Singapore, 8 June 2006 - 25 students from Orchid Park Secondary School today became conservation guides to children from welfare organisation Beyond Social Services, taking them on an “Aquatic Adventure” at Singapore Zoo.
The secondary three students have been trained as Wildlife Buddies under the SPH Conservation Ambassadors and Wildlife Buddies programme, an innovative student volunteer programme that helps children and youths spread the conservation message.
This “youth-for-youth” volunteer programme, into its second year, is sponsored by the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).
Ms Fanny Lai, Executive Director of Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, said: “This is the first time the Singapore Zoo is extending the Wildlife Buddies Programme to disadvantaged children. We hope that the children will not only learn more about wildlife conservation but also enjoy the experience of interacting with children from other schools.”
“We are certainly grateful to SPH for their continued support of the programme. This programme is structured such that the pupils learn not only about flora and fauna but also social interaction, community responsibility and wildlife conservation, “ she added.
“Children are fascinated by animals, and the Singapore Zoo, which is transforming itself into a learning zoo, provides the ideal setting for this student volunteer programme,” said Ms Ginney Lim, Acting Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations of SPH.
“It brings children closer to nature and wildlife, and encourages them to make a positive contribution to the environment, which is under ever-increasing threat. We are proud to be sponsoring such a meaningful project,” added Ginney.
Since the programme´s launch last year, about 180 students from junior colleges and tertiary institutions have been trained as Conservation Ambassadors, acting as guides to visitors at selected exhibits. About 360 pupils underwent the Wildlife Buddies training programme to be conservation guides to their peers.
Besides the “Aquatic Adventure” module, the White Tiger and Fragile Forest are other available guided exhibits under the SPH Conservation Ambassadors and Wildlife Buddies programme. In addition, the Education Department of the Singapore Zoo also works closely with the various schools to design walking trails for students involved in the programme. These trails may include the above exhibits or other parts of the zoo.
SPH has been in partnership with the Wildlife Reserves Singapore on wildlife conservation for many years. The media group has adopted the SPH Conservation Centre and well-loved Inuka the polar bear since 1990. Through the SPH Conservation Centre, the highly-endangered proboscis monkeys from Borneo have thrived and have bred successfully in captivity.
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About Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 14 newspapers in the four official languages and more than 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.8 million individuals, or 88 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers, which enjoy over 100 million pageviews from 6 million unique visitors every month.
SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free sheet Today. SPH has a 70% stake in UnionWorks, which operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English. In addition, SPH holds an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest LED network media company, and a 35% stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.