SINGAPORE: The Ministry for Social and Family Development (MSF) wants to make greater collective impact in the next phase of the Singapore Cares movement, said Minister Desmond Lee on Wednesday (Mar 7).
The national SG Cares initiative seeks to identify and share about needs on the ground, shape volunteering opportunities, and match givers to causes. It is a complementary effort by three ministries.
“MSF, through more integrated delivery of social services and building up of the social service sector, will improve the way we provide assistance to vulnerable individuals and families,” Mr Lee explained.
“MOH (Ministry of Health) will take on the mandate of building a stronger system of support for our seniors. MCCY (Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth) is growing our volunteering ecosystem, encouraging and enabling all of us to join in the national movement.”
For MSF’s part, it will enter the next phase of SG Cares by aiming to better mobilise those who want to help, said Mr Lee.
“Many individuals and organisations wish to volunteer, but may not know about the causes and areas of need. We can think of more ways to reach out to prospective volunteers.”
“Second, we can better coordinate the help rendered,” he added. “An individual may be receiving help from multiple agencies. Organisations on the ground may focus on specific services, and may not be conscious in seeking and working with partners to provide more holistic and thorough support.
“Third, the way we help can be more sustainable and scalable. This will require us to increase the capacity and capability of VWOs (Voluntary Welfare Organisations) and givers.
“The Government, corporate partners, and community can also better direct our energies in an informed, coordinated and sustainable way, supported by good platforms and working arrangements.”
Mr Lee noted that since the launch of SG Cares in 2016, MSF has curated volunteering opportunities and worked with VWOs to better empower volunteers.
The ministry has also coordinated local assistance networks, encouraged corporate and individual giving, and inspired ground-up efforts.
“We are greatly encouraged by many who have stepped forward and answered the call to make Singapore a more caring and inclusive home,” said Mr Lee.
“Our VWOs will continue to play a critical role in serving beneficiaries, and in rallying and inspiring the community to care for those who need help. To meet the demands of the future, we must support them in their drive to be even more effective and innovative.”
“We will continue to build up our social service sector, by strengthening capabilities and ensuring that we continue to attract capable professionals,” he stated.
“At the same time, we will draw on the spirit passed down from the pioneers, and encourage the community to partner the efforts of the Government and the sector.”