PAYM uplifts vulnerable families through cause based community initiatives
People’s Association Youth Movement uplifts vulnerable families through cause-based community initiatives
Youths reach out to vulnerable families as part of PAYM Community YOUthCare Festival, in support of President’s Challenge 2022.
The People’s Association (PA) will be pledging their support for the President’s Challenge (PC) 2022 on Sunday, 12 June 2022 at this year’s Community YOUthCare Festival (CYF), organised by the PA Youth Movement (PAYM). This edition of CYF has seen PA’s Youth Networks (YNs) driving meaningful cause-based initiatives to benefit those in need in the community – in line with this year’s theme for PC, which focuses on supporting lower-income families. The PA, a steadfast supporter of PC since 2001, has pledged $250,000 to the fund this year.
One of the CYF projects, by Boon Lay YN, The Heart of Care @ Boon Lay, includes a series of long-term activities and programmes to help different groups in the Boon Lay community, ranging from a reading programme for vulnerable children, mental wellness workshops for youths, and sports and heritage activities to bring the community together. President Halimah Yacob, as well as Host Grassroots Adviser, Minister Desmond Lee, will join 120 residents and volunteers at the PA President’s Challenge 2022 @ PAYM Community YOUthCare Festival – The Heart of Care, at Boon Lay Community Club.
PAYM Council member Geraldine Lam, who leads the volunteer workgroup for this year’s CYF, shared that despite the disruptions to physical volunteering activities due to the pandemic, many YNs moved their programmes online to continue to reach out to vulnerable groups. Miss Lam said, “The CYF 2022 has empowered youths and given them the opportunity to collectively organise meaningful initiatives to uplift the lives of the less fortunate in the community, especially as we transition towards being COVID-resilient. The online activities in the past two years have also helped our volunteers sustain the bonds they have built with the community, which is especially encouraging now as we see the gradual resumption of face-to-face engagement. This year, our YNs have come up with more than 31 CYF projects to reach out to over 3,000 volunteers and participants.”
Chairperson of Boon Lay YN, Chia Zhao Wei, felt it was important for him and his group of volunteers to continue to engage children from lower-income families online during the pandemic, to minimise disruptions to their learning progress. Mr Chia said, “Virtual sessions were challenging at the start due to technical issues and difficulties in keeping the children focused, but we found ways to resolve these hiccups – for example, using interactive tools to engage them and keep the session interesting. We also followed up with house visits to check in on them periodically. We hope that others who wish to give back to the community will step up to volunteer, especially during this time when the community is recovering from the impact of the pandemic”. The Boon Lay YN also rallied support from community partners, such as National Library Board and Youth Corps Singapore, to deliver programmes tailored to the needs of the children in the community.
Since 2017, the PAYM CYF has provided a platform for youths to engage and unite with other youths in the community, through a common passion to volunteer for causes that matter to them and support the vulnerable. Besides encouraging ground-up efforts through community involvement and partnerships, PA’s youth volunteers hope to relieve some impact of the pandemic on lower-income families through long-term engagement, such as the KidsREAD programme by Boon Lay YN.
Other PAYM CYF projects by YNs island-wide include regular fresh food distribution to seniors staying in rental blocks, youth mentorship programmes, hands-on magic workshops and kayaking expeditions for children of lower-income families to engage them in fun and meaningful activities.