The Purple Parade 2015

By Lee Ci En, Youth Corps Singapore (Advocate).

It doesn’t matter how ordinary you think you are. We all have the potential to be heroes. It’s not something we’re born with, it’s how you respond when the opportunity presents itself. The Purple Parade on 31st Oct was that day of opportunity.

It was a fun-filled day of celebration where everyone ate, played and laughed together in the sea of purple. Among the 35 contingent march-past was a contingent called The Purple Heroes. Together with the Leaders from Youth Corps Singapore, the 71-strong contingent consisted of clients from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and youth volunteers from diverse backgrounds.

One of the Youth Corps Leaders was Sheila Manokaran Valmeo. Sheila took time off her hectic schedule to lead this initiative in the form of designing masks and costumes as she saw great meaning to the cause. Being unable to participate in 2014 as she was in Vietnam for her Youth Corps project implementation, Sheila made sure she volunteered herself at the earliest opportunity to contribute this year.

“This initiative tugged at my heartstrings as I have family members who have autism. I saw their struggle and witnessed the difficulties they faced trying to fit into society. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I didn’t play my part in giving back to society in this area”, she said.

One of the highlights was the music performance by Beth Yap (@bittymacbeth). The 21 year-old musician who is working on her debut solo album sang the song that she composed specially for The Purple Parade. “I decided to be part of The Purple Parade as it’s for a good cause! Inclusion of persons with special needs is something that we should be creating awareness about. We should be celebrating their abilities instead”, Beth explains more about her composition.

Beth added that while she was heartened to see a more inclusive society over the years, she awaits more facilities and programmes for “everyone in civic society, be it the intellectually disabled or the visually impaired”.

With that, let’s continue to empathise with one another and be one accepting family, one nation, one Singapore!


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