Singapore (Agenzia Fides) - "Boys' Town", managed by the Catholic youth pastoral movement "YouthReach", activated by the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore for needy and vulnerable young people and children, has celebrated its 10th anniversary of activity of animation and care of young people. As Fides learns, the Boys' Town institution is a social institution founded in Singapore in 1948 by the Montfortian Brothers of Saint Gabriel, for residential assistance, foster care and even clinical intervention on young people in need or sick young people. In 2010, the YouthReach movement began to enter and work within the institute, whose programs were gradually expanded to school services, reception and street awareness services, sports and expressive arts programs, psychological and professional counseling services for children in need, aged between 10 and 24, without any distinction of religion, social class, ethnicity, language, culture, nationality.
Expressing his joy for the fruitful collaboration, Michael Thio, President of "Catholic Welfare Services" (CWS), an organization that takes care of social services for the local Catholic Church, told Fides: "Over the years, we have seen how this great synergy between our two organizations and the common mission have an enormous impact on helping young people in need and on their reintegration into society. We will continue our efforts and dedication in serving young people".
The "Boys' Town", supported by CWS and Caritas Singapore, aims to transform the lives of young people who do not have the opportunity to live a dignified life through education, vocational training, training and accompaniment on values.
In this time of pandemic, YouthReach members are reaching out to young people in need through new technologies, but the organization's youth operators note that street awareness is still needed. Personal contact with young people, in fact, allows youth workers to create trust and security, by establishing a positive influence. YouthReach youth workers continue to hold periodic meetings and provide mentoring services to help young people realize their needs and address personal problems, but also to accompany them on their path of growth and fulfillment in life.
One of the young people who lived in the "Boys' Town" is 19-year-old Alif. His first encounter with YouthReach was through the sporting interest program. At the time Alif was introvert and very critical of himself. He also had difficulty expressing his emotions and thoughts. The animators used sport as a means and as a way to train him face the difficulties of life and growth: Alif grew up and was named captain of the YouthReach football team, mentoring 30 other young people.
Young people are usually followed up to the age of 24, when they reach the fundamental stages of development in their life and reach adulthood. Their work is not "just a job", but a spiritual journey of growth and discovery of the potential that is in each young person, in every person, so that they can become better people, responsible citizens, attentive to the common good, realized in their relationship with themselves and with others, in order to build a better, prosperous and fraternal society. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 17/11/2020)