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. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in SG, and you can help in a huge range of capacities! We’ll get the ball rolling by starting you off with a brief list.
Is the library your second home? Lend your assistance to NLB’s various initiatives! Volunteers can help with programme facilitation and curation, library and patron support, or event management.
Some cool opportunities include the chance to create book displays, help with the indoor garden, and film digital storytelling videos. Ad-hoc volunteering opportunities are also available.
Want to spend your time meaningfully while meeting like-minded peers? Youth Corps Singapore offers volunteering opportunities that are Service-based, Event-based or Skills-based, all with various commitment durations.
There’s just about something for everyone. If you are an avid crafter, you can help out in painting activities for the elderly. If you enjoy the company of elders, you can take part in bonding sessions with seniors at GoodLife! Makan. Passionate about helping fellow youths? Join the Dolphin Befrienders Programme, where you’ll help facilitate weekly mentorship sessions for youths at risk!
Each opportunity may have different requirements; do check their listings for more information.
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 three years, the programme welcomes volunteers to contribute as instructors or assistant instructors. You must be willing to commit for at least six weeks.
Before volunteering commences, you must commit to a mandatory check-in session and 6–8 hours of independent e-learning (materials will be provided).
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 preschool level. The organisation seeks volunteers to be Learning Friends (reading volunteers) to children aged 3 to 12.
As a volunteer, you will befriend your young friends through conversations, English storytelling, creative activities and play. The minimum commitment level is an hour weekly, for a period of six months.
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 can sign up for. Training is spread over six months (you’ll pick up Police procedures, Police defence tactics, as well as first-aid), and you’d be required to perform at least 16 hours of patrol duty monthly. Shifts are typically after office hours, with an hourly duty allowance of $4.60.
VSC Community officers are deployed in Neighbourhood Police Centres and will not carry arms.
An independent registered charity, Playeum works closely with children from at-risk backgrounds, and children with disabilities, to provide them the space and time to play creatively in a safe social environment. They also organise public festivals to showcase the power of creative play. 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 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 delivery assistants to event planners and food bank ambassadors. Most voluntary roles allow for flexible timings.
The organisation also requires warehouse volunteers to help sort, take inventory, and pack food donations. Slots open one month in advance, and each session is three hours long.
IRR is an organisation that aims to improve migrant workers’ lives in Singapore by fostering understanding between Singaporeans and workers, providing supplies and encouraging conversation on important issues, and hosting them for a meal, amongst others.
You can sign up to volunteer for their in-house programmes, which include workers’ English virtually, or sign up as a youth volunteer!
Kindlespark is a registered social enterprise connecting tutors to students who require academic assistance, regardless of their socio-economic background. You can sign up to be a paid or pro bono tutor, with the former being paid SGD10–20 hourly depending on student level, and assist with ad-hoc homework questions on the group’s Telegram channel.
You are advised to commit until the end of an academic year to minimise disruption to your tutee’s studies. You must be at least 17 years of age.
Did you know that the Esplanade has volunteering opportunities?
Available roles include Welcome Ambassadors, Festival Assistants (with opportunities to be part of trial audiences!), CARE Buddies (assisting with community engagement programmes and helping guests with diverse needs) and skill-based ones (emcees, technical, artists, speakers). Do fill in their form if you have a fondness for the Arts!
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, and Venue Managers.
Different roles and different events require varying levels of commitment. Volunteers will be briefed, and having an arts background is not compulsory.
Enjoy visiting museums, or do you sit on the other end of the spectrum thinking that what lies within is too inaccessible? Whichever end you’re on, a volunteering stint at the museum could 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 two years.
You must also be a Friends of the Museums (FOMs) member.
Love animals? You can apply to become a Docent or Conservation Ambassador with Mandai Wildlife Reserve! Docents must be above 21, and Conservation Ambassadors must be between 15–21 years old. Both roles require you to undergo training and commit to a monthly duty of 2 hours per session, for at least a year.
Docents will need to pay a donation fee of SGD150, and Conservation Ambassadors a training fee of SGD30.
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 this volunteering opportunity couldn’t get any better. Love Kuching Project allows ad-hoc volunteers (requests must be made at least five 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, walking the dogs, and cleaning the shelter’s facilities. There is no pressure if you’re not ready to be in it for the long haul. You can help ALL in their ad-hoc events (booth manning and dog handling, for example) or help them with writing/photography/design-based tasks!
- Save our Street Dogs (Healing Paws Programme)
SoSD has a variety of volunteering activities you can participate in, but if you like interacting with humans and/or having a dog, why not consider 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 undergo an assessment to ensure they’re a fit for the programme.
Found something yet? We hope so!
However, if nothing on this list is hitting the spot, you could try downloading the SG Volunteers/SG Cares app!
If you’ve wanted to volunteer but are unsure 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. (: