Speeches/Interviews

November 21, 2020

Speech by Mr Lawrence Wong Minister for Education at the Citi-YMCA Youth for Causes 2020 Awards Celebration

Hi everyone, I first attended the Citi-YMCA Youth for Causes Awards event 8 years ago when I was in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Since then, I've met many groups of young people pursuing their YFC projects.

I've always been inspired by their passion to serve, and to champion social causes they care about.

This year, we have 79 YFC teams. Unfortunately, I can't meet all of you face-to-face due to the Covid-19 restrictions, so everything is happening online.

But I'm even more inspired by the work that you've done. Because amidst this COVID-19 crisis, you've put aside your own personal challenges, and stepped up to help others in need.

When the going gets tough, the temptation is to turn inwards and to focus on our own needs. That's not the path you've chosen. Amidst this time of darkness, you've lighted a candle and shown us that there is a better way.

Working on your projects this year required creativity, innovation and hard work. You had to come up with new and creative ways to raise funds and engage your beneficiaries and stakeholders.

And all of you risen to the occasion. With the combined efforts of our youth participants, 40 school partners and more than 5,000 volunteers, YFC has raised over $450,000 for 36 social service agencies this year. So, well done everyone!

I would also like to thank Citi Singapore and the YMCA of Singapore for your long-standing commitment to this meaningful initiative, which has allowed our youths to contribute year after year.

For our youths, I hope the experiences that you've been through this year will continue to shape and guide all of you in your life journey.

Volunteering is powerful because it has a profound effect on our lives. It teaches us to care for the well-being of others, especially those in need.

When we serve, we meet people in circumstances different from our own; we develop greater empathy and we learn what it means to walk in the shoes of others. We develop a stronger sense of duty and responsibility for our fellow citizens. This binds us, and this is what makes us a community.

It is this spirit of fellowship and mutual support that is crucial in taking Singapore forward.

That's why the Government has launched the Singapore Together Movement, together with a series of Emerging Stronger Conversations. Our hope is that through these platforms, Singaporeans will feel empowered to get involved, make a difference and contribute to society.

All of you are here today because you have a heart for service. You have taken an interest in causes beyond yourselves. So, while this may be the end of your YFC projects, I hope it marks the beginning of a lifelong journey of service and contributions towards a greater good.

If you want to continue advancing a social cause that you care deeply about, get in touch with us or join one of our Conversations. Remember, all of you are change-makers in your own right and you can all make a difference in building a better Singapore and a better world.

In time, I'm sure your acts of service and volunteering will inspire even more Singaporeans to join our hands and hearts together in this collective endeavour of building a better home for all.

So, continue chasing the rainbow and continue to be a blessing to others. Thank you very much.