SINGAPORE: More than 6,000 children with special needs and their caregivers will get to visit The Future of Us exhibition, as part of an outreach programme launched by President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Wednesday (Feb 3).
The children from 20 special needs schools and Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs), such as the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, will enjoy a multi-sensory experience of what living in Singapore will be like in 2030.
The children will be brought through the exhibition by volunteer guides. There are six immersive zones housed across four domes, featuring highlights such as short films and interactive installations.
In one of the domes, they will be encouraged to pen their hopes for the future, which will then be projected overhead. Their hopes will then also be included in the ongoing SGfuture dialogue series to help chart the country's path.
Jordan Tan, 16, from the Grace Orchard School, said: "My wish for the future (is) ... to expand Singapore's land, because Singapore is overcrowded."
For his wish, 15-year-old Muhammad Solehan Hamid from the Association for Persons with Special Needs, Katong School said: "I hope Singapore will continue to be a peaceful and happy home."
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the programme, Dr Tan said: "The future of Singapore has to be an inclusive Singapore. It has to cater for everyone, whatever be your needs, whatever be your aspirations. It has to be a place in Singapore and we need many helping hands to bring this about."
The children will also get to visit the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay.
The outreach programme was made possible with a grant from philanthropic organisation Temasek Cares, in partnership with The Future of Us exhibition and the National Council of Social Service.
Dr Tan cited the programme as a good example of the private and public sectors getting together for a worthy cause. He also urged Singaporeans to work together towards a brighter future.
Mr Richard Magnus, chairman of Temasek Cares, added: "We have worked with the teachers and with the VWOs in order for them to carry on the conversation with the children. We want not only superficially to get their views. We want them to be able to participate in various programmes, incremental programmes that will lead to a better Singapore."
The exhibition is the last major event to round up Singapore's SG50 year of celebrations. It started on Dec 1, 2015 and will run until Mar 8 this year. As of end-December, the exhibition has drawn more than 200,000 visitors.