Parliament: Nationwide volunteerism movement SG Cares to be launched later in 2017

Volunteers from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) deliver food and flowers to senior citizens at St John's Home for Elderly Persons home.
Volunteers from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) deliver food and flowers to senior citizens at St John's Home for Elderly Persons home. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Step up to help a neighbour, or a cause. That is the call of SG Cares, a nationwide volunteerism movement to be officially launched in the second half of 2017.

It aims to "harness the goodwill of Singaporeans, inspire them to step forward, and support them to help others in need", said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu on Thursday (March 9).

The movement is part of her ministry's efforts to nurture a caring people in the coming year.

It will focus on increasing opportunities to volunteer, coordinating partnerships, and building capabilities of volunteers and organisations through training, for instance.

It will be led by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and the National Council of Social Service.

Ms Fu said: "By linking needs on the ground with the time and talent of volunteers, and resources and capabilities of corporates, we will grow opportunities for volunteerism."

She also gave updates on other initiatives to promote volunteerism during the debate on her ministry's budget.

The inaugural Youth Corps Service Week will be held from March 11 to 18, to encourage youths to contribute to social and community causes. It will comprise a series of volunteering activities held island-wide.

Meanwhile, nearly 40 ground-up projects that build national identity or help the community have been supported by the Our Singapore Fund, which was launched last year. Those projects have benefited more than 37,000 people.

Ms Fu also encouraged more companies to give back to society.

She said there are more than 470 members in NVPC's Company of Good programme, started last year, to promote corporate giving.

Under this programme, two new schemes will be launched this year.

One of them is the Champion of Good scheme, which recognises companies with best practices in corporate giving.

NVPC will also launch the Company of Good Fellowship, which aims to grow a community of corporate leaders and develop their capabilities in corporate giving through training and mentoring.

Said Ms Fu: "We need to look out for one another. We are as strong as the most vulnerable among us."