Student beneficiaries meet Japanese PM’s wife, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Student beneficiaries meet Japanese PM’s wife

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Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when he was young, Muhammad Danish Effandi has trouble speaking to people.

He would avoid eye contact and stammer whenever he talked to strangers.

Under Halogen Foundation Singapore's Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship programme, he created mobile application ProCams for photography lovers to rent cameras and share their experiences.

Halogen Foundation is an Institutions of a Public Character charity that helps young people learn skills such as leadership and entrepreneurship.

He was one of the beneficiaries who presented his idea to Mrs Akie Abe, wife of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, when she visited the Halogen Foundation yesterday at Smith Street in Chinatown.

She was in town with her husband for the Asean-Japan Summit held on Wednesday.

Mrs Junko Yamazaki, the wife of Mr Jun Yamazaki, the Ambassador of Japan to Singapore, was also at Halogen Foundation.

Danish, a Secondary 3 student at East View Secondary School, told The New Paper: "I love photography.

"So I would like to share my knowledge with people around me and also give others a chance to have a go at photography by renting cameras.

"Since I was young, I have found it difficult to interact with other people, so this programme helped me because I could get tips from my teachers on how to present myself to others."

The 15-year-old wants to work with computer technology in the future.

Another student Mrs Abe spoke to was Valerie Ess, 15, who had the idea of an automatic bin that moves around shopping malls.

Valerie, a Secondary 3 student at St Anthony's Canossian Secondary School, told TNP: "I used to be a very shy girl, and I never thought I would do something like this.

"I am glad the programme encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and think of ways to help my community."

Mrs Abe also watched a presentation by Halogen Foundation's chief executive Ivy Tse.

Ms Tse told TNP: "It was a great honour to have Mrs Abe spend time at our office learning about our cause, our work and more importantly, spending the time to listen to our youth's stories.

"Seeing them confidently share their ideas and dreams with the very distinguished guests made us really proud."