Red Cross Youth Symposium 2015 gathers Youth Leaders across Asia to effect social change

Singapore, 18 December 2015 – More than 100 youth leaders across Asia converged on Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today for the Singapore Red Cross’ Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Red Cross Youth Symposium 2015 to exchange views and ideas on youth empowerment, youth innovation, social inclusion and sustainable humanitarian action. The Symposium is graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

In his remarks*, Mr Baey Yam Keng noted that the Symposium was an extension of the efforts of Red Cross Youth in nurturing youth leaders. He was heartened by the fact that the focus of this year's Symposium was on social inclusion.

“This is the second year that the Red Cross Youth Chapters have organised this symposium. Youth have bountiful vigor, passion and capacity to do so much for humanity. It is our hope that this symposium catalyses our youth leaders to innovate, embrace inclusiveness and embark on sustainable action that will benefit our community,” said Mr Tee Tua Ba during his opening speech.

The symposium opens doors for youth to engage in direct service action and volunteer in their area of interest. The three-day event will conclude with a “Friendship Day” when the delegates get the opportunity to visit and volunteer at the Red Cross Home for the Disabled.

Last year, the P2P Symposium has initiated meaningful ground-up projects, such as Project Humanite, in which Red Cross Youth-NUS Chapter completed a feasibility study on the elderly residents of Tampines West CC in partnership with the People's Association as part of the Red Cross Community-Led Action for REsilience (C.L.A.R.E.) outreach, and found potential in leveraging tablets and similar devices for befriending and active aging.

In its second-year running, the Symposium features prominent keynote speakers from international organisations such as United Nation Association of Singapore; Special Olympics Asia Pacific; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Among which were Ms Brina Maxino, a 19-year-old Special Olympics Philippines youth leader with intellectual disability, and Ms Sashi Montaña, a 19-year-old Special Olympics Philippines youth leader without intellectual disability, who delivered a keynote speech on social inclusion. Ms Maxino and Ms Montaña will be working with Red Cross Youth leaders through plenary and breakout sessions on how they can foster social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities throughout the three-day Symposium.