About two years after the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme (CTPCLP) was launched, more than 10 NUS undergraduates have become change makers, making a difference in many ways to society. The Programme, made possible thanks to a gift from Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of real estate development and investment company Ho Bee Investment Ltd, aims to groom Singapore’s next generation of community leaders.
“I am a firm believer in education and its ability to open doors for today’s youth as they grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow. I believe it is important to expose students to critical social and community issues so that they will be able to learn the best practices in community development. We hope that through this programme, we will be able to groom many outstanding community leaders who would make meaningful contributions to society,” shares Mr Chua.
From building a community vision for youth, to exploring the effectiveness of walking trails as a community development tool, to improving the effective use of hospital beds, the fellows on the Programme did not just examine local social and community issues, but were actively engaged in on-the-ground fieldwork, to explore real solutions. Such projects brought students closer to social issues in Singapore and helped them learn on the ground as well as from each other’s experiences.
“Many NUS students are involved in local and overseas community involvement programmes, but prior to the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme, there was no institutionalised structure to provide them with a better grounding in social issues in Singapore. The CTPCLP attempts to address this gap so that students can add value to the work they do,” Associate Professor Albert Teo, Director of the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme, explains.
One such project was “Re-Rationalising Rations”, which aimed to address the problem of food wastage in elderly households caused by pre-packed rations. The CTPCLP fellows introduced a unique food rationing exercise which allowed households to choose their food rations, using a point redemption system.
Tan Weilie, a fellow on the project, revealed that residents did not always want all the items in a standard ration, and would throw things away. Allowing residents to choose the rations they wanted not only gave them a sense of empowerment, but more importantly, minimised the likelihood of wastage.
“There is keen interest amongst NUS undergraduates in social issues and community development and CTPCLP is looking at increasing its annual intake of fellows, to provide more with the opportunities to engage in socially impactful projects,” Assoc Prof Teo adds.
For information on making a gift to NUS, contact us at 1800-DEVELOP (1800-338-3567) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a story to share, please contact us at email@example.com.