Racial harmony camp brings teens outdoors for inter-racial bonding

SINGAPORE - Nearly 30 teenagers from different ethnic backgrounds took part in a camp held over three days on Pulau Ubin to learn more about racial harmony and appreciate the cultural diversity in Singapore.

Called "TRUST Journey", 19 teens from the Global Indian International School and another 10 from Queensway Secondary School took part in the racial harmony adventure camp jointly organised by Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) and Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC).

Rather than having the participants study facts in a passive classroom environment, the programme engaged students through activities such as Indian Kolam Painting, Malay Batik Printing and dressing up in different ethnic costumes.

There was also a special segment on outdoor cooking where the youths were given basic equipment like mess tins, pots and solid fuel to whip up ethnic dishes like Malay banana fritters, Indian fried crackers and Chinese glutinous rice balls.

Placed in unfamiliar settings with limited resources, the youths were taught to work together to achieve their goals despite their differences.

"I have learnt how one must not only respect and understand others' cultures, but one must also appreciate and involve oneself in them," said participant Monisha Sathya, 16, a student of the Global Indian International School.

TRUST Journey is an extension of Central Singapore CDC's racial harmony programme, TRUST Home.

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