Five things youths can look forward to from MCCY COS 2022
Many more initiatives are being put in place to ensure that youths have a space to speak out and create change in the coming years.
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s Committee of Supply Debate 2022 has just wrapped up, with many changes being announced for the future of the arts, sports and philanthropic scenes in Singapore.
However, an emphasis was also placed on how youths would be given more of a platform to make change moving forward, as well as the resources that would be allocated to helping Singaporean youths succeed.
Here are five notable things youths can look forward to that were brought up during MCCY COS 2022.
1. Broader network for mental health and new peer support networks
One of the focuses was how the government prides itself on prioritising mental health, and how to build a better framework to support such movements in Singapore. This will be done in two ways: peer support programmes and the broadening of the current Youth Mental Well-being Network (YMWBN).
The National Youth Council (NYC) will partner with a few Youth Sector Organisations (YSOs) like Campus PSY and Young NTUC to create peer support programmes both online and in the workplace.
Youth Corps Singapore will also offer trained peer supporters from ITE, polytechnics and universities volunteering opportunities, either at The Red Box in Somerset or within the larger Singaporean community.
The YMWBN will also be expanding to cover a wider range of citizens, and is set to help citizens develop ground-up projects and new innovations for the population’s mental health and well-being.
2. More opportunities to be mentored throughout life stages
The Mentoring Alliance for Action (AfA) will also be expanded. Its aim is to cultivate mentoring culture in Singapore, and will target those aged 17 to 25 that need mentorship throughout life transitions and in their careers.
180 organisations and working professionals have already pledged to assist the Mentoring AfA in achieving this, and a new initiative will be launched by the end of March 2022 in accordance with AfA.
The initiative is titled WeConnect, and will be a dedicated online platform where youths can find mentors that identify with their needs and current stage in life from organisations across different industries.
A similar initiative — the Career Advice and Mentoring Programme — is currently in its pilot testing phase for ITE students who chose to prematurely leave the school.
3. More internship and study opportunities
In conjunction with Mentoring AfA is the introduction of more internship opportunities for students. The Asia-Ready Exposure Programme (AEP), which was previously used to support virtual overseas learning programmes, will now also support students partaking in travel-based programmes.
The AEP has already been put in place by the MCCY, and will restart operations when international travel for Singaporeans resumes.
In addition, SportCares — an initiative that makes sports accessible to all in Singapore — will be offering $400k for 20 youths to pursue higher education.
These include NITEC and Higher NITEC courses, polytechnic diplomas, and undergraduate degrees in local universities.
SportCares will also be increasing opportunities for those aged three to 16, by offering the SportCares Bursary Scheme to up to 1,400 of these youths and children. The scheme will allow these young people to pursue ActiveSG programmes for a minimum of one season (10 weeks), in the hopes that it will help them build camaraderie and increase their social and sports experiences.
4. More resources to empower and educate youths
The MCCY is also committed to ensuring that young voices across Singapore are heard, with resources to empower and educate youths being allocated in the coming months.
Both MCCY and NYC will be partnering with agencies to to help youths gain a holistic understanding of issues in Singapore, and will develop tools in accordance to what Singaporean youths have stated are current issues they face.
These include a conversational toolkit to facilitate dialogues about societal issues, and a campaign educating youths on topics like race, religion and intergenerational bonding from diverse viewpoints. Topics like cancel culture will also be brought up, teaching Singaporean youths how to tackle such modern issues.
Since land space is an issue, old spaces will also be refurbished to become accessible to all. MCCY aims to provide all age groups fair access to these spaces, and the renovations will make these old spaces relevant once more so that incoming generations can enjoy the same spaces as previous generations.
5. Youth involvement in the Somerset Belt
Lastly, the Somerset Belt will be revitalised as part of the Youth Action Plan. Both MCCY and NYC have been working on making it a dedicated space for youths, and have been taking the input of over 240 youths in its revitalisation.
MCCY and NYC have also partnered with institutions like Singapore Polytechnic and the Singapore Management University to translate students’ ideas into real-world applications.
So far, Somerset Belt has supported over 20 thousand youths in pursuing causes like the arts, environmentalism and e-sports. Going forward youths will be able to run events about causes they are passionate about, such as sustainability and disability, and their installations will be featured along Somerset Belt and Orchard central.
With so many initiatives and support systems being put in place, it is the hope of both MCCY and NYC that more youths will step forward and help to make actionable change in the coming years.
MCCY is calling all youths to join the Youth Action Challenge when it starts its fourth season, so they can meet like-minded individuals, pitch their own ideas, and create projects that will move Singapore forward through the next generation.