The inaugural Children For Children was held at the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, Singapore’s very own Singapore Flyer. The flyer had only been opened for less than a year when more than 1038 young children came bustling to celebrate Children’s Day. The children hailed from over 20 different organizations such as Canossaville Children’s Home, Student Advisory Centre, CARE Singapore and As-Saalam YWMA Family Support centre. They were grouped with pupils from CHIJ (Kellock) who were their minders for the day. Dr Lee Boon Yang, then Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts graced the event and even rode in one of the capsules with the children.
The theme for the day was Let’s Fly. It was rather apt seeing the children were about to embark on their maiden flight on the Singapore Flyer. Let’s Fly encourages children to be courageous and to take the step to fly and work towards their dream. It is also a call to all children to aspire to great heights regardless of their family backgrounds. Each child was given a specially-packed Adventure Tool Bag by the CHIJ (Kellock) pupils. In each pack, there was a complete stationery set necessary for them to embark on their flight. The pencil empowers children with the knowledge and skills for a better life, the eraser is for them to erase their mistakes and to learn from them, the sharpener is a reminder to children to continue to sharpen and learn new skills. To ensure that the children are mindful of what is important and to cut away what is harmful, they were given a pair of scissors. There was also a glue stick for them to build a strong and firm foundation and a box of staples and stapler that represents the importance of working together as a team.
They began the first part of their adventure patiently waiting for their turn to embark the Singapore Flyer. The children gazed excitedly at the huge revolving wonder. Soon, all the capsules were filled with 25 children and 3 accompanying adults. Laughter and chatter filled the air as the children experienced their first ever ride on an observation wheel. While some felt rather intimidated by this new found height, others gawked with their mouths open at the breath-taking view atop the flyer.
Once everyone has had their chance at a bird’s eye view of Singapore and its neighbouring islands, everyone proceeded to the Promenade to participate in the many arts activity booths that were organized by the pupils from CHIJ (Kellock). The children learned how to make their own original craft work using beads, felt wires and paints. It wasn’t easy creating their own masterpiece especially with the beads slipping and the paint dripping, but the children persevered and succeeded in creating their own Children’s Day memento.
With their crafts in tow, the children happily made their way to the Greek Theatre and proceeded to watch a concert, an original production by the pupils from CHIJ (Kellock). Entitled Dreamweavers, it is a story about a young girl who is uncertain of her talents and aspirations. As the performance unfolds, she discovers her hidden talents and learns that it is through passion, hard work and dedication that she can achieve her dreams. These are all qualities that the children should have when they work towards their aspirations. The second performance, aptly titled “When You Believe”, featured three performers from ChildAid, a charity concert organised by Singapore Press Holdings, featuring talents under 19 years of age, in support of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. Talented individuals Charlotte Cheng, Lian Kim Selby, and Meryl Joan Lee gave it their all to bring rock, pop, musical and cartoon tunes to the crowd in hopes of inspiring them to believe in themselves and to measure their lives in love. The three charming dancers were then joined by Styles of Beyond, a well-known local dance crew who led the crowd in an energetic and fun mass dance.
The first edition of Children For Children raised the targeted amount of S$203,000 within just three weeks through donations from organisations and individual company executives. It was a memorable day for all the children, volunteers and organisers. And so began, the annual Children’s Day celebration event Children For Children.