Environmental sustainability, ageing population, employment. These areas remain defining issues for many youths of this generation. This Youth Day, we speak to seven young adults on what they care about and their hopes for the future.
I hope to see more inclusivity in our workplace.
“Persons with disabilities (PwDs) are an untapped talent source, so we can certainly do more to maximise their potential through inclusive hiring. With some accommodations in place, PwDs can value-add to their organisation just like any other employees. An inclusive workplace with accessible physical infrastructure, empathetic and respectful colleagues, as well as adequate support can make for a welcoming environment for PwDs that enable them to perform at their best.”
– Brenda Khoo, 24, graduate, former APB Foundation Scholarship recipient
I wish for more people to understand about climate change and its effects around the world.
“With climate change and the rising sea levels, I’m concerned about the implications they would bring to the world, especially to low-lying countries like Singapore. Any sudden rise of sea level could flood housing areas rapidly and potentially affect many residents who lives near the coast.”
– Mohamed Ramadhan Bin Mohamed Yusob, 17, student
I hope to see more community outreach on future care planning and instilling inclusive values in the young.
“With the ageing population in Singapore, I see a pressing need to encourage persons with disabilities (PwDs) to plan for the future should their caregivers pass on. In fact, care planning is an imperative process not just for PwDs, but for anyone and everyone. I hope to see more community outreach on future care planning so that more people will be aware.
It is also important to start educating children from young on what disability is and instilling inclusive values in them, so that they are empowered to help their loved ones or people around them who has a disability.”
– Nurfatehah Binte Slamat, 25, social worker at SPD’s Specialised Case Management Programme
I hope that we can all take action and be the change that we want to see.
“The job market is quite unpredictable. I see in the news that companies are rescinding their offers and laying people off last minute. I really hope I’m not put in that situation when I start applying for full-time employment! That said, we live in a world where information is readily available, so I’m hopeful that youths today (myself included) can cultivate a go-for-it mindset – to figure out what problems we want to solve and take action. The challenges that we face can serve as opportunities to bring about the change that we want to see.”
– Rajpal Nirat Singh, 22, student, APB Foundation Scholarship recipient
I hope for a more inclusive society for people with special needs.
“As there are still people who are unaware about certain special needs condition, some may be quick to judge when they see an individual having a meltdown or displaying inappropriate behaviour in public. I hope that the members of the public will give people with special needs a chance to be understood, by simply interacting and getting to know them and their condition better.”
– Millares Neilson Monis, 31, training officer at SPD’s Day Activity Centre
I hope that we will be a cleaner and truly greener nation in the years to come!
“I think it is important for us to conserve the Earth’s resources so that it is still liveable for future generations. Locally, more things could be done, such as more education or public awareness campaigns on the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). I believe that our little actions can have an impact, such as reusing plastic bags, or reducing our usage of resources when we can.”
– Gideon Leow, 29, therapy assistant at SPD’s Transition to Employment Programme
I look forward to more accessible public facilities for PwDs to live independently.
“I have limited limbs movement and I use a wheelchair to move around. As I need my caregiver’s help in performing daily activities such as dressing and toileting, my biggest worry is that I won’t be able to live independently without my caregiver. I hope to one day be able to go out with my friends without having someone to accompany me. Although there have been improvements in making public spaces and transport more inclusive, there are still certain public facilities that are not as accessible, for instance, lift buttons that are out of reach and non-automatic doors. As we continue our efforts in building a more inclusive society, I look forward to more barrier-free facilities so that more persons with disabilities can live, work and play in the community.”
– Zhu Jia Hui, 24, graduate, former APB Foundation Scholarship recipient
While the concerns of our youths are diverse, all of them have found ways to make a difference in their communities and provide solutions for issues that they care about deeply. We were impressed by their passion and dedication towards making the world a better place!
Here’s wishing all youths and young-at-heart a Happy Youth Day!