SINGAPORE – Lasalle College of The Arts student Claire Teo suffers from an eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa and has a vision limited to the range of a 10 cent coin.
But the visual limitation of the age of 19 did not stop her from taking part in a massive fan dance on Sunday (Aug. 26) As part of the two-day youth summit, under the Buddhist organization the Youth Division of the Singapore Soka Association.
The event took place at Our Tampines Hub and saw more than 13,500 young people from different backgrounds, ethnic groups and beliefs taking part in the weekend. The theme of the summit was "choosing for hope – embracing diversity, strengthening lives".
Miss Teo said that participation in the performance was a challenge, but she was fortunate enough to receive support from friends and other participants.
To learn the dance steps, she had to rely on a friend who described each movement orally.
"It took a lot of patience on her part, but my friend was very helpful and fellow participants were very encouraging," said Miss Teo, who practiced for three months.
"I see this summit as a gathering of people who want to fight for hope and peace, I want to contribute and say that I have chosen hope. I hope that everyone who sees us dancing will be encouraged and hope will choose with us."
At the end of the summit, Sim Ann, former Minister of Communications and Information and Culture, Community and Youth, said: "We can not take our racial and religious harmony for granted, but emphasize it because the openness of our country – through immigration and influence of the Internet contribute to an increasingly complex religious landscape. "
She also said that it was important to bridge the understanding between ethnic and religious groups. "This will strengthen the basis for trust and respect between different communities, so that together we can meet future challenges as one people."
The summit also included exhibitions with young people who had made a difference, such as Mr. Abdul Hakeem Mohamed Yunos, 26, chairman of the Jamiyah Singapore Youth Group, who initiated the Muslim Youth Ambassador of Peace & # 39; founded.
The initiative is intended to combat threats to peace and to raise awareness about self-radicalism. Mr. Hakeem said: "We need to understand each other so that we can co-exist and embrace diversity, we should not be afraid to talk about things like radicalism, we should actually discuss it."
Since May, the Youth Division of the Singapore Soka Association has been organizing various projects in the run-up to the top, with interactive opportunities for the community and inter-religious groups, as well as projects for less privileged people.