Looking for a meaningful way to spend your time, or just something to do? Why not consider volunteering, then?
Committing our time and energy might seem intimidating to most of us, but it really shouldn’t be the case—especially if you find something closely aligned with your interests and capabilities. Plenty of volunteering opportunities can be found in SG, and you can help out in a huge range of capacities! We’ll get the ball rolling by starting you off with a brief list.
If you’re a Computer Science student or just a whiz at the Python/Scratch programming language(s), Code in the Community is one way to give back! A Google-sponsored initiative that aims to teach 3000 young Singaporeans from less well-to-do backgrounds basic coding skills over 3 years, the programme welcomes volunteers to contribute as instructors or assistant instructors. You must be willing to commit for at least 6 weeks.
An Institute of Public Character (IPC), New Life Stories is a non-profit organisation which works toward providing children of incarcerated mothers’ educational assistance at the pre-school level. The organisation seeks volunteers to be Learning Friends (reading volunteers) and Befrienders (support for the mothers). You can also volunteer ad-hoc for their events, help with event logistics, or offer your skills in design/photography/writing!
If you’re above 18 and are looking for a slightly different kind of volunteering, the Singapore Police Force has the Volunteer Special Constabulary (Community) vocation you could sign up for. Training is spread over 7 weeks (you’ll pick up Police procedures, Police defence tactics as well as first-aid) and you’d be required to perform at least 8 hours of patrol duty monthly. VSC Community officers are deployed in Neighbourhood Police Centres and will not carry arms.
An independent registered charity, Playeum runs the Children’s Centre for Creativity at Gilman’s Barracks. They work closely with children from disadvantaged backgrounds to provide them the space and time to play creatively in a safe social environment. So, if you’re great with children or full of creative spark, this could be right up your alley! You can either sign up to be a Creative Practitioner, Creative Facilitator, or be a Programme Volunteer.
The Food Bank Singapore needs a variety of volunteers to help them with their operations. You could choose to assist with their operations, marketing, R&D or advocacy efforts. Roles range from researchers and food nutrition educators to event planners and food bank ambassadors. Most voluntary roles allow for flexible timings.
Passionate about the Arts? If so, be an NAC Art Volunteer and spend even more time being exposed to what you love! NAC has a range of volunteer roles that will appeal to all groups of people. Common roles listed by NAC include Arts Befrienders, Photographers, Skills-based Volunteers, Artist Liaison Officers as well as Venue Managers. Different roles and different events require varying levels of commitment. Volunteers will be briefed.
Enjoy visiting museums or do you sit on the other end of the spectrum, thinking that what lies within is a little too inaccessible to you? Whichever end you’re on, a volunteering stint at the museum could just be what you’re looking for! The National Museum of Singapore recruits volunteers annually to help out with Front-desk support duties/support to visitors with additional needs/other support and volunteer services. You must be above 18 years old, be people-oriented, and be able to commit for at least 2 years.
You must also be a Friends of the Museums (FOMs) member.
Have you seen the charming feline friends over at Keep C.A.T.S? If you haven’t, the time is now! The animal welfare organization helps to rescue, rehome, and sterilize stray cats (pst, they also offer paid pet photography!). Ways to volunteer abound, including becoming fosterers, transporters, designers or photographers, and so on! You could also choose to become a sponsor, too.
If you are a cat lover, confirm plus chop, we think that this volunteering opportunity couldn’t get any better. Love Kuching Project allows ad-hoc volunteers (requests must be made at least 5 days in advance due to size constraints) for their Play/Clean sessions. They’re exactly what they sound like: help the foster kitties maintain a clean dwelling while getting the chance to play with them! The best part is that the sessions are usually held daily in the evenings, so you can pop by after work/a tiring day at school.
- Animal Lovers League (ALL)
A no-kill animal shelter that’s home to around 700 dogs and cats, Animal Lovers League welcomes both ad-hoc and long-term volunteers, while gently reminding interested parties for the latter to be prepared to commit to less than glamorous tasks. Volunteer work includes showering and walking the dogs as well as the cleaning of the shelter’s facilities. If you’re not ready to be in it for the long haul just yet, no pressure. You can help ALL out in their ad-hoc events (booth manning and dog-handling, for example), or help them out with writing/photography/design based tasks!
- Save our Street Dogs (Healing Paws Programme)
SoSD has a variety of volunteering activities you can take part in but if you like interacting with humans and/or have a dog, why not considering the Healing Paws programme? You can sign up as a dog-handling volunteer or an AAA (Assisted Animal Activities) assistant, and participate in regular weekly sessions conducted in several institutions. Do note that dogs will have to go through an assessment to make sure that they’re a fit for the programme.
Found something yet? We hope so!
If nothing on this list is hitting the spot, however, you could try downloading the SG volunteers/SG Cares app!
If you’ve been wanting to volunteer but haven’t been sure how to start, the SG eCares app is an easy way to find opportunities! If you’ve been intimidated by the idea of volunteering, let the app’s stories and inspirations tabs help you out with that, too. (: