I have to admit, the movie series ‘Ah Boys To Men’ has helped to put a spotlight on the men in our lives in Singapore, who go through National Service (NS) to defend our nation. Although the movie portrays somewhat of an exaggerated version of what goes on in army camp tinged with lots of light-hearted humour, it still managed to bring out the tough times that the boys are put through. Watching the movie has helped me reap a greater appreciation for all the Singaporean men with a duty to protect the country.
I also noticed that NS is the time where lifelong friendships are made. I look around and I see many of my friends still catching up with their army buddies regularly over a beer or karaoke. I find it very encouraging to see how the bonds fostered during the crazy days of NS carry on long after they have completed it.
There is actually one easy way for NSmen to continue their friendships – through SAFRA.
NS has been in place for 45 years now (and counting). Commemorating the 45th anniversary of NS, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be providing S$100 million worth of SAFRA and HomeTeamNS benefits to more than 900,000 National Servicemen. This is a one-off recognition initiative to thank our National Servicemen for their dedicated service to the nation.
Basically, all those who have served NS or are serving NS will benefit, so every National Serviceman will receive S$50 to S$100 worth of SAFRA vouchers. These vouchers can then be used to redeem lifestyle privileges. National Servicemen who are currently serving Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS), or who have completed their ORNS training cycle in full, will also be offered a year’s free SAFRA membership.
The purpose of this is to give National Servicemen and their families more opportunities to enjoy the subsidised facilities and privileges offered by SAFRA.
National Servicemen will be eligible for these benefits based on their NS status as at 22 Oct 2012:
National Servicemen will receive a letter of notification by post informing them of their eligibility for these benefits between January 2013 and April 2013.
So boys, register now at https://ns45.safra.sg/Register.aspx! Registration for NS45 vouchers ends 28 Feb 2014; vouchers are valid until 31 Mar 2014.
The vouchers can be used for shopping, F&B, IT/gadgets and travel benefits at 5,000 outlets islandwide. More information on the redemption outlets here.
SAFRA clubs are located at Jurong, Mount Faber, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Yishun and there are lots of activities , value-added services and membership perks to meet the lifestyle needs of the community of more than 220,000 SAFRA members. More facilities and activities here.
There are so many things you can do at SAFRA clubs, from eating to working out to trying all the indoor and outdoor sports to having your kid’s birthday party. You can also go bowling or sing karaoke with your friends. The Jurong branch even has a gymnastics school and a large indoor playground complete with vertical mazes and long slides.
You can just plan your life around SAFRA actually – do your workouts at the gyms, have meals with family and friends there, bring the kids out for swimming or to one of the educational classes . There are many interest groups within SAFRA too, such as photography club, shooting club or running club, so you can meet like-minded people and further enrich that hobby of yours!
The tough part of NS is over, now it’s time to reward yourselves with the various SAFRA activities and privileges.
Make SAFRA your lifestyle!