Retiree mentors kids at SG Cares Volunteer Centre

Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, with former IT executive Lilian Chua next to him, at the official launch of the new SG Cares VC @ Yishun yesterday.
Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, with former IT executive Lilian Chua next to him, at the official launch of the new SG Cares VC @ Yishun yesterday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Retirement might mean a chance to take it easy for many people but former IT executive Lilian Chua decided to step up a gear and help her community.

Ms Chua retired after 37 years in the workforce last September and began tutoring and mentoring children at the SG Cares Volunteer Centre@ Yishun run by local youth charity CampusImpact.

Ms Chua, 60, said: "Children are the foundation of our society, grooming them well ensures a good society in the future. After working with adults and systems, I wanted to gain a new perspective.

"I hope to continue giving my time at the centre and learning from the children in the process."

SG Cares VC @ Yishun performs a critical role in meeting community needs by mobilising volunteers, coordinating resources and linking up social service agencies and ground-up initiatives in collaborative projects.

The Yishun centre, which has been operating since August last year, was officially launched yesterday.

Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim commended CampusImpact for bringing together community resources to help those in need.

Associate Professor Faishal said: "There is a desire among Singaporeans to care for those who are disadvantaged. The SG Cares Volunteer Centres provide a platform for the people, public and private sectors to come together to do good for the community.

"The new centre in Yishun will enhance and synergise collaborative efforts among social service agencies, corporates, ground-up groups, grassroots and local partners to provide timely and effective support to our residents."

CampusImpact supports about 150 children aged between seven and 17, offering services such as tutoring, art and dance therapy, and counselling.

Executive director Elysa Chen said: "As an organisation that works with young people, CampusImpact is well-placed to harness the energy and enthusiasm of our youth and provide them with opportunities to develop their potential through volunteerism.

"We hope to inspire and equip young people to reach for greatness through service to their community."

Appointing community-based organisations as SG Cares Volunteer Centres has been a key initiative under the SG Cares movement since Nov 2018. There are 14 such centres that have engaged more than 10,000 volunteers and served over 71,000 beneficiaries.

The facilities also brokered 175 partnerships involving regular volunteers to support those in need. This is part of the efforts to establish these centres in all 24 towns across Singapore by 2022.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2021, with the headline 'Retiree mentors kids at SG Cares Volunteer Centre'. Subscribe