More youths volunteering locally, clocking in over 50,000 service hours in 2022: Youth Corps Singapore
The increase in youth volunteers comes from Youth Corps' new approach to curating volunteering opportunities.
This year, around 6,000 youth volunteers took part in local and overseas volunteering opportunities provided by Youth Corps Singapore.
The statistic was revealed as part of Youth Corps’ Year in Review on Saturday (Dec 17). Volunteers managed to clock in over 50,000 service hours caring for close to 5,000 clients, with volunteer work done mainly for seniors, children, persons with special needs, youth mental well-being and the environment.
It also added that the total number of youths volunteering locally increased by 20 per cent from pre-pandemic times, from 4,100 in 2019 to 4,950 in 2022.
According to Youth Corps, the increase in more youths volunteering locally was largely due to a new approach taken in curating volunteering opportunities. Volunteering opportunities that are of a shorter duration and closer to the community were offered through partnerships with social service agencies.
More than 2,000 volunteering opportunities offered could be completed under one week while 1,100 volunteering opportunities were within the community.
These shifts were made to address common barriers to volunteering identified from the Individual Giving Study (2021), which was carried out by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).
Some of these barriers include lack of time due to school or work, family commitments and other priorities.
To encourage more students to volunteer with their friends and family members after their examinations, many of these volunteering opportunities were also rolled out during the June and December school holidays through Youth Corps’ Do Good Festival.
According to the Youth Corps, around 4,800 volunteering opportunities provided by the organisation were present during these festivals.
Around 150 Youth volunteers were given the opportunity to interact with seniors through the Back in my Time @ GoodLife! Makan initiative. Volunteers engaged seniors at GoodLife! Makan, a community kitchen at Marine Terrace through activities such as arts and craft and games.
Apart from also assisting in simple housekeeping duties at the centre such as cleaning of the community kitchen and café, volunteers chatted with seniors over coffee and snacks as well.
SpecialHearts @ Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Sembawang and Play for All @ Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) were some other initiatives by the Youth Corps that provided a total of 90 volunteering opportunities for youth volunteers.
To promote fun in learning specifically for five to six year olds who live in rental housing, Youth Corps also launched the KidsLearn Programme in partnership with ComLink.
The KidsLearn programme, a literacy programme for kids from low-income family launched in partnership with ComLink, provided 100 volunteering opportunities for youths.
Youth Corps is also looking to roll out KidsLearn in Telok Blangah, Leng Kee, Woodlands, Clementi and Jurong East to name a few.
To ensure that youths gain new learning experiences to support their personal growth and development, the Youth Corps has also been intentional in curating meaningful volunteering programmes with partners.
This enabled 2022 to see a 40 per cent increase in the range of volunteering programmes from 2021.
More leadership programmes were also made available and close to 1,300 youth volunteers have enrolled in leadership programmes.
Some of Youth Corps’ new programmes include Youth Alive!, which is a new two-year leadership programme in partnership with SHINE that aims to reduce the risk of juvenile delinquency among youth between 13 to 18 years, by encouraging them to become Youth Crime-prevention leaders in schools and the community.
Currently, 30 youth leaders are receiving individual coaching sessions, participating in quarterly alumni huddles and bonding sessions with other youth leaders, and leading their own community projects.
Another such programme is the Community Peer Supporter Programme, which is a youth-for-youth peer supporting programme in partnership with the Health Promotion Board (HPB).
Since March 2021, more than 80 youths have been trained and volunteered in different community settings whilst having regular check-ins with other peer supporters to learn from each other.
Youth Corps is also working with HPB to engage more trained supporters for schools and workplaces.