22 June 2017

Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore

I had a wild time with enthusiastic youths at Chek Jawa for the YCS Volunteer Engagement: Understanding Ubin's Natural Heritage.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
I am inspired by their energy and their questions made me think more deeply. Thanks to Ng Jing Rou for organising the trip and letting me be a part of it.

The experiential trip was crafted by Ng Jing Rou, NYC-YCS intern for Pesta Ubin, to encourage YCS volunteers to better understand Pulau Ubin's natural heritage and how they can play a part in protecting it.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
On the bumboat to Ubin!
From their website: Youth Corps Singapore provides the breadth and depth of volunteering opportunities for youths through ad-hoc, regular and project-based service projects, with a focus on reaching out to causes such as education, environment, health, special needs, arts, sports and heritage. Regardless of your skill sets, we provide ample opportunities for you to hone your skills, and develop new skills. You will also meet like-minded youths who are passionate about serving the community.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
In the van to Chek Jawa!
We were very fortunate to bump into Joseph Lai, my hero of Chek Jawa, while gathering at the Ferry Terminal. As usual, Joe shared inspiring stories of the journey at Chek Jawa before reclamation was deferred.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Our first stop at Ubin was at Uncle Lim's shop. Thanks as usual to Uncle Lim for providing the space for free. Jing Rou had organised a fun ice-breaker for everyone.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Then it was off to Chek Jawa! We are greeted by the resident kampung dog.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Thanks to sharp eyed participants, we spotted many interesting critters.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Jejawi Tower was a highlight! The big picture, and a tree-eye view of nature.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Giant mudskipper!
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
A closer look at mangroves from the boardwalk. And I shared how durians are linked to mangroves!
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
At House No. 1, fully restored to its former glory and now Chek Jawa Visitor Centre, more interesting stories and photos.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Thanks to NParks support and Jing Rou for arranging, we enjoyed air-con in the seminar room at the HSBC-Ubin Volunteer Hub at the end of our walk to discuss some of the issues. I gave a brief overview of my personal experience as one of the many blind men groping the elephant that is Chek Jawa.
Also some of the lessons I learned from my experience at Chek Jawa.
We discussed the impact of the 2013 Population White Paper on Pulau Ubin, Chek Jawa and other shores. I also shared about the Singapore Blue Plan 2009 and how the marine community is coming together to update the Blue Plan as part of International Year of the Reef 2018.
I also shared some of the many nature volunteer opportunities on Pulau Ubin. Most of them with NParks.
Also with community efforts such as TeamSeagrass, Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative, Project Island-a-Hand by OBS and International Coastal Cleanup.
Nature volunteers are a fun bunch of people! Here are nature volunteers from many different groups, coming together to celebrate Balik Chek Jawa, led by the Naked Hermit Crabs as part of Pesta Ubin. The participants asked great questions after the brief talk.
Then it was time to hear from the participants! In small groups, they discussed the day and shared their thoughts and insights in a fun way with everyone.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Team Ubin Boleh entertained with stories of their thoughts and insights. Wonderful!
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Dubbed Team Post-it, they shared fascinating insights into the day.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Team Hilbert gave us a 360 degree view of their thoughts. Exciting!
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
Team "Non-Drawers" who nevertheless came up with awesome drawings of Jejawi Tower and shared great insights into the walk.
Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
I had a great time with the youths during lunch. I am very impressed with them and their level of understanding and interest in the issues. I thank them for putting up with my lame jokes, playing my lame Chek Jawa bingo and being such great company. Thank you to Jing Rou for the awesome arrangements and for letting me be a part of this.

More about Youth Corps Singapore.

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