Speech by Mr Masagos Zulkifli BMM, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs, at the Launch of World Centenary Celebrations on Saturday, 10th April 2010, at Camp Christine, Jalan Bahtera at 11.00 am.
Mrs Joy Balakrishnan,
President of Girl Guides Singapore,
Friends, Brownies, Guides, Adult Leaders
Let me extend my congratulations to the Girl Guides as you celebrate her 100th Anniversary.
Girl Guides as a valued partner of our schools
Today is the 100th day of the 100th year of World Guiding. 100 years is a long time and the Girl Guide Movement has developed a tradition and a long history of guidance for the young girls and women to be good daughters, wives, mothers as well as responsible and caring citizens of the world.
World Guiding is a name that is synonymous with taking actions for the betterment of our society. For the past 100 years, it has contributed to nation building by changing the lives of its members. This is achieved by imbueing the values of care, concern, excellence, respect and regard for fellow citizens.
I am glad to note that the Girl Guides continues to play an important role in shaping the minds and lives of our students. As Singapore competes in a globalised world, it is important for us to continue to groom a new generation of leaders who possess the resolve to ensure the continuing prosperity and stability of our country. To this end, it is even more important that we develop them to be leaders with good character and integrity.
Helen Yap joined Northlight School in 2007 and was a patrol leader. As a leader, she helped out in many projects such as the sale of cookies, one of the flagship programmes for the Guides. Many of the girls cannot afford to buy the cookies but this did not stop them from doing their part in selling them. Helen represented the Guides and made presentations to visitors on how she and her friends have benefited from Guiding. In 2009, not only did they sell more than 300 tins of cookies, they were also able to galvanise the public to donate 39 tins of cookies to the children from Grace Haven home. This has brought cheers to these children who were in the home because their families were unable to look after them. Helen graduated in December 2009 and is currently pursuing the F&B course in ITE.
Lim Shi Yun, a Primary Six student in River Valley Primary School, is a Brownie and the school’s Head Prefect. She has enjoyed learning art and craft, sewing and cooking at the Brownies meetings. Shi Yun is not afraid to take up new challenges and has blossomed through the years to be more confident in herself and her leadership abilities. She has also gained the respect of her peers who look upon her as a natural leader. Shi Yun’s hard work finally paid off when she achieved the highest honour in Brownies, receiving the Chief Commissioner Badge award in 2009.
Moving on to the 21st century, it is up to each and every one of you, the younger Singaporeans, to do your part in making the world a better place to live in. Indeed, faced with the multitude of global issues and challenges, the youth of today has a moral and social responsibility as global citizens, to stand tall and be counted.
Persist With Your Good Work
I am told that the global action theme of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is ‘Together, we can end extreme poverty and hunger’. In line with this theme, Girl Guides Singapore has committed to 100 good deeds to meet the needs of 100 families. These hundred good deeds is also part of Girl Guides Singapore’s efforts in support of Singapore hosting the Youth Olympics Games this year. I applaud you for your commendable commitment and enthusiasm.
As you celebrate 100 years of Guiding on this joyous occasion, may I take this opportunity to remind all of us present here today to look ahead 100 years into the future and envisage how the world would look like. As an organisation, Girl Guides Singapore has all reasons to be confident about the future, provided she continues in the spirit of innovation to push existing boundaries to deliver programmes to meet the needs of the youths and grow on the existing partnership with Guides all around the world.
Finally, I would like to encourage all Guiders and those here today to rise to the challenges that lie ahead and to continue to press on with your good work in impacting and changing the lives of our students. Your sacrifice and good stewardship will go a long way in moulding the future of the nation.