In the age of rapid globalisation, it has become increasingly fashionable for local-based organisations to possess a global perspective. 4PM is no different. Despite being a community organisation, it has always been in the DNA of 4PM leaders and volunteers to develop a global mindset. The reasons for doing so are twofold. The first is to internationalise the organisation by expanding networks beyond Singapore through the exchange of ideas, appreciation of culture, and sharing models of best practices. The second is to utilise that newfound global exposure by way of critical knowledge and networking experience to augment the contributions of the organisation to Singapore.
Especially since the 1990s, as 4PM became better known to the broader Singapore society, there was an earnest effort made by the organisation to provide opportunities for its volunteers to develop a global perspective. One example was the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in Singapore. Six volunteers from the organisation have thus far been selected to spend several weeks in the U.S. to build bridges of mutual understanding between the U.S. and Singapore. A second example is 4PM’s continued involvement with the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) through the National Youth Council. One further example is 4PM’s role in advancing the cause of explaining Islam to the Ummah in the region through its involvement with Bas Belia Mabims (BBM). Held since 2009, 30-40 delegates from the region have pursued a learning journey to government and non-governmental organisations in four different countries. One final example is 4PM hosting foreign delegations from China, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, and others through its collaborations with national agencies such as the National Youth Achievement Award Council. Taken together the above examples, 4PM has been able to imbue in its volunteers a ‘global in the local’ perspective, which in turn, has added to the richness of views and experiences in the organisation.