We Are Family! Celebrating IYF 2014

We Are Family! Celebrating IYF 2014

A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” George Bernard Shaw

Now into its 20th year of inception, Singapore is celebrating the International Year of the Family (IYF) in 2014. Revolving around the four core values; love, respect, commitment and big-heartedness, it was first mentioned by Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong during his 2014 New Year message.

In line with the PM’s concept, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) aims to promote family bonding through a year-long series of family-orientated events and activities. Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing stressed the importance of the family in our Singapore society at the start of the year, “Whether we are rich or poor… at the end of the day, after a hard day’s work, when we go home, what is most important to us is our family. A warm and wholesome family that we can share our joys, trials and tribulations, ups and downs in whatever we do”.

People who share in our life; our family
Photo sourced from theasianparent.com

With a dedicated special float in the 2014 Chingay parade, the governmental effort to promote family was evident in this year’s annual Lunar New Year celebrations. In addition, there will be activities and social media campaigns designed to roll out on public holidays and special occasions. The public can find out the latest IYF 2014 activities here.

Rolling out the first ever ‘Singapore Celebrates Families’ Chingay float in 2014
Photo sourced from channelnewsasia.com

But, how did IYF get its start?


Announced in 1994, the IYF initiative was rolled out by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. Promoted by the UN Programme on the Family branch, the Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali opened the International Conference on Families by stating that the importance of the family by calling it “a fundamental institution of human society”.

The UN recognises the family with the IYF initiative
Photos sourced from flickrhivemind.net and europa.eu

With the starting motto Building the Smallest Democracy at the Heart of Society”, IYF was committed to promoting a pro-family stance worldwide. Though armed with an international focus, the UN was insistent on a strong emphasis on the local and national level.

So, what are its key anchoring principles?

Underlying Principles

As the basic building block of society, the UN feels that the family is an area that requires special attention. Though families assume different forms and functions worldwide, the organisation seeks to promote basic human rights and fundamental individual freedom to all members regardless of background. The supporting policies should foster equality between women and men. Therefore, bringing a sharing of domestic responsibilities and employment opportunities to ensure that families can fulfil their responsibilities within their community.

Promoting equal and free families worldwide; the UN-led IYP 
Photos sourced from un.org and ungei.org

20th Anniversary IYF

After 20 years of existence, the IYF has now seized the opportunity to reflect on the current plight of the family. By reviewing the latest challenges faced by families worldwide, the year serves as a good time to update on recent international family policy developments and share good family practices. In light of widening income gap, it is getting more and more difficult for families to fulfil their responsibilities.

With many families struggling in the fight for poverty, the UN observed that people are finding it hard to juggle work and family roles while maintaining vital family bonds. As a result, IYF will be focusing specifically on exploring family policy and strategies to confront family poverty, work-family balance and advancing family bonds. However, the UN knows that it can’t go at it alone. As such, it is encouraging other agencies such as governments and non-governmental organisations to play a supporting role.

Helping families win the war against poverty while strengthening intergenerational bonds!
Photos sourced from women4agridevelopment.blogspot.sg and planttreaty.org

Here at SAFRA, we have heard the UN’s IYF rallying call and are doing our bit to help build and advance family bonds during the March school holidays.


SAFRA Jurong Family Day 
When: Sat & Sun, 15 & 16 Mar
Where: SAFRA Jurong
Time: 10am-7pm
Cost: Free Admission*
*Additional charges apply

Kick off the March school holiday with a bang by spending two days of pure fun at SAFRA Jurong Family Day! After grabbing your goodie bag, bring the kids down for the rare opportunity to ride and be photographed on ponies! Or join in the wet and wild fun in our H20 Tug-of-War Family Challenge and Family Dunking Fun.  Want to battle the heat? Cool off with the fun inflatables in the pool!

Get wet and wild at SAFRA Jurong Family Day!
Photos sourced from insing.com and vimnasiapress.pr.co

However if you want to stay dry, join up with your kids in the Daddy & Child Jigsaw Challenge and attempt to complete a  3D jigsaw puzzle within 90 minutes. Be the fastest team and stand to win cash prizes! Alternatively, you can test your wits in the Nescafé parent and child paper cup stacking challenge!

On top of it all, there will fun programmes and a bazzar to keep all entertained. Check out our life-sized inflatable bouncy castle before catching various awe-inspiring martial arts displays! Get your own personal caricature and snack on carnival sweet treats like candy floss, ice lolly and more!

SAFRA Family Day Out
When: Sun, 16 Mar
Where: Singapore Zoo
Time: 8.30am to 6pm
S$48.15* Family Package (2 Adults + 1 Child)
* S$10.70 Additional Child, S$16.05 Adult (SAFRA member), S$21.40 Adult (Guest)
S$19.26 Adult (SAFRA member)
S$21.40 Adult (Guest)
S$10.70 Child (3-12 Years)

Experience an eye-opening experience for young and old at the Singapore Zoo with SAFRA Family Day Out! With free shuttle services from all SAFRA clubhouses, enjoy a fun-filled safrari with exotic animals! Don’t miss the wet and wild splash safari show and roam around our four mystery checkpoints around the zoo! Capture the picture-perfect moments with our mystery props with our instant Polaroid cameras.

Come down to SAFRA Family Day Out and have a wild time with the family!
Photos sourced mydestination.com and tangs.com.sg

But, that’s not all! Enjoy a line-up of fun fringe activities and carnival which is catered to the whole family. Participants, both young and the young-at-heart, can unleash their wild side by getting their face painted at our event stalls. Don’t forget to pick up your exclusive goodie bag loaded with more than S$30 worth of food and SAFRA souvenirs!

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