Detail from Boys’ Town website. The charity is enhancing its mentoring and leadership programme, while the Boys’ Town Alumni will launch a new programme this March.

Boys’ Town and alumni strengthen and launch programmes for youths

Boys’ Town Alumni (BTA) is implementing a mentoring programme to provide a peer support network for needy and deserving students in Assumption English School, Assumption Pathway School, and Boys’ Town Home.

The alumni, along with representatives from these institutions, have formed a working committee to manage and run the programme which is planned for March this year.

The programme is for students who do not hold leadership positions in the school and who display some “behavioural issues”, said Mr Roland Yeow, a committee member.

The project will comprise an eight-week Life Skills Training Programme to help the young people develop resilience and good values while enhancing their life skills.

The programme also allows BTA members to “contribute meaningfully to their alma mater”, said Mr Yeow.

Boys’ Town Alumni was established in 1959 and has been actively contributing to the scholarships and bursaries to benefit needy students in the schools under the Boys’ Town umbrella.

Meanwhile, Boys’ Town is enhancing its mentoring and leadership programme which aims to impart leadership skills to its residential youths and have older boarders serve as peer-mentors to the younger ones.

This is to leverage on its competency as a Workforce Development Agency accredited training centre, said Mr Yeow who is deputy director of Boys’ Town.

Mr Yeow said giving the boarders commitment and responsibility to a cause or duty provides an element of trust and encouragement which would be good for their personal development.

Boarders will be exposed to the concept of servant leadership through the inculcation of the CARING (care and concern, adaptability, responsibility, integrity, nurturing, godliness) values of Boys’ Town in the programme. Boarders are expected to be a leader to oneself through self-discipline, a leader to peers and a leader in the community or designated service area, said Mr Yeow.

The boarders will also be encouraged to work towards the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) as they undergo the training, and will be encouraged to be purposeful in their learning of skills, participation in adventure and sports, and involvement in service areas.

The award encourages those between 14 and 25 years “to develop personal qualities of self-reliance, perseverance and a sense of responsibility to themselves, to society and to the nation”. Applicants “are judged on personal achievement measured against original circumstances and potential capabilities”, according to the NYAA website.

A new outdoor training programme would be conducted for existing peer-mentors and newly recruited mentors to experience outdoor adventure training, and to prepare the new peer-mentors to take on leadership in 2013.

Meanwhile Boys’ Town has been awarded the Non-Profit Organization of the Year 2011 Award (Philanthropy Management) from the National Volunteer & Philanthropic Centre (NVPC).

The award recognises “best practices in the management of volunteers or donors (including fundraising practices) in non-profit organisations”, according to the NVPC website.

Mrs Irene Loi, executive director of Boys’ Town, told CatholicNews that it is an honour for Boys’ Town to be thus recognised.

She said Boys’ Town will encourage donors to visit the charity to see the work it does and “to be part of” it.

By Darren Boon
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