Singapore might be the poster child for First World affluency, but that is no indication that the city-state is not without its fair share of social predicaments. On the bright side, it’s also not an indication that there’s a shortage of kind-hearted people on this island. If you’ve been meaning to participate in a good cause but not sure which one to dedicate your time to, here are 10 excellent volunteer programmes as recommended by Expat Living Singapore.
Ever had a go at tennis with your eyes closed? That’s how playing the sport feels like if you suffer from loss of sight. Yet, the visually-handicapped players who’d meet at Pathlight School every Saturday do it with such skill. Instead of depending on sight, they listen out for the rattling noise of special soundballs and hit them. You can volunteer to teach Soundball to the visually-handicapped every weekend and maybe see their dreams of making it an official Paralympics sports come true.
MINDS – or the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore – strongly believes that every child with intellectual impairment deserves the right to proper education, and that upon growing into an adult, should be integrated as contributing citizens of society. If you feel as passionately about this cause, donate your time and skill. The organisation is always on the lookout for volunteers and professionals in the areas of medicine, education, nutrition, dentistry and the arts.
Cat Welfare Society
There’s arguably something fundamentally wrong with a person who doesn’t like cats. They’re cute, furry, and in need of volunteers to help save them from abuse and homelessness. The Cat Welfare Society has been around since 1999 fighting for the greater good of our feline friends. If you can commit for a minimum period of 12 months, consider volunteering with the non-profit organisation – they need help in maintaining their CWS website and admin support to handle sterilisation records, amongst other things.
Action for Singapore Dogs
If you sincerely believe that dogs truly are men’s best friends, consider volunteering with Action for Singapore Dogs. Established in 2000, the non-profit organisation is committed to improving the lives of stray and abandoned dogs in the city. There are numerous activities for you to choose from and participate in, from fundraising and sterilisation to fostering and site maintenance.
An acronym for Transient Workers Count Too, TWC2 is in the business of promoting equitable treatment for low-wage migrant workers who make up the largest group of disadvantaged people in Singapore. If you’ve always wanted to put a smile on the faces of these workers, consider being a volunteer who provides moral support to those in salary dispute with their employers or someone who brings them around town when they have the day off from work.
Many households in Singapore depend on the assistance of domestic workers, yet a significant fraction of these people find themselves subjected to abuse and unfair treatment. HOME Singapore is an anti-human trafficking organisation that “works for the well-being, justice and empowerment” of these migrant workers. The non-profit organisation is currently looking for friendly volunteers with good interpersonal skills for help in activities like accompanying workers to the hospital to help fill up claim forms.
If only everyone had a genie to help make his or her wish come true like Aladdin. With that being said, you can be that special individual who grants the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions in Singapore. The Make-A-Wish Foundation currently only has 8 staff members and they need all the volunteers they can get to add light to the lives of these kids. You can help throw parties for them amongst other things.
Nothing brings more joy to the life of a child than the gift of books and reading. The National KIDSread programme is a joint initiative by the National Library Board and People’s Action that aims to inculcate the love of reading in kids from low-income families in Singapore. You can be a volunteer and promote good reading habits by reading stories to them aloud. Training in basic storytelling skills will be provided.
No organisation in Singapore fights for women’s rights more passionately than the Association of Women for Action & Research. More popularly known as AWARE, it’s dedicated to eradicating gender-based discriminations and barriers. As a volunteer, you can have fulfilling experiences, which includes being part of the We Can! Campaign that aims to end all violence against women.
Asian Women’s Welfare Association
“People giving to people” – that is the motto of the Asian Women’s Welfare Association. More simply known as the AWWA, this organisation aims to empower the disadvantaged – whether young or old – to live their independent lives to the fullest. You can join the current 9000 corporate and individual volunteers as caregivers to children and the elderly.