Lending A Hand To Singapore's Youths At Risk

Last edited on 24 Dec 2015
As we approach the year end feeling thankful for all the milestones that we have achieved, both individually and as a company, we come to realise it’s easy to forget about those around us. When Freeboh was founded, one of the motivations was because we wanted to serve the community of part-time workers in Singapore and youths are certainly a significant part of that. We wanted them to be able to work, to be able to help themselves and their families achieve a better sense of financial stability while juggling multiple commitments. 

CampVision started 12 years ago by its long-serving Chair, Suan Wei and two of her friends. It is a volunteer-driven movement made up of individuals who share a common vision to contribute and make a difference in the lives of youths at risk. These youths come from different backgrounds and social circumstances, and many do not have the privilege of parents with the time and energy to nurture and guide them on the right path. CampVision came forward, and instead of frowning upon them like the society does, they took the initiative to understand them and carry out improvement programs to motivate and encourage them to go back on the right path. 

A few of us from Freeboh were invited to a small part of CampVision’s 2015 Live Your Dreams camp at Camp Serimbun which was held from 4th to 6th Dec.There, we caught a glimpse of how through the activities at its annual camp, CampVision would break down barriers and empower youths towards their true potential. We participated in a what seemed initially like a simple task—everyone took turns to charge towards their goals which they have earlier illustrated on a board. The board was held up by somebody in the group and it was a short 10 metre dash towards it. On one side, you have a group of your friends playing the angel in your head cheering you on, while on the other side you’ve got those holding the pitchforks and whispering (or shouting) all the reasons why you might fail. Sounds simple enough? Here’s the catch - literally… You’ve got the biggest chaps on the team grabbing you (or the harness you’re made to don) and pulling you back each exhausting step of the way… Until you fall and smell the soil up close and pull at grass to try to inch forward, while keeping your eyes on the goal. 

At the end of it, all the participants managed to overcome all the hurdles and reached their goals! Everybody in the group leapt and cheered out with joy and exhilaration every time someone reaches their goals. Life's constant struggles played out for each participant (volunteers and campers alike) in this epic way, and can be overcome through determination, reduced almost everybody to tears (ours included). 

It was a powerful lesson that there will be struggles if we want to achieve our goals. To succeed, one needs to persevere and dig deep and push ahead. We see youths who have been transformed, coming back in subsequent years to contribute as youth leaders and to be role models for the new cohort. What was once shattered hopes and dreams in the youths were replaced with renewed hope for their future.