On Day 3 of the National Young Leaders Fellowship Induction Programme, we were privileged to have with us an esteemed panellist consisting of Ms. Anthea Ong, Founder and CEO of Hush TeaBar, Mr. Andrew Ong, Co-Founder of Break the Cycle, Ms. Dipa Swaminathan, Founder of ItsRainingRaincoats, and Ms. Saleemah Ismail, Founder and Executive Director of New Life Stories. The plenary topic was ‘Leading Through Serving: Meeting the Needs of Marginalised Communities’.

The speakers began the session by sharing their backgrounds and inspiring stories about how they started chasing after what they believed in. Ms. Dipa, an advocate for the rights of migrant workers, revealed that her commitment to serving this community did not happen overnight. It was through the interactions with several migrant workers that she discovered the many problems they faced, which ignited her passion to serve this community.

Throughout the session, Mr. Andrew also emphasised on the importance of believing in a purpose and a cause to keep us motivated to do what we do. By doing so, it helps us to remain consistent in our efforts to tackle the needs of our society and further our impact to those around us. With so many social issues happening in today’s society, Ms. Saleemah encourages the fellows to think about the cause that they would like to champion for, ‘If you aren’t going to champion the cause now, then when? If not you, then who?’ Adding to this, Ms. Anthea stated, ‘You do not necessarily need a huge plan when starting out, sometimes all you need is to help one or two people first, and then expand to others.’ After receiving these words of encouragement, our fellows were enlightened and motivated to step up to do more for the marginalised communities.

As the session draws to a close, Ms. Anthea left the fellows with a reflective question, ‘How can you be the change you want to see in the world?’. This question will certainly help our fellows as they embark on their 9-month fellowship journey in the coming months. Find out more about the National Young Leaders Fellowship here!