Congratulations, BFFers of 2020!

24 July 2020 – We concluded the third BFF Challenge with a bang! And with 25 graduates this year, there was plenty to celebrate. 🙂

The BFF graduates, along with alumni and facilitators, enjoyed a celebration on Zoom with games and a Virtual Award Ceremony. We were also honoured to have a guest speaker, Vilma D’Rozario, and two of our mentors, N. Sivasothi (NUS) and Anbu Boopal (ACRES) join us.

The event kicked off with a Biodiversity Battle game show. This fun quiz game was adapted from the Act for Nature carried out by one of our graduates, Tasha. Tasha shared with us how leading the game show for her friends gave her the chance to practise facilitation – a valuable skill for encouraging conversations about biodiversity!

Our brave volunteers battled it out in three animal-themed rounds!

It was an exciting showdown involving quick thinking and fast fingers. In the end, Nasry, Edric (BFF’2019) and Exley emerged victorious.

Next, we heard from nature educator and wildlife activist Dr Vilma D’Rozario about her journey in the conservation scene. With a wealth of experience, she certainly showed us the variety of options that are available for us to contribute, both in Singapore and around the region.

Dr Vilma D’Rozario engaged us with her ‘Journeys’ in the conservation scene.

The next item on our programme was a Virtual Award Ceremony. Under normal circumstances, our BFFers would have received their certificates right from the hands of the organisers, accompanied by live applause and a photo opportunity. This time however, most BFFers had already received their certificates in the mail before the event.

Still, we wanted it to be a ceremony to remember. So this year, we introduced some Special Recognition Awards, to acknowledge the outstanding work by some of our participants. Together, we congratulated the following BFFers:

For their Outstanding Participation: Bao Shen and Nasry

For great work in their Reflection Blogs: Madeleine and Ria

For excellent work in their Act for Nature: Carrie, Tasha and Yu Xin

All of our BFF graduates were also given the chance to share a few words about what they took away from their Challenge. Here are some of their highlights:

“This was a very interesting experience because I got to try out a lot of different aspects of biodiversity that I otherwise wouldn’t in real life. So that was something that I’m quite grateful for.” – Yu Xin

“One of the main things I learned from this is that reaching out to people can be done in many ways. I looked forward to going on nature walks and seeing animals during my BFF journey, but because of the Covid situation, it could not happen. But I was really encouraged to see how you all brought it to us with the BQLive and webinars.” – Lewis

“The BFF experience has opened my eyes to a huge community of nature lovers in Singapore. I think it’s quite cool to find out what everyone is doing in their own capacity and also meet like-minded peers.” – Chui Qing

We wrapped up the evening with closing remarks from Sivasothi aka Otterman, and of course, one last group photo :’)

Participants of the BFF Challenge 2020 Wrap Up!

We couldn’t close the Challenge without some final acknowledgements. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all those who have supported the BFF programme:

To the BFFers of 2020: Our heartiest congratulations! It has been a weird time for all, but that hardly dampened your enthusiasm. We hope you stay connected, and stay curious about what biodiversity can offer. 🙂

Looking forward to BFF Challenge 2021!