|Education is a path, not a destination|
WHAT IS LEAP?
LEAP is a pro-bono initiative primarily aimed at raising awareness among youths-at-risk on their legal rights, and the possible legal consequences of their actions. The aim of this project would be 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 as well.
At such a young age, these youth are more likely to go astray, either committing crimes on their own or becoming victims of certain crimes, and 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 youths basic legal knowledge of the consequences of their actions, and the organizations that they can approach for assistance.
WHO DO WE WORK WITH?
Typically aged between 13-17, LEAP’s target audience has been youths in general. However, LEAP has grown to focus specifically on youths that 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) Hong Kah Secondary School
4) Spectra Secondary School
5) Crest Secondary School
5) The Singapore Boys’ Home
The profiles of our beneficiaries do vary, with organizations like Thye Hua Kwan referring to us children of their clients whom they believe can benefit from our programmes, whereas the students of Crest and Spectra are those who are likely to graduate and directly enter the workforce instead of taking the conventional academic route.
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 youths with traditional presentation style sessions. LEAP volunteers will explore and experiment with more creative ways to explain legal concepts to the youths 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 youths, and through these meaningful interactions with the youths, we hope that the volunteers can inspire the youths 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 youths at their organisation.
- LEAP@ThyeHuaKuan: Volunteers will work with secondary school children living in Bukit Panjang who have been referred to us by THK FSC BP. Consisting of 2-hour Saturday sessions for 10 weeks, each session covers a specific relevant topic such as drugs and substance abuse.
- LEAP@Spectra: Volunteers conducted an assembly programme for an entire level of students which consisted of a skit as well as a quiz at the end to reinforce the issues that were covered during the session.
TIME-PERIOD AND COMMITMENT
LEAP sessions for Spectra and Crest previously were conducted during recess week, and weekday afternoons. Weekly sessions for certain schools have been conducted on Saturdays throughout Semester 2. LEAP volunteers should be able to commit to preparing for sessions a few weeks in advance, meeting up to rehearse for skits etc., and attending the sessions.