South West CDC boost for environmental projects

South West CDC boost for environmental projects

SINGAPORE - Funding and mentorships are now available for young people in the South West District who want to make a difference to the environment.

Those aged between 17 and 35 can submit proposals to the South West Community Development Council starting next month, and get up to $10,000 from a total pool of $100,000 to implement their ideas.

They will also be able to get guidance from mentors - industry experts who will be able to provide advice on issues like how to change existing mindsets and behaviours.

Projects will be implemented over a period of six months to a year.

"I think youth have lots of energy - they are very passionate about environmental issues," said South West District Mayor Amy Khor, who launched the new fund at the South West district's annual environmental event on Sunday.

"We thought that this fund would be useful in providing them with the resources to initiate useful, impactful, and creative projects in the community."

One of the mentors is Mr Calvin Tan, former president of the National University of Singapore's environmental advocacy group, NUS Students Against Violation of the Earth (Save).

"I had very good seniors that served as mentors to us," he recalled, explaining why he decided to accept the mentorship role.

"I want this opportunity as a way to remove obstacles that young people might be facing as volunteers."

For example, he said, young volunteers do not always realise that environmental projects go beyond just raising awareness through public exhibitions, and that they should work with other stakeholders as well.

Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, who was guest of honour at the event, said that it was important to get businesses on board the recycling bandwagon as well.

"All our efforts at recycling will fail if there is no scope for businesses to be viable, to make some money out of this effort," he said.

"This has to be one which businesses can participate in, can see value in, can make an effort."

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