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Inmates Showcase Linguistic Talent At Yellow Ribbon Poetry-Writing And Story-Telling Competition


CARE Network collaborates with National Library Board to celebrate inmates’ linguistic talent

Singapore, June 28, 2007 – Some 24 inmates pit their presentation and writing skills against one another at the Yellow Ribbon Poetry-writing and Storytelling Competition held in Changi Prison Cluster A today. The annual Yellow Ribbon Poetry-writing Competition and the inaugural Yellow Ribbon Storytelling Competition were jointly organised by the CARE Network and National Library Board (NLB).

Based on the theme of “Giving”, inmates penned original poems and stories in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil, and shared about how they wanted to contribute to their families and society.

“The participants showed a strong flair for literature and confidence in presenting their works. It is very encouraging to hear from them their commitment to contribute to society. I’m looking forward to reading the book compilation of all their outstanding creations,” said Ms Ngian Lek Choh, Deputy Chief Executive, NLB.

To prepare the participants for the competition, a special word camp was organised for those who signed up. Participants had the privilege of having guidance from theatre veteran Peggy Ferroa, who contributed to producing the Yellow Ribbon Concert 2006. The word camp was held for seven hours each day for two days to help inmates learn more about story and poetry creation and presentation skills. Ferroa said, “I’m very impressed by the quality of work that the inmates have produced. During the camp, they were willing to learn from their mistakes to improve in their ability to write and present. They drew from their personal experiences to create poems and stories that touched me deeply.”

The Yellow Ribbon Project is a nation-wide campaign to raise the awareness of Singaporeans about the need of inmates, ex-offenders and their families for societal acceptance. There are approximately 11,000 ex-offenders who are released from the various prisons and drug rehabilitation centres each year. As most ex-offenders have to return to their families and the community, the focus on rehabilitation and aftercare efforts alone are not adequate. The Yellow Ribbon Project highlights the important part the community plays in the creation of an inclusive social environment where ex-offenders, who display strong desire to change, and their families can find the hope to start life afresh and become contributing members of society.
Mr. Desmond Chin, Chairman, Yellow Ribbon Project Organising Committee said, “We have been working with deserving inmates to equip them with skills that form the bedrock for employment. Today, they have shown their ability to write and present well, and these are useful skills which employers value. We are also very privileged to have the National Library Board’s support for this competition."

Works of all finalists and selected participants will be published as a compilation book to be launched in September.

Media Contact

For more information, please contact:

Aaron Yeo
Burson-Marsteller for Singapore Prison Service
Telephone: 6829 9333 Mobile: 9843 3505

Eric Lim
Burson-Marsteller for Singapore Prison Service
Telephone: 6829 9325
Mobile: 9366 1006

Radhika Naidu
Public Affairs Branch, Singapore Prison Service
Telephone: 6546 9583

Wong Wai Quen
Corporate Communications Division National Library Board
Telephone: 6332 1873

About Yellow Ribbon Creative Festival

The Yellow Ribbon Creative Festival is an internal festival to celebrate inmates’ talent. The festival comprises four competitions – cooking, poetry-writing and story-telling, song-writing and art – and is held from May to September 2007.
Organised by the CARE Network and supported by various community and corporate partners, the festival showcases a range of inmates’ creative work, based on themes that revolve around their reflection, transformation and reintegration into society.
About the CARE Network

The Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders (CARE) Network’s vision is to offer hope, confidence and opportunities for ex-offenders. CARE Network seeks to engage the community in rehabilitation, coordinate member agencies’ activities and develop innovative rehabilitation initiatives for ex-offenders.

The CARE Network brings together various community and government organisations responsible for the rehabilitation of reforming offenders. They are the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sports (MCYS), Singapore Prison Service (Prisons), Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE), National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Industrial and Services Co-operative Society Limited (ISCOS), Singapore After-Care Association (SACA) and Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA).

For more information on CARE Network, please visit

About National Library Board

Established on 1 September 1995, the National Library Board's mission is to provide a trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service so as to promote a knowledgeable and engaged society. NLB oversees the management of the National Library, including the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, three regional libraries, 20 community libraries, 10 community children's libraries, as well as over 15 libraries belonging to government agencies, schools and private institutions. Through its innovative use of technology and collaboration with strategic partners, NLB ensures that library users have access to a rich array of information services and resources that are convenient, accessible and useful. More information on NLB can be found on

Last Updated/Reviewed on 05-February-2018