Almost a hundred professionals and volunteers from the non-profit and social impact space filled up our cosy venue at Lepark for Be An Idea’s 9th Fuze Night. Bringing together the best people in the social impact sector, Fuze Nights serves as a platform for our humble, local superheroes to relax, connect and learn from others in the same space. We were psyched to hear and learn from our speakers.
Gamely taking the stage, our learning speaker for the evening, Kok Xinghui, a journalist for the Straits Times, found herself on the other side of the microphone as she shared about how to pitch newsworthy stories to the local newspaper. Key points included researching the different causes that have been featured before, or identifying days that are specific to raising awareness for a certain cause. She also pointed out that the dailies always looked out for stories that have never been covered before, stories that focus on everyday giving and not stories looking to gain PR attention. She also highlighted the importance of leaving your contact details so that reporters can get in touch in case they have to turn in a story urgently. Giving the paper an exclusive also helps to boost the chances of a story making the paper.
The first of our inspiration speakers, Geraldine Ang, from UNHCR, shared about the global refugee crisis and how it relates to Singapore. The statistics are frightening - 65 million people are forced to flee from their homes today. She spoke about how refugees are like you and I. They have hopes, dreams, desires and dignity. They are capable of contributing to any community that they are in, IF we give them the opportunity to. She reiterated that peace and security in our world today is very volatile. Our response will determine the safety and stability of our world today. Geraldine added that we need to bolster support for humanitarian efforts in many countries, and we can start by signing a petition here at: http://www.withrefugees.com
Up next were our performers, singer-songwriter siblings Kimberly and Kelly Sim, who shared their music and hearts with the audience. Our audience were glued to their seats as they shared different renditions of popular songs. The girls received a huge round of applause for their performance.
Check out their YouTube handle here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLmkNBNAHzU
Our next speaker was Scott Lai from Paint The Town Red, a movement to raise awareness of HIV amongst youth in Singapore. He shared various statistics indicating that low testing rates are especially prevalent amongst heterosexuals. Half of 300 youths surveyed stated that they know very little about HIV support services. Scott spoke candidly about how young people are becoming more sexually active, and only 1 in 5, use contraceptives. He shared that abstinence-heavy sex education is not effective and it should focus more on safe sex and consistent testing.
Kari Tamura from the youth-led initiative, SamaSama, was our final speaker for the evening. Organising the exhibition series with artist Calvin Tay, the group wanted to focus on humanising our migrant workers – not just finding solutions for them as they’ve been pitiably portrayed, but to highlight the successes that have stemmed out of their community. Sharing about Mukul’s success story as a published poet (his book was launched in May at the Arts House), Kari hopes to encourage others to acknowledge, recognize and celebrate the successes of other migrant workers who have many inspiring stories.
The event ended with an open networking session where guests were invited to mingle and get to know each other better.
Fuze Nights typically take place on the last Wednesday of each month. Look forward to more insightful talks and opportunities to connect every last Wednesday of each month.