|Education is a path, not a destination|
WHAT IS LEAP?
LEAP is a pro-bono initiative primarily aimed at raising awareness among youth-at-risk on their legal rights, and the possible legal consequences of their actions. The aim of this project is to ultimately allow youths to be more aware of the heavy price that comes with committing crimes. We also encourage them to direct their attention to more meaningful and socially enriching activities.
At such a young age, these youth are more likely to go astray, either committing crimes on their own or falling victim to certain crimes. This may happen because they are unaware of their legal rights and responsibilities. LEAP thus aims to increase their access to justice, by inculcating in these youth basic legal knowledge of the consequences of their actions, and the organizations which they can approach for assistance.
WHO DO WE WORK WITH?
Typically aged between 13-17, LEAP’s target audience has been youth in general. However, LEAP has grown to focus specifically on youth who are believed to be at-risk because of their disadvantaged backgrounds. LEAP is currently a partner with various organizations, and through these partnerships LEAP is able to reach out to a large group of young people (who are at an impressionable stage of their lives), and impart to them essential legal knowledge that would guide them towards making better decisions.
Some organizations we work with include:
1) Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities
2) Unity Secondary School
3) Methodist Welfare Services Girls’ Residence
4) The Singapore Boys’ Home
The profiles of our beneficiaries vary, with organizations like Thye Hua Kwan referring to us children of their clients whom they believe can benefit from our programmes, whereas the youth of Singapore Boys’ Home have previously committed offences.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
Generally, LEAP runs a programme at our partner organization’s venue that consists of weekly sessions over the course of a few months. LEAP sessions are mostly conducted in the form of group discussions, skits, games and role-play, to avoid boring the youth with traditional presentation style sessions. LEAP volunteers will explore and experiment with more creative ways to explain legal concepts to the youth in a manner that ensures maximum retention.
On top of imparting legal knowledge, LEAP volunteers also play the role of a senior, friend and mentor to these youth. Through these meaningful interactions with the youth, we hope that our volunteers can establish rapport with them and positively impact them as well.
Programmes can cover a large range of legal issues, from family-related topics such as child abuse and family violence, to commonly committed teen crimes such as theft, drug abuse, public disorder, and gambling. Our partner organisations work with us in tailoring the programmes that would best suit the needs of the youth at their organisation.
TIME-PERIOD AND COMMITMENT
LEAP sessions generally last 2 hours each, and are conducted on weekdays during the school term. We also have a summer run of LEAP which is conducted on Saturdays. LEAP volunteers should be able to commit to preparing for sessions a few weeks in advance and attending the sessions.