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NUS-LEAD students present Love through Lenses

20 February 2012

(From left) NUS scholars Idris, Cheryl, Lubin and Yi Xuan who organised "Love through Lenses"

(From left) Mr R Rajaram, OAM Director; Prof Tan Thiam Soon, NUS Vice Provost (Education); Mrs Shirleen Ong, Methodist Girls' School Principal and NUS-LEAD team mentor; Dr Sherman Ong; Minister Heng and Cheryl Tan at the photography exhibition

Members of SPLAT! who were an indispensable part of the "Love through Lenses" workforce

Four students from the NUS-LEAD programme sought to promote the need for intergenerational family bonding through their community project, "Love through Lenses". As part of the project, the students - Cheryl Tay, Hen Yi Xuan, Lubin Tan and Idris Woo - organised a photography exhibition at Tampines Central Community Club from 18 to 20 February. Their effort was supported by SPLAT!, a community arts movement directed at the rehabilitation of youths-at-risk and their reintegration into society. SPLAT! was founded by NUS social work student Dominic Lim.

Prior to the exhibition, the NUS-LEAD students organised a photography workshop for 11 youths from the Tampines Ville Residents' Committee Youth Chapter, known as "YouthVille". During the workshop, the youths were taught basic DSLR photography skills by award-winning photographer Mr Willy Foo. Putting their knowledge and skills into practice, they went on a photoshoot around the island, accompanied by trained facilitators from Hwa Chong Photographic Society and NUS. A selection of the photographs captured by the youths and their facilitators was then showcased at the "Love through Lenses" exhibition.

Singapore Minister for Education and Advisor to Tampines Grassroots Organisations Mr Heng Swee Keat graced the launch of the exhibition. Speaking at the event, Minister Heng said that "Love through Lenses" was a very meaningful project as it involved youths and adults sharing skills and values, and promoted the need for intergenerational family bonding. In view of the many changes and challenges in our social landscape, he underscored the importance of nurturing the character of our community, particularly a spirit of responsibility and a spirit of community which he felt the project amply demonstrated.

The youths who participated in the workshop said that beyond photography skills, they had also gained a greater appreciation for family bonding. Added Lubin, one of the student organisers: "I believe this project offers the youths a platform to enhance their involvement in the community. I think it has given them a greater sense of belonging to the society and increased self confidence as they see their photographs being displayed for members of the public in Tampines to view."

The four students themselves learnt more about their own strengths and weaknesses in the process of planning the events as well as valuable project management skills.

The NUS-LEAD Programme, introduced by the NUS Career Centre and Office of Admissions (OAM), aims to develop NUS Scholars into well-rounded leaders in society. It offers a range of workshops on topics such as leadership and authenticity, communications, influencing and leading teams, and a hands-on project with a Voluntary Welfare Organisation.