(This story is from our archives of NextStep Magazine. The Magazine has since been renamed to AIC With You)
SG Ambassador in Singapore
What does it take to become an SG Ambassador?
A SGO welcomes all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 18 and above who are passionate in conducting door-to-door outreach and building meaningful relationships with seniors.
How does SGO train and prepare its volunteers?
We provide them with informative training sessions on relevant policies and schemes as well as customised on-the-job training to build their confidence in communicating with the seniors. Each SG Ambassador is attached to an SGO Satellite Office, which oversees their learning journey as a volunteer. Together with Community Networks for Seniors (CNS), SGO work with various community partners by inviting them to host talks to educate our volunteers on the relevant schemes. Likewise, the Satellite Offices maintain a close working relationship with our SG Ambassadors and update them promptly on the new schemes.
Volunteerism in Singapore
What are the biggest misconceptions of volunteerism?
One misconception is that it is time consuming. In reality, a person does not need to commit a lot of time to be a good volunteer. It is about the quality time spent in helping and making a difference in someone’s life. Some might also feel intimidated about volunteering due to the lack of relevant skills. However, there are many training opportunities that equip them with the essential skill set so as to enhance their volunteering experience. Despite these misconceptions, many people see volunteering as a part of their lives and through social media publicity, they are aware of the opportunities available.
How can community partners or leaders work together to attract and support more volunteers?
A Leaders should lead by example by motivating staff and instilling a volunteering culture within the organisation. Moreover, community partners need to create meaningful volunteering experiences and match the volunteers’ aspirations and interests.
Do you think that the way we engage seniors will drastically change in the future?
It will change as seniors become more tech-savvy in using the Internet and social media platforms. To address this, we can consult and gather more feedback from the seniors to better understand their goals and needs. In line with the Smart Nation initiative, SGO is adopting more technology to enhance our outreach efforts.
What are your hopes for the future of volunteerism in Singapore?
I hope that volunteering will come naturally to everyone and that more people will reach out to those in need. Only by giving can one truly receive.