Making A Difference: Temasek Polytechnic goes to Cebu!
Youth Expedition Project (YEP) is a Service-Learning programme by Youth Corps Singapore which aims to nurture confident and resilient youths. In collaboration with World Vision Singapore, 24 like-minded students and 2 lecturers embarked on their journey to Cebu, the Philippines, in September 2023 with a common goal - to make a difference.
Inspired to make a difference, the Temasek Polytechnic (TP) Project Hope team kicked off our journey by planning and preparing work readiness workshops for out-of-school youths in Cebu, to equip them with employability skills to secure a job. These workshops were conducted for 40 youth from Cebu city, the Philippines.
Work Readiness Workshops
To kickstart each workshop, the TP team conducted various icebreaker activities to engage participants before faciliating the workshops.
The 7-day workshops sought to progressively guide participants to know oneself, set goals, and practice vital employability skills. These included computer literacy (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint), communication skills, job-seeking skills such as creating a LinkedIn profile, writing resumes and cover letters, and interview ettiquette. The participants then had the opportunity to put their new skills into practice through a mock interview.
Cultural Night Showcase
On the last day of the workshops, we had a Cultural Night Showcase to exchange cultures. We gave a short presentation on Singapore's multicultural and diverse society, introduced Singlish words, and performed a short dance segment. The youth participants from Cebu also performed their traditional cultural dances for us.
Cultural presentation by TP team during Cultural Night
Dance performance by TP team during Cultural Night
Dance performances by Cebu youth participants
All good things have to come to an end. The interactions with the youth participants enriched our world in more ways than we can express and the bonds we have formed have made an impact on our lives which we hold dearly. To our new friends: Thank you for everything you have done and farewell for now, and know that you will always hold a special place in our hearts.
During the YEP trip, we also had the opportunity to visit the local communities and interact with them. We visited a total of four different communities, including an elderly home, a children's daycare, a youth home, and helped out at a feeding programme for young mothers.
TP students sharing tips on mental wellness at a home for youth-at-risk in Cebu
Interactive games at an elderly home in Cebu
Despite the numerous language barriers with the children, youth, and elderly, we persevered and used our hearts to communicate, taking the time to understand what message they were trying to convey to us. They enthusiastically participated in the activities we planned for them.
These experiences have broadened our perspectives of the diverse communities in Cebu City, taught us empathy and awareness, and inspired us to become active agents of positive change in our communities and beyond.