On 3 and 4 of July 2017, Disabled People’s Association conducted a disability awareness talk and sharing session to raise awareness amongst the participants of the Youth Corps, Singapore (YCS) Leaders Programme. In this project, DPA and Sustainable Living lab (SL2) worked together with Youth Corps, Singapore. Sustainable Living Lab is a social innovation lab and a social enterprise established in 2011. It aims to build a sustainable future through community building, technology experimentation and social innovation. In 2015, SL2 received the honour of winning the President’s Challenge Youth Social enterprise of the Year Award. Youth Corps Singapore is a national institution that supports young Singaporeans who are keen to serve the community. As the champion for youth volunteerism, it harnesses the energy and passion of youths to ignite positive change in the society through community service.
Successful community building involves developing leaders who are able to contribute and build inclusive communities. DPA focused on providing meaningful learning experience to the participants as we understand the importance of youth engagement to promote inclusion of people with disabilities. The participating youths were trained to ‘Learn and Lead to Serve and Include’ by taking up leadership roles to build an inclusive society where persons with disabilities are accepted, valued and included.
DPA’s disability awareness talk and simple experiential activities helped the participants to develop a better understanding about the abilities and needs of persons with disabilities. They learned about different types of disabilities and practical tips for interacting with persons with disabilities. The participants were also given opportunity to explore the neighbourhood to identify the barriers faced by persons with disabilities.
On the second day, DPA shared about volunteering and project management in the context of disability and inclusion. This session was organised following the Human Library concept. The Human Library is a concept birthed in Denmark in 2000 and is now organised all over the world. In a Human Library, real people are on loan to readers, giving readers the opportunity to listen to their stories first-hand. Ms Asha Karen (Training Consultant, DPA) was the human book and she shared her experience and answered the questions of participants. The sessions were attended by sixty five participants.
Youth are a great resource, capable of making significant contributions to entire community. Establishing opportunities for the youth to be involved in community building, policy and advocacy is important. DPA looks forward to more opportunities to engage and empower our youth to build an inclusive Singapore.