Many expatriates who come to Singapore to accompany their spouses, often find themselves at a loss to fill their days in a meaningful way. Volunteering or social work provide numerous physical and emotional benefits to the participant, while helping to make the world a better place. Volunteering allows one to think about other people, and focus on a cause or problem aside from one’s own, and this break provides relief from the stresses and irritations that may have continuously sapped one’s energy and resources.
By providing aid to others, the emotional reward of knowing that one has made a difference will help to boost your own mood and make you feel better equipped to deal with your own problems. And it’s definitely not all about the individual, as volunteering helps to encourage people to be more civic conscious, to be kinder to others, and help to draw together an increasingly dissociated and isolated society.
But what kind of volunteer work can be done here in Singapore? What causes and which ways are there to help? Luckily for us, there is no shortage of organisations and interest groups that work tirelessly around the clock to ensure that no need goes unnoticed, and no cry goes unheard.
There are many animal shelters as well as animal advocacy groups here in Singapore. The majority of these support our furry friends, such as pet cats and dogs. If you’d like to prefer to work with dogs, you could check out Action for Singapore Dogs and Save our Street Dogs. These non-profit groups are ‘no kill’ shelters that do not believe in culling. Cat Welfare Society is one of the most established shelters for our feline friends, and it has an extensive education and volunteer programme. Animal Lovers League and SPCA are extremely well-known for their care of both canines and felines. If you’d prefer to work with wildlife, including animals such as birds, macaques and reptiles, the Animal Concern Research and Education Society in Singapore does it all.
The well-known KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (link) has numerous volunteer programmes where you can entertain the patients and engage in play sessions with the younger ones. You may also wish to volunteer at Make A Wish Foundation (link). Make a child’s wish come true by volunteering and granting the wishes of children with life-threatening conditions.
Arguably the most famous non-profit event in Singapore, Pink Dot (Link) is an annual event organised to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, and volunteers are always appreciated due to the size of the event which has inspired many similar ones overseas, including Anchorage, Montreal, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Those who champion women’s rights may consider the Association for Women for Action and Research (Link) is a non-profit group works to tear down gender barriers through research, education and support, and it also provides services such as a helpline, counselling and a free legal clinic.
Open 365 days a year, Willing Hearts is a local soup kitchen (Link) that cooks and distributes approximately 5000 meals to over 40 locations throughout Singapore. The food goes to those who suffer from food insecurity, and may include the elderly, the disabled, low-income families, or migrant workers. Another place where you could go to offer help is Touch Community Services (Link), a non-profit group that provides a wide variety of services for the young, the elderly, the handicapped, as well as those with special needs.23 Nov 2023