After 5 successful runs of our Empowering Mums programme, we were immensely touched to see the positive transformation in our beneficiaries’ lives and the impact our workshops had made to spur life-long change.
With eyes on our mission, we had hoped that more women could benefit from such a programme, and we wondered if we had resources to extend this programme to young women who were not yet mothers.
By God’s grace, a new avenue for funding was made available. Supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development Office for Women’s Development (OWD), the Seeds of Change Fund was a new fund to support women’s organisations to pilot or scale up women’s development programmes. With encouragement from our corporate partner, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), YWCA applied for the Seeds of Change Fund and successfully received funding for our pilot project.
However, ongoing COVID-19 restrictions meant that we could no longer conduct the programme physically as planned. After working around logistical challenges, we were finally able to launch our first-ever Empowering Young Women (EYW) programme in November 2021.
“I find the sessions to be very interesting and useful. Not only have I gained a lot of more knowledge on career planning and self-development, but activities such as building my dream through LEGO bricks have prompted me to start thinking out of the box when faced with difficulties.” – Faye
Our Empowering Young Women programme is a series of free workshops for young women from low-income families, aged between 17 to 23 years old. The workshops provide our participants with personal and professional guidance, as well as life skills, to help them out of the poverty cycle.
With the backing from a host of content partners and community partners, the EYW project was able to host six weekly online sessions from 20 November 2021 to 8 January 2022. Participants were exposed to a wide array of topics covering personal growth, relationship management, communication strategies, and career coaching.
|20 Nov (Sat)||Workshop 1: Exploring the Self||Kefi|
|27 Nov (Sat)||Workshop 2 Part 1: EQ & Mindfulness
Workshop 2 Part 2: Managing Relationships
Institute of Advanced Parentology
|4 Dec (Sat)||Workshop 3: The Future – How to Navigate that First Few Steps||re:Quest Asia Pte Ltd|
|11 Dec (Sat)||Workshop 4: Finding Your Girl’s Power||Amplify Point|
|18 Dec (Sat)||Workshop 5: Communication Strategies||Institute of Advanced Parentology|
|8 Jan (Sat)||Workshop 6: Stay on T.O.P – Time Management, Organization & Planning||Barbara Cane|
|15 Jan (Sat)||EYW 2021 Graduation Networking Session|
|*3 post-project sessions facilitated by YWCA & our content partners|
Despite having to pivot to a virtual format, our content partners employed active learning techniques such as case studies, open sharing, as well as role-playing to engage our participants. LEGO bricks were also sent to their house as part on an activity to help them materialize their ideas. One of our participants, Faye (pseudo name), said: “I find the sessions to be very interesting and useful. Not only have I gained a lot of more knowledge on career planning and self-development, but activities such as building my dream through LEGO bricks have prompted me to start thinking out of the box when faced with difficulties.”
Another participant, Luna (pseudo name), said,” The programme has created a safe space for me to be more open about sharing my thoughts and feelings.” Indeed, we are glad that through safe and open sharing, our participants were not only able to learn more about themselves, but they were able to find support from peers in similar situations.
“The programme has created a safe space for me to be more open about sharing my thoughts and feelings.” – Luna
The pilot run of the EYW project saw all seven outstanding young women graduate with a high attendance rate of 80%-100% and of which 40% have secured a full-time job or internship since enrolling into the programme.
As the COVID-19 restrictions eased towards the end of the programme, we were able to host the Empowering Young Women 2021 Networking Graduation at YWCA Fort Canning on 15 January 2022. The ceremony was joined by proud family members and friends of our graduates who were there to witness the milestones our participants had achieved over the past six weeks. Each graduate was awarded a certificate of completion and a gift, followed by a day trip to Universal Studios Singapore, where new friendships blossomed.
To further support our participants on their journey of self-driven change, we continue to educate our graduates with new skills through post-project sessions for the next three months.
With their keen attitude to expand their knowledge and skills, we are confident that our graduates will succeed in improving themselves and achieving their goals.
YWCA would like to express our deepest appreciation to all partners, family and friends who have journeyed alongside the graduates.
|Institute of Advanced Parentology||re:Quest Asia Pte Ltd||Barbara Crane|
We hope to continue uplifting and nurturing our future generation of young women into discovering their true potential through our Empowering Young Women project.
If you would like to know how you can contribute as a partner or sponsor for future projects, do contact Gladys Foo (firstname.lastname@example.org).