23 December 2011

Singapore, 23 December 2011 - 27 young leaders from the Marine Parade Leadership Foundation’s (MPLF) NextGen Leadership Programme (NGLP), passed the test  and successfully completed their 2-week Overseas Community Service project in Bandung, Indonesia. This morning, the official closing ceremony was held at Sekolah Menengah Atas Negeri 11 Bandung (SMAN 11), the State Senior High School 11 of Bandung to celebrate the culmination of the overseas project and the accomplishing partnership between MPLF, Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and SMAN 11.

From 9 December 2011, these youth leaders embarked on a 2-week overseas “mission” to Bandung and gained valuable experiences living in a foreign nation. Through a variety of programmes; such as skills sharing, cultural home stay, leadership camp, and well building, a holistic engagement of intellect, emotion and physical rigour were involved to evoke increased sense of responsibility, resilience as well as community involvement among the youths.

A project participant from Victoria Junior College, Miss Joon Xin Ting, 18, shared, “This is a once in a lifetime experience. I have learnt so much just within these few days. We had many first experiences which challenged us both mentally and physically. We were taught lessons on humility, kindness, caring for others and how to be responsible leaders. I am sure all these skills will remain applicable and we can in turn use them to benefit our own community in the near future.”

Themed “Youth Leadership in Global Heartland”, this year’s overseas community service project objectives were to cultivate globally active community leaders and to strengthen international relationships through nurturing leaders of tomorrow. The NGLP overseas project was organized by South East Community Development Council (CDC), facilitated by SIF in partnership with SMAN 11.

“At the SIF, we believe in improving lives by coming together to create sustainable positive change in developing communities. It is heartening to see our young Singapore and Indonesia leaders becoming good friends, sharing their skills and knowledge to help shape a better tomorrow,” said Ms Euleen Goh, SIF Chairman.

The Guest-Of-Honour for the closing ceremony was Grassroots Adviser Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC. The SIF was represented by the foundation’s Chairman Ms Euleen Goh and SMAN 11 by their Headmaster Drs. Wardoyo, M.M.Pd.

“The partnership between SMAN 11 Bandung and SIF is mutually beneficial. For the past two years SIF has provided assistance to our school through training, scholarships and infrastructure upgrading. Through this collaboration with SIF and MPLF on the NextGen Leadership Programme, youths from Singapore have worked together with our students and the Bojongjkunci community. I hope this partnership can continue, through SMAN 11 Bandung, to develop our future generations of Indonesians and Singaporeans, so that we can work together towards a better world,” said Drs. Wardoyo, M.M.Pd, SMAN 11 Headmaster.

Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef said, “The objectives of the trip have been met, and we trust the youths have benefited tremendously from the experiential learning and exposure. Experiences such as this with complex challenges for our Singapore youths provide a test for their adaptability, resilience and flexibility. It also tests their innovativeness and creativity to work under varying conditions. Furthermore, the project provides the awareness and exposure for our youths in international relations, working alongside with their Indonesian counterparts.”

The eight-month long NGLP is the flagship programme of the Marine Parade Leadership Foundation and South East CDC, with the support of the Citizens Consultative Committees in Marine Parade GRC and Mountbatten SMC (Single-Member Constituency). It was officially launched on 21 March 2009 by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong who believed that Singapore would require innovative and compassionate community leaders and that there was a need to cater for leadership renewal in the grassroots and voluntary sectors.