What do you think of when you hear the word volunteer? For me, the first thing that comes to mind is Flag Day. Almost every Singaporean student has participated in a flag day before (especially nearing the end of the year when you have yet to hit the CIP requirements). Standing in the hot sun with a metal can in our hands asking passers-by for donations may be your image of volunteering.
However, volunteering is more than that. Many opportunities have popped up over the years to cater to the varied interests of Singaporeans. Now, you will be able to find a volunteering opportunity for the cause that you care about. In this article, we list out 5 volunteering opportunities that you may not have heard of before.
1. Caring for Wildlife
Image: Rescued tortoises in the Sancturary / ACRES
Ever dreamed of caring for exotic reptiles like snakes and tortoises? You can do so at ACRES Wildlife Sanctuary! Rescued victims of the illegal wildlife trade in Singapore are brought to the sanctuary where they get a second chance at life. These animals are cared for as they undergo rehabilitation before being repatriated if possible.
As a volunteer, you will get to have firsthand interaction with the wildlife. Help to prepare their food and feed them, clean up their living areas, and maintain the sanctuary. Take part in this once-in-a-lifetime rewarding experience where you get to care for these rare animals. Sign up now!
2. Give Migrant Workers a Fresh Cut
Image: Haircutting session at the back alley of Geylang / Backalley Barbers
Get to know migrant workers better over the duration of a haircut. Backalley Barbers, as the name suggests, initially gave migrant workers free haircuts at the back alleys of Geylang. Since then, it has expanded to migrant worker shelters, nursing homes, and low-income communities. During the circuit breaker, they headed to Marina Bay Cruise Centre where 157 haircuts were given to migrant workers on the two cruise ships docked there.
Volunteer barbers will undergo training, so don’t worry if you have never tried snipping hair before. Look forward to interesting and meaningful chats with the migrant workers as you hear their stories about their loved ones, their hometowns, and their struggles. Interested in this? Look out for barber classes on their social media sites!
3. Surprise People with Baked Goods
Image: Baked goods waiting to be given out / Doughin’ Good
Were you one of those who fell in love with baking during the Circuit Breaker? Now your hobby can be your way of giving back to the community! Doughin’ Good is a student initiative that provides a platform for bakers to show their appreciation to the healthcare workers and migrant workers through their bakes. It aims to brighten the day of these underserved communities by surprising them with a home-baked treat.
Volunteers can use the provided recipes to bakes the delicious treats in their own kitchen. They can then attach a heartfelt note and deliver the baked goods to the collection point. Look forward to a doughin’ good time when volunteering with Doughin’ Good. Follow their Instagram for updates on the next cycle!
4. Teach Underprivileged Children Coding
Image: Coding lessons for underprivileged children / CITC
Be part of the push for a SmartNation by teaching the next generation basic coding language. Code in the Community (CITC) aims to bring free coding classes to 6700 young Singaporeans from disadvantaged backgrounds by 2022. It provides these children with structured, multi-level coding classes so that those with an aptitude for coding can progress to the next level.
Volunteers will manage the classes and engage these children through their coding journey. You will need to know either Scratch or Python and will have to undergo screening and training before you lead a class. If you have an interest in tech and love kids, this is the perfect opportunity for you. Sign up now!
5. Work with Horses to Help the Disabled
Image: Horse-riding therapy session / RDA
Get the chance to interact with these gentle and friendly horses while you help the disabled. Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) provides free horse-riding therapy for the disabled to increase their confidence and physical conditions. Horse-riding therapy not only improves the circulation, respiration, balance, motor coordination, and mobility of the disabled, but it also provides an uplifting effect on those who are troubled and suffering.
Volunteers will receive training so no prior experience is required. You will walk beside the horse and support the rider to complete the therapy. You should commit once a week for 10 consecutive weeks to ensure consistency for the rider which helps them progress better. Volunteer here to be a part of this meaningful job!
Reach Out and Give Back
Volunteering can be an exciting and interesting experience too. As much as you are giving, you will also receive and learn through the experience. As a part of the community, we can do our part to help the less fortunate. Let us gather our family and friends to volunteer together today!