Singapore Red Cross Youth Celebrates 60 Years Of Service To Humanity
  • Membership is 5,000-strong and increasing
  • Future plans for growth shared at anniversary dinner

The Singapore Red Cross Youth (RCY) today marked its 60th anniversary with a celebratory dinner attended by 450 past and present members at Ban Heng Pavilion Restaurant (HarbourFront Centre). Ms Sim Ann, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Communications & Information and Ministry of Education, graced the occasion as Guest-of-Honour.

Mr Ling Khoon Chow, Director, Red Cross Youth, shared that membership has grown consistently – to 5,000 strong now – despite increased competition from other co-curricular activities. Together, the Red Cross Youth champions blood donation advocacy, first aid coverage and International Humanitarian Law – causes distinctive to the Red Cross Movement. These programmes enable the youth to aid the community whilst creating the positive ripple effect of community bonding.

“We are keenly aware of the challenge to stay relevant and continue to attract young members in order to maintain the strength of a uniformed group in the schools. This is why we have embarked on a more consultative and engaging approach in reviewing and evolving our curriculum, focusing more on character and leadership development, and management skills, through experiential learning. These soft skills will stand our youths in good stead when they venture out into the working world,” said Mr Ling.

From a uniformed group in primary and secondary schools, the Red Cross Youth has merged with the former Red Cross Humanitarian Network in post-secondary institutions to offer student volunteers a seamless transition as they progress in their education. Going forward a train-the-trainers programme will be implemented to equip youth volunteers to serve effectively in school units, and cadets will have more opportunities to represent Singapore in regional and international youth workshops to expose them to the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

“The Singapore Red Cross Youth, through its dedication to the mission of protecting human life and dignity, relieving human suffering and responding to emergencies, continue to provide an enriching and fulfilling learning experience for our students in schools,” affirmed Ms Sim. She also lauded the Red Cross Youth for staying true to its mission while “constantly renewing and maintaining relevance” in its programmes and approaches to develop the youth.

Established as the Junior Red Cross in 1952 when Singapore was still a British colony, the Red Cross Youth has come a long way to nurture humanitarian leaders of tomorrow. The RCY lived their motto ‘Serving one another’ by caring for the vulnerable in the community. In the 60s, the RCY volunteered as nursing auxiliaries as part of the Red Cross Hospital Nursing Service. In the 70s, they supported the Red Cross Hospital Library Service, and in the 80s, they were deployed at a free clinic run by Singapore Red Cross.

Today, the RCY continues to inculcate the values of service and volunteerism, and empower youth to reach out to the community. Beyond undergoing the rigour of a structured curriculum in character and leadership development, Red Cross Youth in primary schools learn lifesaving first aid and interact with the elderly and disabled homes; in secondary schools undergo the ‘Exploring Humanitarian Law’ programme, learn about the importance of giving blood; and in tertiary institutions provide first aid coverage in school and community events, organise public blood drives, mass fundraisers and community initiatives such as Project R.I.C.E and Overseas Humanitarian Projects to transform lives.

Former RCY cadet and volunteer instructor, Ms Keung Xi Zhen shared, “I was a brazen youth when I joined RCY, but my time there left me with a greater appreciation for respect for others, self-discipline and teamwork. We sharpened our interpersonal and organisational skills through working with cadets from different school on projects and events. Not only did I learn useful first aid and evacuation skills, I also picked up soft skills that proved useful in my workplace. All these experiences made me who I am today.” The 26-year-old civil servant added, “My closest friends today are from my RCY days.”

Speech Ms Sim Ann for RCY60 Dinner

Speech Ling Khoon Chow for RCY60 Dinner