their families to experience service-learning through monthly activities such as community service, arts and crafts, games and festive celebrations.
In addition to providing a safe space for young people, the youth hub will also allow them to learn more about the humanitarian initiatives of the Red Cross.
The Secretary General and Chief Executive of the Singapore Red Cross, Mr Benjamin William, said the RCY, which has 5,000 members, will continue to adapt and has adjusted its activities to keep up with the changing times.
He said the RCY will reorient its activities and curriculum to include topics such as climate change, sustainability and mental well-being.