18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
Touching Hearts and Changing Lives

Flipping through the bursary forms on his table, Alvin’s eyes caught sight of a familiar name – Irwan. He was one of the members that Alvin remembered distinctly. He had convinced Irwan to join the union so that the union can help him and his family. And although he was hesitant initially, he eventually received much needed assistance for his family.

“Helping Irwan and his family was one of my most memorable times in these three years of being in the union. He had just joined the National Library Board (NLB) and had many financial difficulties managing. I knew that the union is able to help him and was thankful when he came to benefit from the various schemes available” Alvin commented with a relieved nod.

Alvin helped Irwan receive financial aid in the form of grocery and school vouchers, on top of application for bursaries for his children. He had also helped to guide Irwan on his daily work, which made him comfortable to share his problems.
Thinking back where it had all started, Alvin recalled that he had rejected joining the union multiple times, only to change his mind when he decided to find out for himself one day what does union work actually entails. Notably, the members of the union had gone above and beyond their call of duty to help others.  Alvin was inspired by their spirit of giving and hence felt that he could and should do his part as well. Having joined the branch committee in 2012, Alvin now also sits as an observer at meetings.

Being one of the Young NTUC Committee’s youth representatives, Alvin had participated in and helped to organise many memorable events. One of the many events that had touched his heart was the Appreciation U Movement held last year. It was an event held at the National Library Building where youth volunteers gave out goodie bags to the cleaners working in the building and invited them for lunch.

“I could tell from their expressions at that moment that they were really touched. It dawned upon me that such a simple gesture could impact others. They were really amazed by what we were doing.”

Moving forward, Alvin intends to continue to keep his spirits high, inspiring those around him and try his best to meet the need that arises. Next up on the cards is another appreciation event in July this year to thank the cleaners and security officers jointly organised by Young NTUC and Young Amalgamated Union Of Statutory Board Employees (YAUSBE) and he hopes that it will be another success!