I was an ambassador for Singapore for the Ship for Southeast Asia and Japanese Youth Programme in 2015. In this post, I would be sharing with you about the training that we had to go through. I have previously written on the Best memories of SSEAYP, application process and the first interview. Feel free to read them if you have not.
#throwback to 2015
If I remembered correctly, all of us first met in a meeting room at National Youth Council. It was nice to see to some of the familiar faces. At the same time, it also marked the beginning of our training. There were hardly icebreakers and BAM! We talked about the creation of the various committees. There were Corporate Communication, Sports and Welfare, Cultural, Logistics and Exhibition teams. We have to decide which portfolio to participate in on that day. We have to appoint our treasurers as well. Then, we don't really know one another, so we have to trust one another to make things worked.
Now, this is the real deal! We were told that training would be taking place 4 days a week; 2 weekdays of 3 hours each and 2 full weekends for 2 months. There were hardly any "off days" except a couple of public holidays. All of us were expected to give our 100%. I did not. I tried to slack a little once in a while.
The beginning was not easy. I am not going to fluff the training experience of my batch. I have a Full-Time job then, and I was handling a new portfolio as well. After work, I have to rush for the training. No doubt, I was under a lot of stress. I am getting sick easily then because my body is not used to all these stress. I did think of giving up a few times, but I tried to press on. The reason why I was so motivated to push on was that I really wanted to go to Japan and I would not be getting a refund for the SGD 900.
Frankly speaking, I wasn't the only one who was feeling the pain. There were a few dropouts, as their priorities were in other aspects of life. There's nothing shameful or wrong about it. Those who did not drop out also have a life outside of training. It was the motivation from one another, the responsibility to get things done or individual gains that sort of makes everything happened.
It was tough.
However, we did it. We reaped what we sowed. We enjoyed our time during the programme. The best part is we were a closed knitted family. We went through the tough times together. We did things together. We solved problems. We gossiped. We played. The time spent bought us closer. This relationship is priceless.
Honestly, I am happy that I did not give up. I make a few terrific friends who I regard as my pillars. We know each other so well that it's perfectly fine to just be your true self, without the makeup on.
That's was the training experience that I had. I hope I managed to give you a rough idea of what's the training is like in Singapore. From what I knew about other countries training were that, they had a shorter training period. The participating youths were selected from various city or provinces. It was hard for them to gather. Hence, they have camps instead. If I remembered correctly, some countries had 2 weeks of intensive training. I have no idea which is the lesser of the 2 evils; having the training spread out for an extended period of time or cramped everything together.
I hope this post was not too heavy. Moreover, this is my personal experience. If you are interested, I will urge you to speak to a few more youths to get a clearer picture. I would defiantly be sharing more about SSEAYP, so stay tuned!