- If you're looking for an alternative Christmas holiday, we offer a variety of different volunteering projects which run throughout the festive period. Check out our current openings here.
- Get ready for 2018 with this gorgeous calendar from Action for Singapore Dogs featuring some of the dogs that were re-homed and fostered by ASD over the past years!
- Find unique gifts ideas and shop for a good cause in the Singapore Committee for UN Women shop, while you help to transform the lives of women and girls both within Singapore and the region.
- Give a gift of love! You can contribute to CCF’s fundraising efforts by purchasing exclusive merchandise for your loved ones or special occasions whilst showing your support for children with cancer and their families.
- Donate your pre-loved baby items (in good condition) to Babes and help teenage pregnant girls in need of help and support.
- Buy your Greeting Cards from Bizlink, they specially crafted by People with Disabilities (PWDs) and Needy, Disadvantaged People (NDP).
- Support The Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift project and promote the spirit of caring and sharing among Singaporeans during the Christmas season.
- We may not have snow here but that shouldn’t stop us from having fun! In this holiday themed workshop with Playeum, children will be able to make and design their own Christmas sleigh with hand-made ornaments using recycled materials.
With Christmas coming close, here are some ideas of #dogood things you can do in Singapore:
The Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift project is a national community service project organized annually by The Boys' Brigade in Singapore, and is supported by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
This project is:
The theme: "Have a Heart, Share a Gift" clearly summaries the project's purposes. Since the launch of BBSG in 1988, the objectives of the project are:
The BBSG was inaugurated in 1988, with a collection of 7,000 gifts.This year marks the 30th anniversary for BBSG. Held during the Christmas season this has proven to be a very effective way to promote the spirit of caring and sharing among Singaporeans.
Get involved here
Last year’s Earth Film Festival, Singapore’s first crowd-based film festival, was a success with more than 250 private screenings of internationally-acclaimed sustainability films hosted in homes and offices across Singapore. This year, its organisers have decided to merge with the Singapore Eco Film Festival (SGEFF).
The Earth Film Festival is now known as the SGEFF’s crowd-based arm. Inspire yourself and your friends, family, and colleagues by hosting one of seven environmental films in your home or other private venue. It's free and as easy as 1, 2, 3 at their website. Registration closes Sept 8 or earlier for some films they have limited copies of.
Why host? We often don't talk about sustainability with people close to us, even though many of us are concerned! This event helps get the conversation started, and hopefully leads to a lifelong journey to sustainability that you support each other in :)
Choose a film and register here: http://www.sgeff.com/host-a-screening
Whats the impact?
Organiser of the crowd-based film festival and founder of Earth Film Festival Michael Broadhead said joining SGEFF is a “positive way to help inspire effective change while being part of a larger movement. By having a crowd-based film festival, families and friends can have a fun, shared experience that empowers them to support and motivate each other.
The ASEAN Social Impact Awards will be launched for the first time in 2017 in partnership with Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC), NUS Department of Social Work, Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund and Ashoka.
This Award identifies and further encourages individuals from the citizen sector with a strong drive and vision to resolve social issues, thereby creating positive social impact in their respective communities in the ASEAN region.
The inaugural ASEAN Social Impact Award will honour Dr. Ee Peng Liang’s generous contributions as the founding father of the charity sector in Singapore. The award is inspired by an individual with a selfless drive to uplift communities in need as well as an active philanthropist who focused on supporting causes that made a lasting change. Hence, the Award will not only celebrate social impact organizations but will also convene philanthropists committed to collective action for community betterment in the ASEAN region.
Candidates and their initiatives would also be assessed based on social impact, entrepreneurial quality, innovation quality and sustainability. The candidate’s area of work can include sectors such as economic development, migrants, environment, health and nutrition, ageing, learning and education and others.
Three winners will be selected, and each winner will receive a cash prize of up to S$50,000 to further scale the impact of their work.
We ask you to take a few minutes and nominate social entrepreneurs making a difference in the ASEAN community today.
Click here to: apply or nominate now for the ASEAN Social Impact Awards
Applications are open until 29 July 2017. You can apply directly or nominate a social entrepreneur for the award.
Last week, millions of people across the world took an hour out of their day, overcame their fears, and let a stranger stick a needle into their vein. In doing so, these people were helping to save a life. Potentially three lives. These people were donating their blood.
Wednesday 14 June was World Blood Donor Day 2017. You may have seen Singapore Red Cross’ campaign posters in the MRT station on your way to work. You may have seen the large format image of a bag filled with deep red blood, shuddered, and thought “not for me”. You may have simply walked straight past it, your head down as you checked your inbox. You wouldn’t have been alone. Many people are turned off by giving blood for a number of reasons: they’re scared of needles; are too busy; don’t want to feel weak afterwards; don’t think they have any blood to spare; don’t think their blood is needed; don’t want to catch AIDS.
The actual donation of a pint of whole blood unit takes no more than ten minutes
I hate needles
Trypanophobia, a phobia of needles and injections, is a very real thing experienced by 10 percent of the population. But actually, most donors will tell you that you feel only an initial pinch as the needle goes in, and then seven to 10 minutes later you’re done. Including registration, the whole process takes an hour. One hour. This could mean a lifetime to a premature baby, a cancer sufferer having to go through chemotherapy, or someone who has been severely injured in an accident. Suddenly your fear of needles doesn’t compare with the fear of losing a child, a parent, or a spouse, because you can’t get a blood transfusion for them.
Your body will replace the donated blood within 24 hours
I don’t have enough blood
The average adult body has 10-12 pints of blood. You will donate less than one pint, and your body, which constantly makes new blood, will replace the donated volume within 24 hours. Most people continue their usual activities after donating. You just might need a biscuit and a drink to give you a boost and help you on your way. You can give blood every 56 days. Many donors give five times a year.
Why should I donate blood?
Every hour of the day, 15 units of blood are used in Singapore. That’s more than 400 units of blood a day, and 120,000 units of blood every year. With an ageing population, more advanced life-saving medical procedures, and new hospitals being established, more blood will be needed every year.
What happens to the blood I donate?
Your donation goes a long way. After blood is collected, it goes through stringent testing at the laboratories of the Health Sciences Authority to check for various diseases and blood typing.
It also gets separated into the three components — red blood cells, platelets, and plasma — for storage and distribution to hospitals.
But World Blood Donor Day was last week
It doesn’t matter. Singapore Red Cross collects blood donations throughout the year to be able to meet the transfusion needs of patients. You can make a blood donation at any blood bank across Singapore or at a community blood donation drive near you.
How do I find out more?
Check out Singapore Red Cross to become a blood hero.
Have a watch of the video below too to see the journey that your blood will take from your vein to another's.
There is one way to spend time with our children, strengthen that bond, and build social awareness and responsibility for the world around us: volunteering as a family. By volunteering with our children, we can help them to widen their perspective from the immediate bubble of their daily lives and to understand the bigger picture. We can provide them with an opportunity to develop relationships with different people from different cultures. Teach commitment. Help them to feel good about themselves. And, raise adults who are kind, respectful and empathic.
So where do I start?
Let’s help our children to help others to fulfil their rights. Let’s show them how their actions can help make other people’s lives better. After all, they are the ones who will be running the show in a few years time.
For more information, click here.
To find out how you and your family can help Boys’ Town make a difference, watch the video below.
Building blocks of the community
The charity is working with the The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to reach out to transnational couples and spouses, that is to say a relationship or marriage between two people from different countries. The number of transnational marriages between a Singapore citizen and a person from another country (excluding permanent residents) has been growing steadily, from 23 percent of all marriages in 2003 to 30 percent in 2013.
Eight in 10 transnational marriages are between Singaporean grooms and
Overcoming cultural barriers
“What we hope to do is have the people start out on a proper footing to have
as great a chance for success in their marriages, as much as possible.”
Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing
This is where Care Corner comes in. The charity helps new couples to open the lines of communication, to manage their expectations of each other and to strengthen their bond through a series of marriage preparation programmes and marriage support programmes. The programmes also help couples to focus on preparing to settle down in Singapore, changing citizenship, negotiating the laws and language of a new country, and on managing finances. Transnational couples are encouraged to attend these programmes, which consist of workshops, activities, group sharing and mini lectures, on a voluntary basis. The programmes are open to all couples, regardless of their financial situation.
Share your language skills
For more information, click here.
Not a translator but still want to help?
- Want to help Care Corner centres to reach out and help the community? Volunteer as Community Liaisons Office/Receptionist
- Love children and know the current primary school syllabus? Volunteer as Evergreen Bees Mentors - Care Corner Singapore
- Have video production experience and want to inspire others to take action in social good? Volunteer with Filmmakers 4 Good - Care Corner Singapore
Etch Empathy, an organisation that believes in social inclusion for everyone, will be giving the laptops to Home of Light, a school in the capital Vientiane that supports children between seven and 16 years who have varying degrees of sight loss.
Currently, 50 pupils are sharing just two computers. Etch Empathy wants to build a computer lab of a further 11 laptops for the school. The impact of this would be huge for the children. Not only would they not have to wait so long to use a laptop, but the teacher would be able to teach 13 pupils at any one time, instead of only two.
+65 9737 7837 or email@example.com
Your preloved laptops must be functioning, have speakers in good working condition, come with a battery and power adaptor, and have OS Windows 7 or above. Please donate your laptop by 7 May.
Look in your storage cupboards, search your bomb shelters, hunt around your old drawers, because that piece of (fully-functioning) junk that you haven’t used since 2011 might be someone else’s treasure and could change a child’s life for the better.
Find out more about Etch Empathy at www.etch.sg
If you have a laptop to donate or any queries, call Aaron Yeoh, Co-founder and CEO of Etch Empathy, on +65 9737 7837 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a borderline Generation Xer with a university education, who wasn’t forced into marriage, chose when to become a mother, is in good health and was encouraged to do any job I wanted, I could be forgiven (and I am sure that I am not alone) in somewhat naively thinking that women’s equality had more or less been achieved, give or take certain non-Western practices in parts of Africa and the Middle East. The suffragettes got us the vote. The feminists of the 60s and 70s challenged perceptions about women and work, domestic violence, and reproductive rights. And, the latter-day movement of the 90s widened the focus to include the LGBT community and women of colour. I would be wrong of course.
It is true that Europe and North America have made much progress in social and legal equality. But, given that the United Nations didn’t officially give women the status of human beings with rights until 24 years ago - 45 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - one could argue that this progress has been rather slow; the mere concept that women should not be seen as human beings, ridiculous.
Tragically, however, this is still the case with many countries merely pay lip service to their commitment to gender equality. Our journey to achieve true equality is not over in the West - women continue to work in lower-paid, lower-skilled jobs with greater insecurity, and are under-represented in leadership roles and fields - but it is our responsibility to help women in other cultures and societies, those women whose voices aren’t as loud as ours, to rise up and to feel empowered. Women and girls everywhere are facing barriers that deny their right to personal liberty and to life.
Access to education
An estimated 31 million girls of primary age were out school in 2013 - 4 million more than boys.
Girls are prevented from going to school for a number of reasons: poor families prioritise their son’s education; household obligations; abusive or violent classroom environments; inadequate water and sanitation facilities to go to the toilet with dignity and privacy - particularly when menstruating; child marriage; and female genital mutilation.
Two-thirds of the world's 774 million illiterate people are female.
Sexual and reproductive health
Worldwide, one woman dies every 90 seconds in pregnancy or childbirth.
All women have the right to accessible, affordable and adequate health care that takes into consideration their cultural needs, including the ability to choose whether and when to get pregnant, and yet 225 million women worldwide women want, but lack access to, contraception. All women have the right to accurate information and services for sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract illnesses, such as cervical cancer. But, only 3 in every 10 adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years have comprehensive and accurate knowledge about HIV.
Women are not dying of diseases we can't treat... They are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving.
Violence against women
Violence against women is a global issue and takes many forms, including: rape; domestic abuse; sexual harassment; reproductive coercion; female infanticide; and obstetric violence. Female genital mutilation, honour killings, dowry violence, marriage by abduction, forced marriage and other harmful customary or traditional practices are considered gender-based violence.
The effects of climate change, such as drought, threaten the safety of women and girls, leaving them vulnerable to assault, rape and abduction. In Kenya, for example, 90% of reported rapes occurred while women were collecting natural resources. Whereas trafficking of women increases by 20-30% following natural disasters.
Gender-based violence kills and disables as many women between the ages of 15 and 44 as cancer.
Where does this leave us?
Empowering women around the world to have rights equal to men is a benefit to us all, socially, politically and economically. Improving girls’ access to education positively influences the lives of generations to come. Women’s considerable knowledge on the management and use of natural resources within the community are integral to the battle against climate change. Investing in access to sexual and reproductive information and services for women has a ripple effect on other areas of her life: she knows when she is safe from sexual violence, that she can complete her education and get a job, or stand in a political election.
"As long as discrimination and inequities remain so commonplace everywhere in the world, as long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last, overworked, underpaid, not schooled, subjected to violence in and outside their homes - the potential of the human family to create a peaceful, prosperous world will not be realised."
Flash forward to 2017
The United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day for the first time in 1975 and in 1996 began the adoption of an annual theme. This year, the theme focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. Its aim is to consider how we can accelerate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We are becoming more globalised, more technological and more digital. And yet, women continue to be concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill work with greater job insecurity, and are under-represented in leadership roles and fields, such as science and technology.
- Women make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for work of equal value. The wage gap is even larger for women with children.
- Only 4 per cent of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies are held by women.
- Worldwide, more than two-thirds of people above retirement age without any regular pension are women.
- Husbands can legally prevent their wives from working in 18 countries.
- Nearly 60 per cent of domestic workers worldwide have no limitations on their working hours
- Laws against gender discrimination in hiring practices are only in place in 67 countries.
Achieving gender equality in the world of work is absolutely essential for sustainable development. If women played an identical role in labour markets to that of men, as much as US$28 trillion, or 26
per cent, could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025.
Think globally. Act locally.
You don’t have to protest in the streets to make a difference. You could volunteer at the New2U Thrift Shop to help survivors of domestic violence. Donate your time or money to Babes, a crisis intervention program to support pregnant teenagers. Help underprivileged women to build confidence, develop skills and gain employment by offering your time to Daughters of Tomorrow. Or, find out about UN Women Singapore Committee and how you can get involved.
Great progress has been made, yes, but there is still so much more to achieve, and the struggle for true equality can only be overcome if we all fight together.
Next week on the Expatgiving blog, read about the issues that women and girls face around the world today.
Tell us which ordinary women you think have done extraordinary things. Whether it be your mum, your favourite author, artist or politician, we want to hear about it in the comments below.