Workshops on robotics, making sustainable items offered at this year's M3 Youth Festival, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Workshops on robotics, making sustainable items offered at this year's M3 Youth Festival

Trending topics such as urban farming and mental health will take centrestage at this year's M3 Youth Festival, which aims to get young people involved in ground-up efforts to shape society.

As part of the month-long event, officially launched on Saturday (June 25), a series of workshops will be held every weekend in July.

These include a class on making sustainable alternatives to plastic cling wrap using beeswax and cloth, as well as a session to equip participants with the right skills to address mental health issues faced by their peers.

There will also be a visit to the local premises of Norwegian recycling firm Tomra, which makes reverse vending machines where people can get vouchers in exchange for their used drink cans or bottles.

These topics were chosen because they are emerging sectors where opportunities abound, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Law Rahayu Mahzam, who was at the launch.

"You want to make sure that our youth are actually equipped with the necessary skills and insights," she added. "For some of them who may not be familiar, it's an opportunity for them to get to know some of these sectors."

M3 is a tie-up involving Malay/Muslim self-help group Mendaki, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) and the People's Association Malay Activity Executive Committees Council (Mesra).

The festival was launched at *Scape and attended by around 50 young people from institutes of higher learning, mosques and Malay/Muslim youth organisations. Ang Mo Kio MP Nadia Ahmad Samdin was also present.

This is the first time the M3 Youth Festival is being held with in-person attendance since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Ms Aini Rashid, a volunteer with Mesra, said that about 70 people were expected to sign up for the various festival workshops.

"Since we are getting back to normalcy, we are just taking it slow," she said. "After two years of holding it online... I think it's a lot more exciting, as we have a lot more partners on board for our various programmes and workshops."

Those at Saturday's launch event got a preview of the activities that will take place next month.

These included a robotics and coding workshop by Robotics Revolution, as well as a do-it-yourself handwash workshop by The Sustainability Project, which will also be conducting the beeswax wrap workshop.

Ms Cecilia Yeoh, who works as a "full-time tree-hugger" for the organisation, said this reusable alternative to cling wrap helps cut down on plastic waste.

By making use of cotton cloth scraps from fabric shops, which would otherwise be discarded, it involves an element of upcycling as well, she added.