Volunteer Programs in Singapore
Singapore is a unique country because of the various cultures that amalgamated to what is now modern day Singaporean culture. In Singapore there are hints of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian cultures among the locals but there are also many foreigners present either for business or enjoying their vacations in a notably clean country. Even though Singapore is a small area, there is an endless amount of shopping, eating and exploring to do.
Even though Singapore seems to be pretty developed, the one leading problem is the growing size of the elderly population. One way to help is to volunteer at elderly homes. Volunteers can provide support and companionship with weekly home visits for seniors who may suffer from loneliness. This would be a long-term commitment because of the bonds that you will form with the elderlies. You will most likely have to be conversational in Chinese.
Another problem in Singapore is that some youth may lack someone to look up to especially if there are family problems and dysfunctions. Singapore has many organizations like CARE to help keep the younger generation in check. You can help out by being mentors or coaches through their tough times.
Even though conservation is not as big of an issues as other industries, Singapore also needs to maintain its wildlife and nature. There is always something that can be done to make the world a cleaner place. There are many options as well if you want to volunteer in wildlife. All types of skills are needed and there are positions like tour guides, photographers, designers, and divers. At the same time, volunteers can also learn a lot about nature and science.
Planning Your Trip
Know Before You Go: Usually for short-term volunteer sessions that are less than 60 days Miscellaneous Work Pass works (fee is $40) however every organization and volunteer requirements are different so you may need additional paperwork and visas for longer period of stays.
How to Save Money While Volunteering: Singapore can be a pricey country so it is a good idea to start thinking of ways to save money. Food is about the same everywhere you go depending on what cuisine you order. The most inexpensive accommodations are usually located farther away from the city and busy areas. Housing provided by the government (HDB flats) or renting a room in places like Chinatown are probably the best options with the prices ranging from $800 Singapore Dollars to about $3000 Singapore Dollars. Singapore cities are spread out so the most efficient way to get somewhere is by public transportation and what’s great is that everything is clean wherever you go.
Best Places to Volunteer: You can either choose to volunteer with a program or find separate non-profit organizations to volunteer for. Singapore has numerous options for volunteers including programs related to health, conservation, animals, youth, arts, and many more. It is hard to go wrong. There are also websites like SG Cares where you can sign up for places that match your interests. You can also check out WANGO for a full list of NGO’s in Singapore.
Health and Safety of Volunteers in Singapore
Singapore is known as a relatively safe country with low crime rates especially because of the strict laws and regulations implemented by the government. For example people can get heavily fined for spitting on the street or chewing gum. Shoplifting is also a serious crime. There are also many hospitals and some specialized hospitals as well and many things like medicine are usually conveniently located in nearby stores.