The PAssionate YOUths in Actions! An Exclusive Interview with the Chairman of PAYM Committee
Exclusive Interview with Kenneth Wong, Chairman of PAYM Committee
1. Please tell us a little about the Committee.
Hey there, Fans of PAssion Chingay Club! W are the “PAssionate YOUths” contingent under the People’s Association Youth Movement (PAYM). There are a total of 6 PAYM Central Youth Council (CYC) Members, with 3 sub-committees mainly consisting of (1) the Administration and Training, (2) the Logistic, and (3) the Costume and Motivators.
My name is Kenneth Wong and I am the Organizing Chairman of the Committee. Together with me, I have Iswandie Wanhar and Calvin Teo who formed the Administration and Training support; Steve Chia who handles the logistic; and Marilyn Low and Augustine Tee who are in-charge of Costume and Motivators.
2. How was the Committee formed or elected to be the planning committee for Chingay 2011?
PAYM has been involved in the Chingay Parade since 2008. Throughout the four years, the PAYM Chingay Contingent was chaired by the PAYM CYC members, together with other council members as well as the Youth Executive Committee (YEC) members.
3. How long was the planning process for Chingay 2011?
It took us almost 6-months from the start of the 1st Committee meeting in August 2010, to the actual performance on 11 and 12 February 2011.
4. How did you come up with idea or concept for your Chingay 2011 performance?
Mr Nah, Chingay EXCO Chairman, shared the overall concept for Chingay 2011 with the PAYM CYC and invited PAYM to come on-board to anchor the finale performance.
After the formation of the Organising Committee, we brainstormed together on the idea of the finale with the choreographers and came up with the performance item. The concept of having 2,000 youths to dance hip hop is to showcase the vibrancy and energy of the Singapore youths and at the same time, to launch the PAYM 40th Anniversary celebrations.
3. What are the challenges the Committee encountered during the planning and preparation stage?
Well, I have to say that the recruitment for 2,000 youth participants is really the greatest challenge for the Organising Committee. We reached out to youths under the PAYM umbrella and network. These include our own Youth Clubs, PAYM Service-Learning Clubs, Friends of PAYM and various schools and youth organisations that PAYM had collaborated previously. We also get friends to bring friends along and with the use of social media platform, we are fortunate to be able to garner the support of these 2,000 youths to come onboard to join our contingent.
4. What are the most heart warming aspects you have encountered during this period?
I would have to say it’s none other than the first combined rehearsal that PAYM had. Seeing all the youths coming to PA Headquarter and doing our performance routine, I can imagine the impact that these youths will have at the actual Chingay Parade 2011.
5. What is the greatest takeaway for you being part of the Committee?
At the age of 26, I’ve never imagined myself being the organizing chairman or taking the lead in a national-level event such as Chingay. Although we are just one of the contingents in Chingay, we are one of the biggest contingents in the parade and that made me proud and enabled me to grow as a leader.
6 full months of planning and execution; 45 training sessions and 454 training hours spent and with the selfless sharing and guidance from the PAYM CYC and the PAYM Chingay 2011 Organising Committee, all of us managed to work as Team PAYM to deliver this energetic and vibrant performance.
As an Organising Chairman for PAYM Chingay 2011, I had the opportunity to see issues and problems from a macro perspective and no longer as an individual participant or sub-committee member. I’ve gained a lot from this experience and without the opportunity and trust given by the PAYM Central Youth Council to lead the team, I’ll never be able to develop my leadership potential. I’m indeed honoured to have been given this chance.
6. Share a word of your experience, advice or encouragement for those wanting to be part of Chingay experience.
“It’s really down to the bottom-line of whether you have the passion in serving the community and whether you believe in the power of youth engagement. If your answers are YES, join us and your experience will definitely be a meaningful and memorable one that you can be proud of!”