Written by: Lim Xing Ying (21A12), Hu Chenwei (21A15)
Photos by: Evelyne Chua (21A15)
Student Organizers and Delegates of the 14th APYLS
Starting from 2006, the aim of Hwa Chong Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit (14th HC-APYLS) has remained constant — to empower and encourage student leaders in becoming active global citizens. For this edition, the Summit was held from 12 July to 15 July 2021.
This Summit brought together 91 students from 26 schools all over the world. By providing a platform for students from different countries and cultures, Hwa Chong aspires to create networking opportunities amongst student leaders passionate in generating positive change to the world, as well as push the frontiers of global discussions. A Singaporean delegate related to this by saying, “I am now more confident in taking the first step to redefine normalcy and be the catalyst for a positive change.”
The theme of the Summit is “Re: Imagining, Building, Uniting”. “Re:” represents the collective values that we hold dear to us. It is a prefix that represents second chances, reassuring us that it is never too late to start from scratch, as the desire to create new and better beginnings now becomes the core inspiration for us to turn the impact of the pandemic into valuable opportunities.
Local and foreign delegates participated in a digital gameplay which involved a fictional world modelled after the real world. By drawing parallels between the two and immersing themselves in their various stakeholder roles, delegates realised the importance of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This rang true for a British delegate, who commented, “I have learned to appreciate the values of others and their invaluable contributions which have shed a light on what is truly important in democracy.” Delegates also participated in a cultural exhibition that helped to bridge delegates’ differences and united them in working towards a common goal.
In addition, delegates took part in invigorating conversations with the following luminaries: Mr Bilahari Kausikan, Chairman, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore and Mr Laurence Lien, Co-Chair & CEO, Asia Philanthropy Circle.
Despite the unprecedented challenges that the pandemic posed, the 14th HC-APYLS was an enriching experience for many participants. As aptly expressed by President Halimah Yacob during the Summit’s opening ceremony, “[T]he pandemic has given us an opportunity to re-imagine and rebuild a vision. [...] We need to constantly re-innovate the way we work, play and live, and do so as a cohesive community.” This call was amply demonstrated throughout the Summit’s rich and meaningful dialogues.
Delegates Having Fun During APYLS Sessions