Ms Casey Wilson is a young American woman who through her personal travels in China gave her motivation to create Wokai, an SE program designed to help raise funds for livelihood programs for young women from the rural communities. The creation of Wokai is the culmination of her experiences working with young women who traveled far from rural communities to the cities to look for work and then finding out that many of them receive little money and suffer long hours at work with little chance for career development. The talk was also notable for the depth of participation by the audience, many of them students from China who were deeply interested to see how Wokai was helping their country in the areas of social enterprise and community development
This was an event facilitated by Eddy Chong from ACSEP and Ms Cindy Chng, a recently graduated NTU student and founder of an eco-travel agency in Singapore. Cindy was the Regional Youth Caucus of Singapore rep at the Commonwealth platform and recently appointed as the Deputy Regional Chair for the Commonwealth Youth Programme in Asia. In her capacity as Singapore rep in the Commonwealth Youth Leaders Conference held in Chandigarh in De the year before, she was asked to help facilitate a SE tour in Singapore from officials from the Department of Youth Development in Bangladesh and key representatives from various NGOs. Bangladesh faces an issue of high unemployment rates for the youths with 120 youths to 1 job. Hence the government, NGOs and civil society has been actively trying to assist youths with skills training and encouraging entrepreneurship. The presentation by NUS AIESEC student leader, Josh Toh introduced the Bangladesh delegates to AIESEC and the activities that the club organizes to facilitate the growth of interest and support for social entrepreneurship scene in Singapore. One of the key learning points that came from the presentation was the SE Befriender Scheme which drew interest in the crowd who were intrigued by how corporates can play their part in the value adding to social enterprises through AIESEC.
Anugraha is the founder of Global Citizens for Sustainable Development (GCSD), a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, India. To an engaged audience of about 20 students, Anugraha spoke on how youth today can play more positive roles as global citizens for effective development. In particular, he discussed the concept of sustainable development, and how youth voluntarism can be effectively tapped to attain this form of development. He also shared with the audience the various volunteer opportunities in India that GCSD offers. At the end of Anugraha’s sharing session, a number of students stepped forward to discuss these volunteer opportunities with him. One of these students, Sivaranjani Suresh, intends to lead a team of NUS students to India to work on a sustainable development project with GCSD. The planned project will focus on waste management for the agricultural sector in India.