Keen to volunteer in Singapore but not sure where to start? In the second part of this series our expert gives an overview of charities in Singapore
Feeling inspired to start donating your time after Part 1 of Volunteering in Singapore, but feeling overwhelmed with the over 2,000 charities in Singapore to choose from? Not to worry, help is at hand! In the second part of our series, Karen Fernandez shares her considerable NGO experience and helps identify some of the charities you can begin with, mama. For even more, you can always browse through our Sassy Mama Supports series, too!
Once you’ve decided where your passion lies and how much time you can feasibly commit to a cause, the next step is to identify a NGO and start talking with them. But, there are so many – even in tiny Singapore – that it’s completely understandable if you are feeling a tad overwhelmed! It may be easier to start with some of the broader categories listed below first. Within each category, I’ve included some of the bigger NGOs as well as the smaller and newer ones – all of them will undoubtedly be very happy to hear from you and benefit from your time and talents. If you are interested in helping more specific groups, check out the following categories in the gallery!
Aidha offers financial literacy training, Basic English classes and self-development programmes to foreign domestic workers.
HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics)
HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics) is an advocacy and awareness group which runs a range of programmes for migrant workers and provides assistance ranging from legal aid, counselling, a shelter, and women’s health programmes.
Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)
Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) promotes equal treatment for migrant workers in Singapore by helping those in need and advocating for better policies. Their programmes include advocacy and public outreach, social work assistance, research, a food programme and direct services.
The Children’s Charities site highlights the following five charities:
Association for Persons with Special Needs
Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore
St Andrew’s Mission Hospital
The Singapore Association for the Deaf
Singapore Children’s Society
Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore
Club Rainbow provides holistic services to children with chronic illness and to their families
Make-A-Wish Singapore grants wishes to children with life threatening medical conditions.
The Red Pencil
The Red Pencil helps children, and adults, to cope with emotional trauma through arts therapy and partners with hospitals, family centres, homes, shelters and schools.
Touch Community Services
Touch Community Services is constantly on the lookout for volunteers who are comfortable with speaking an interacting with the elderly to accompany clients, usually wheelchair bound, for their hospital check-ups and ferrying them to the different parts of the hospital.
Thye Hwa Kwan Charities Seniors Activity Centres
Thye Hwa Kwan Charities Seniors Activity Centres (SACs) are day centres for needy and vulnerable seniors. Currently, THK has 14 SACs across the island. These provide activities for seniors, keeping them active and socially integrated. THK SACs also provide support services to frail and homebound elderly through befriending services, emergency alert response calls, information and referrals for eldercare related matters.
Acres Wildlife Rescue Centre
Acres Wildlife Rescue Centre focuses on wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, zoo animal welfare, and community outreach and education for cruelty-free living for animals.
Animal Lovers League
As one of the largest and longest serving animal welfare group in Singapore, ALL has rescued over 700 cats and dogs. ALL is a no-kill shelter and their quest is to control the stray population by sterilisation and not annihilation.
Exclusively Mongrels Limited
This non-profit organization aims to raise awareness of the plight of Singapore Special dogs while also advocating for their adoption in Singapore by rescuing and rehoming them from shelters.
Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)
This dog shelter – one of the largest in Singapore – is entirely volunteer-run with a wide range of volunteer opportunities, from social media, to fostering, to dog walkers and transport.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
Probably the most well-known of animal protection charities, this NGO aims to be the leading authority and advocate on animal welfare and cruelty issues in Singapore. Their focus is on promoting kindness and preventing cruelty to animals through education, advocacy and action.
AWARE is Singapore’s leading gender equality advocacy group, focusing on the rights of women and men to make informed and responsible choices about their lives, have equal opportunities in education, marriage and employment, and in the right of women to control their own bodies, particularly with regard to sexual and reproductive rights.
Dress for Success Singapore
Dress for Success Singapore aims to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The organisation collects nearly new professional attire and provides career counselling and coaching.
PAVE aims is to promote a healthy community, free from violence through improvement, collaboration and advocacy.
New Life Stories: Early Reader
New Life Stories: Early Reader supports pre‐school education for the children of incarcerated mothers. They provide children with essential educational skills namely reading and pro‐social skills to ensure they are not left behind in the crucial early years of their development.
This unique project is a hawker training school for disabled and disadvantaged people. They provide on-the-job training and place graduates in jobs so they have hope for better futures, better lives and better opportunities to be successful in their own right. The centre operates a fully functional food court open to the public and intends for the interactive experience between the public and its students to provide real and practical training.
The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)
MINDS aims to provide equal opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities to receive education and later, to be integrated as contributing and responsible citizens in Singapore. They run four Special Education Schools; three Employment Development Centres (EDCs); five Training and Development Centres (TDCs); two Homes (one for adults, one for children); one Hostel (for adults); and a Caregivers Support Centre and home-based care services to cater to the educational, vocational, social and welfare needs of people with intellectual disability.
DisIsAble is an organisation that aims at educating people on disability sports and disability as a whole.
Lead image sourced via SPCA Singapore