Singapore Children’s Forum 2013: Hear What Matters to Us
Updated: Jun 26, 2021
They might just be between 10 and 13, but the ten young panellists of Singapore Children’s Forum, held at ITE College West on 23 November 2013, raised some pretty big questions about family, education, friendship, money and security.
“Is feeling safe being safe?” asked one. “What is the true meaning of love?” probed another.
Themed ‘Hear What Matters to Us’, the inaugural forum was organised by Singapore Children’s Society to serve as a national platform for children to voice their opinions. Preparation for the forum began in June 2012, when Children’s Society began polling children about the issues that were important to them. Several preliminary brainstorming sessions helped flesh out the five key topics.
“One of the Society’s strategic thrusts is to be a voice for children,” said Chairman Mr Koh Choon Hui.
“By listening intently to the voices of children, we become the bridge between them and society at large.” Guest-of-Honour Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, then Acting Minister for Manpower, added that it is important for parents and educators to listen to what children have to say, and to support them during their formative years.
“Our children have their perspectives. We need to start listening to them, and talking to them. Most importantly, I think we need to be part of their lives when they are young, when they absorb the most and are most impressionable,” he said.
Some 120 students attended the forum, which also featured five adult panellists – founder of Yellow Ribbon Project and Dads for Life Mr Jason Wong, veteran educator and social service advocate Mdm Rashidah Abdul Rasip, registered psychologist and counsellor Ms Vivienne Ng, journalist Ms Jane Ng, and pilot Captain David Eliathamby.
During the event, three deserving youth volunteers also received Most Outstanding Student Volunteer Awards. Manjusri Secondary School student Gan Bao Na, Yuying Secondary School student Kang Joo Soon, and Mohamed Husaini Bin Mohd Yatim of New Town Secondary School received trophies for their contributions to their schoolmates and the community.