Reaching out to at-risk youth through sports and arts
SINGAPORE - More effort is being made to tackle youth delinquency by engaging youth-at-risk through sports and arts.
The Central Youth Guidance Office (CYGO) has developed a Sports & Arts Framework that is "holistic, structured and coordinated for youth engagement", said the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in a statement today.
The initiatives will be carried out under the purview of the National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation (NYGR), as announced today by Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli at the Youth Arts Symposium.
The framework aims to help youths between 12 to 21 pursue alternatives pathways to success, provide them positive alternatives to anti-social behaviours and initiate positive youth development.
"International experiences and research have demonstrated that sports and arts can be effective engagement tools for at-risk youths. Effective use of sports and arts can help youth build self esteem, renew interest in learning and develop critical life skills," said the ministry.
This initiative, which combines efforts across the Government, community and the people sector, will be driven by three key strategies.
The first is strategic narration, which will spell out the philosophy that sports and the arts can provide a real and positive difference and engage at-risk youths. It will also seek to establish professional norms and standards for working with youths and train instructors, artists and social workers.
The third strategy is outreach initiatives, where potential platforms to engage stakeholders will be identified and service models to facilitate adoption and implementation will be developed.
The MCYS, NYGR, Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and National Arts Council are collaborating in areas such as the provision of relevant training opportunities.
CYGO will also be developing a pilot programme with the Ministry of Education, the Singapore Police Force, SSC and NAC in the Northeast (Tampines) and in the Southwest (Jurong) districts in the last quarter of this year.
Ms Nancy Ng, Director for the Central Youth Guidance Office, said: "Sports and the arts have grown in importance in developmental and transformation programmes for youth, partly due to their intrinsic value for youth development, as well as to their appeal in galvanising and sustaining the participation of youth."
"Such programmes also exemplify the resilience-building philosophy important in youth work, which emphasises building youths' strengths, rather than fixing youth problems," she said.
11 July 2012