There has been great concern about the declining rates of people volunteering among Singapore’s young adults as they go from being students to employees. There are some signs pointing to that decline going away thanks to SG Cares.
SG Cares is a website for people who want to volunteer in Singapore. It allows people of any age to sign up to be matched with volunteering opportunities that they get to choose the parameters for. They can choose which organizations they would like to work with, which age groups and even what populations such as homeless, LGBT and many others. According to statistics from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center , the group who is in charge of the website and all of the matching, 8 out of 10 of the volunteers on their website is between the ages of fifteen and thirty five years of age.
There are currently almost forty thousands people registered on the website and 70 percent of them are under the age of thirty five, which is a huge increase from the less than 2,000 people they had registered just four years prior.
In the past few years a trend has started appearing in Singapore among younger volunteers. Many of them are no longer volunteering as part of a volunteer program or organization, but finding positions on their own, many times over seas in places like India or other countries that are going through a crisis. This was especially true after the PHilippines were hit by a horrible typhoon. Many young people in Singapore organised help in the form of donations, supplies and groups of people to go to the Philippians to help with distribution of those supplies as well as help with rescue and rebuilding.
The humanitarian and volunteer agency Mercy Relief, which has been handling a lot of the volunteer and assistance inquires coming out of Singapore for the areas in the Philippines hit especially bad by the typhoon as said that it has already heard from over 100 young people who wanted to start fundraising campaigns. This is not uncommon for Mercy Relief as 70 percent of their volunteers and young people.
According to the National youth Council and the SRC, seeing more young people get involved in grassroots movements volunteering is a trend that is only going to continue. One of the reasons for this is the emergence of social media. Websites like Facebook and Twitter allow for more people, especially younger ones who are more connected to sites like that, to see the need for help in places all over the world. Social media also gives people in the younger generation an easier way to connect and come together for causes that they care about. While young people in past generations used to feel like they were not able to do anything to really help, especially during times of crisis in other countries, that is a feeling that has now been replaced with inspiration and hope.