First Singaporean elected to World Alliance of YMCAs ExCo

Sep 2010    

MR OLIVER LOKE, a volunteer leader with YMCA of Singapore, became the first Singaporean to be elected as a youth member of the World Alliance of YMCAs Executive Committee (ExCo) since the establishment of YMCA of Singapore in 1902.

The election was held on July 23, 2010 during the 17th World Council of YMCAs in Hong Kong from July 19 to 24. This was a quadrennial convention for representatives of YMCAs worldwide to discuss critical challenges within and outside the YMCA movement.

He won the election with a majority vote of 140, beating 31 candidates from countries such as England, Germany, Scotland, Peru, Mexico, the United States, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines and South Africa.

He will serve a term of four years from 2010 to 2014. In his capacity as an ExCo member, he will be involved in the development of youth leadership, mobilisation of resources and strengthening of the YMCA mission within the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Loke, 23, worships at Living Waters Methodist Church. Currently an undergraduate at the Singapore Management University, he is no stranger to volunteerism and youth development work. He amassed a wealth of experience in both areas through his intensive involvements in various leadership roles with the YMCA of Singapore and The Boys’ Brigade of Singapore.

He had led YMCA youth committees at the local, regional and international levels. He has also received the National Youth Achievement Award (Gold).

When asked how he felt about his election, he said: “It is a great honour to have the opportunity to serve in this new capacity in the YMCA. In a world that is filled with much fear, injustice and despair, the YMCA should actively position itself as a movement that helps those left behind and the weak, springing forth from our founding mission etched in our hearts and minds.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity given by the YMCA of Singapore in providing me this avenue to serve in this highest decision-making body of the movement. e support of the countless friends, staff and mentors in my life has been a source of strength for me all these years.”

Founded in 1855, the World Alliance of YMCAs (WAY) is the highest representative body of the global YMCA movement, currently the largest youth movement in the world with 45 million members in 130 countries.

In Singapore, the YMCA was established in 1902. As one of the oldest voluntary welfare organisations in Singapore, the YMCA of Singapore seeks to serve all members of the community, regardless of race, language or religion, through wholesome programmes to develop body, mind and spirit.

Inter-faith walk

SEVENTY-FIVE MEMBERS of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church (KKMC) took part in the Inter-Faith Fun Walk 2010 @ Kampong Glam, organised by the Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC), Residents’ Committees and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, held on July 11, 2010.

The KKMC members welcomed a number of guests from the other faiths, and after a show around, together walked to the Sri Krishnan Temple, Kwan Im ong Hood Cho Temple, the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Masjid Sultan Mosque and Kampong Glam Community Club. On the way, they sought to build trust and understanding among people of the various faiths.

The Guest-of-Honour, Ms Denise Phua, an MP for Jalan Besar GRC and Adviser to Kampong Glam Grassroots Organisations, said: “I think this is one of the best grassroots activities we’d ever had. It is meaningful, engaging and supported by many. Together, we serve and make Singapore a better home for all of us.”

A cultural show and dinner at the Kampong Glam Community Centre brought the event to a close.


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