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Where to volunteer in Singapore: AWARE, Habitat for Humanity, Transient Workers Count Too and more

Where to volunteer in Singapore: AWARE, Habitat for Humanity, Transient Workers Count Too and more

A helping hand

Text: Azrin Tan


Perhaps if there's anything remotely good that came out of last year, it's a renewed community consciousness — to somehow do better by the society living in need all around us. With the circuit breaker of 2020, we were placed in positions where we did one of two things: engage virtually, or...disengage completely. And had you kept up to date consistently with the news during #CB, one persistent thread apart from COVID-19 was the dire living conditions of the migrant workers in Singapore that were revealed, exposing a lack of infrastructure and severe lack of support for the foreign workers. And so petitions kicked in, donation funds were set up and the public reacted more strongly than ever: sooner or later, the public reactions were no longer just for the migrant workers.

There was an amplified sense of how we had to help one another, and how small, marginalised communities needed the support too, now more than ever. After all, getting involved with various communities is also a great way to not only learn about other societies amidst us, but also help create opportunities for meaningful time spent elsewhere. So if you're looking to start volunteering but you're not exactly sure where to begin, here's a little helpful guide to egg you along — depending on where your passion might be.

If you're looking out for the elderly...

Habitat for Humanity

A little more niche in terms of the help that they provide, Habitat for Humanity provides services to the elderly to help with the rehabilitation of their homes into a safe and sanitary space to live in. After all, much of the elderly are sometimes rendered incapable of cleaning up and decluttering their homes any longer due to their deteriorated strength and health levels. For these vulnerable individuals or families, you can volunteer with their Project HomeWorks to help declutter and clean up their homes to make it a more livable space to live in for the elderly, and prevent possible health hazards.

Find out more here.

Alzheimer's Disease Association

A social service agency dedicated to providing the necessary therapy for elderly suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia, this is a space for those who are interested in discovering more about how they can help those who are fraught with the disease, and think they have the desire to support not just the elderly individuals suffering, but also the families or caregivers who are behind them. Their volunteer programmes include a series of art therapy sessions where you will assist the staff in helping the elderly through the art sessions and interact with them.

Find out more here.

If you're looking to help with the migrant workers...

Transient Workers Count Too

We've all been exposed to the livelihoods of the migrant workers in Singapore - living marginalised and under cramped working conditions. They take up a significant percentage of our population, they're the ones building our skyscrapers, but often enough most of us have never really interacted with them. Take the first step and extend a helping hand to these workers who need structural help: by volunteering with TWCT, you'll be exposed to various options to work on from meal programmes to organizing outings or even attending to more serious casework that might need expert referrals.

 

Find out more here.

Raining Raincoats

This one's yet another one in the midst of help catered to our migrant workers. Originally started by just 1 guy who did ad-hoc little things to try and help them out, Raining Raincoats is a small organization that simply tries to help the workers in various little ways that are possible - from distributing pizza, relief patches and data top-up cards to helping them out with anything else that they might have barriers to access to. They're always in need of volunteers, including people to help with sending food and supplies to the migrant workers, so you can probably find something of interest to you here.

Find out more here.

If you're looking for something with kids...

EQUAL

At EQUAL, you'll get to help different groups of people, not just kids, at once and even interact with hooved animals. EQUAL houses therapy horses that are meant to help develop the socio-emotional skills of various individuals who sign up for their therapy sessions, through the interactions with the gentle horses. They cater quality programmes to different groups of people e.g helping the youth in need, those with special needs, and even families who might need a boosted form of counselling. By being a volunteer there, you might have the chance to interact with all these different groups — horses included!

Find out more here.

National Library Board

This is a great option not just for those who want to help kids out, but want to reconnect with your love for reading. With the krisREAD programme at National Library Board, you'll be tasked to read children stories to underprivileged kids from lower income brackets, and even interact with them over fun activities that'll provide bonding opportunities for the kids.

Find out more here.

If you're all for women's rights...

BABES

BABES is ultimately, for those female teens who need some support — both emotionally and structurally — should they become pregnant and rendered unable to support themselves. BABES provides the safe space they need, and can refer them to the necessary professionals or support services should they need help medically or with putting up the child for adoption. Should you volunteer here, there are various roles you might be able to take on, depending on your prior parental experience and age.

Find out more here.

AWARE

Looking out for you ladies. This one's the one for those extremely passionate about gender equality and rights; a space that's committed to looking out for those (especially women) who have been marginalised due to their gender, and are falling to the structural cracks. This includes help for low-income mothers, victims of domestic and sexual violence or single parents who need the support. Their volunteer programmes are fully fleshed out - from HR to their helpliners who will have to be ready to go through the necessary training to better support the women of AWARE.

Find out more here.

If you're an animal lover...

Animal Concerns Research & Education Society

ACRES is primed and prepared to help out all the various wildlife out there, and they're committed to making sure the people who work with and for them are equally committed to their cause. The standout volunteer programme includes a wildlife rescue one - where you have to be at least 21 years old — and you'd be assigned to the wildlife rescue hotline to attend to various wildlife sightings or animals in distress around Singapore. This seems an ideal pick for those who want to experience something a little more offbeat, and dedicated to making sure nature's best is well-protected and quickly attended to.

Find out more here.

Causes For Animals

Whilst there's plenty of help that might be going to more popular known shelters like SPCA or Animal Lovers League, Causes for Animals is yet another shelter that might appreciate the help more than you'd think. A space entirely run by volunteers, they rescue and provide a safe, healthy home to various stray cats and dogs, and consistently aim to churn out education programmes for others to understand animal welfare as a whole. Their volunteers include those who can help with marketing mechanics, or those willing to help with the adoption processes.

 

 

Find out more here.