The People’s Action Party (PAP) and PAP Women’s Wing have called for action to support women in their caregiving responsibilities, and invite all Singaporeans to step forward and be part of the care ecosystem in Singapore.
Since its beginning, the Party and the PAP Women’s Wing have championed women’s development in Singapore, pushing for change and shaping policies for our women to live out their fullest potential. This year, it turns the spotlight on caregiving. Recognising it as a stressor in our women’s development, the Women’s Wing centred its annual conference on the theme #ActionForHer: Growing Our Circles of Care. From building personal capacity to seeking additional resources and reaching out to fellow caregivers, the conference explored the myriad of issues that encircles our women shouldering these duties while they juggle the other roles that they play in our society.
Chairperson of the PAP Women’s Wing Mrs Josephine Teo said, “Advocating for our women in Singapore is hard work, and heart work. The PAP Women’s Wing has been an avid champion for our women throughout Singapore’s progress, and we understand the real constraints and challenges that they are facing now. We are very conscious that a big part of our effort must be on empowering and supporting our caregivers. Our women hope to realise their fullest potential, and we continue to strengthen our efforts and stand with them as they take on their caregiving responsibilities.”
Guest-of-Honour, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said, “…Our work of advancing women’s development is never finished. We must keep at it and we must continue to push the agendaalong because the bottom line is that Singapore women are equally capable as men, and we will give you equal opportunities to prove yourself and reach your fullest potential.”
He also added that he is embarking on the national Forward Singapore exercise,because it is important that Singaporeans engage one another and “understand better what our expectations are of each other, whether it’s the government, employers, or businesses”, as well as “the responsibilities and obligations we would like to have of each other, and that is important for us to maintain Singapore as a high-trust society”.
DPM Wong also noted that through this exercise, “we hope we can come together to imagine the kind of society we want for our children and grandchildren, a society where men and women can stand as equals, where we recognise the intrinsic value of women in Singapore, and where every citizen is empowered to fulfil their aspirations and dreams”.
The conference brought together some 500 Members of Parliament, retired women MPs, representatives in the social service sector, and activists. In a dialogue session, Lawrence Wong;Mrs Teo; and Organising Chair of the 2022 Women’s Wing Conference and MP for Nee Soon GRC,Ms Carrie Tan, also discussed what more Singapore could do to raise social support in Singapore, as the nation works towards strengthening its social compact.
Many hands make light work
As part of our rallying call for Singaporeans to join us in action to strengthen care in the community, Women’s Wing also presented a public exhibition with 23 social service agencies and ground-up groups alongside the Conference.
The one-day exhibition provided a platform for Singaporeans to find out more about the different resources and services available to those who need support on their individual caregiving and parenting journeys. Against a dipping trend of volunteerism in Singapore, the event also introduces a plethora of volunteer opportunities, seeking to inspire attendees to come onboard to make a difference and care for the wider community – be they seniors, persons with special needs, those with ailments, or those with mental health struggles. A full list of participating exhibitors is available in the Annex.
Ms Tan reiterated, “As individuals, everyone has the capacity to play an essential, humanitarian role in Singapore’s care ecosystem. Through forging and growing these connections, I hope we will come to shape a more generous, compassionate and resilient Singapore – a home where care is easily accessible and affordable for all.”
Refer to DPM Lawrence Wong’s speech.
Refer to WW Chairwoman Mrs Josephine Teo’s speech.
Refer to Organising Chair of the 2022 Women’s Wing Conference Carrie Tan’s speech.
 According to the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre’s (NVPC) 2021 Individual Giving Study, Singapore has seen a decline in volunteerism rates between 2018 and 2021. A check with the participating 23 social service agencies and groups also revealed that they are challenged to scale their impact and widen their outreach efforts, largely due to a shortfall of committed volunteers. On average, they face a shortfall of up to 60% of the volunteers they require each month.
#ActionForHer: Growing Our Circles of Care
Information on Exhibitors
1. Autoimmune Diseases of Singapore (新加坡自体免疫性疾病协会)
Autoimmune Diseases Singapore seeks to raise awareness and share information about autoimmune diseases relevant to Singapore and Asia. It has an informal support group that brings together those formally diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. About 80 per cent of those diagnosed with autoimmune diseases are women. Through online sharing and community activities, it hopes that people diagnosed with autoimmune diseases can keep a positive mindset to overcome the challenges they face.
2. Be Kind SG （行善新加坡）
Be Kind SG is a non-profit organisation that aims to create and inspire a kind and inclusive society for persons with invisible disabilities such as intellectual disabilities and autism. One of the programmes it runs is Play.Able, a play and toy library for children with special needs and their caregivers. A safe space for children to play and families to meet each other, Play.Able enables caregivers, especially those new on the caregiving journey, to have access to resources and toys.
3. Chamber Music and Arts Singapore (新加坡室内乐与艺术)
Formerly known as Tang Tee Khoon (董帝均) Grand Series, a concert series that originated from a debut recital Tang Tee Khoon presented in 2009 while playing on a J.B. Guadagnini violin loaned to her by the National Arts Council in Singapore, Chamber Music and Arts Singapore (CMAS) is directed by the same team that has led TTK Grand Series since 2014.
A registered charity since June 2021, Chamber Music and Arts Singapore continuously strives to bring great chamber music and chamber arts to communities through its evening concerts, concerts for children, programmes for youths, The Glasshouse, Homegrown Series, and its activities in the community.
CMAS aims to bring the best music and musicians to communities it connects with; to use music to cultivate compassionate understanding and connection between people; to inspire the love of music in people, especially young people; and to be a space where musicians and artists can develop.
4. Dementia Singapore (新加坡失智症机构)
Formerly known as the Alzheimer’s Disease Association, Dementia Singapore was formed in 1990 to better serve Singapore’s growing dementia community, increase awareness about dementia, and reduce the stigma surrounding the condition.
As the leading social service agency in specialised dementia care in Singapore, Dementia Singapore advocates for the needs of people living with dementia and their families; empowers the community through capability-building, knowledge and consultancy; and delivers quality and person-centred care innovations.
Established in 2012 and registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in 2017, E for Endometriosis is the first Endometriosis support group in Singapore, “paving the way” for a future where Endometriosis care is no longer foreign to our community. Its advocacy efforts include organising public talks, collaborating with hospitals, clinics, and other organisations, and working with the Health Promotion Board and Members of Parliament.
Run by a group of Singapore women who felt alone while facing infertility and miscarriages, Fertility Support SG aims to create a community where couples facing infertility could get the right information and share experiences of infertility and loss, gaining support without being stigmatised. The Group runs educational campaigns, hosts support groups and provides practical tips and access to useful information via interviews with doctors and experts.
Fertility Support SG encourages Singaporeans to join its community as fellow warriors or allies by sharing their stories, normalising these issues, and supporting those who face infertility.
A non-profit ground-up initiative, GenLab Collective provides a platform for seniors and youths to share, learn and collaborate with the aim of bridging generation gaps. It also empowers seniors to contribute to the community by leveraging their valuable skills and knowledge.
GenLab Collective believes in strengthening relations across generations, where extended family members can support their senior family members, and seniors can pass on their experiences and values to the next generation.
8. Go With The Motion Singapore
The cost of diapers, at an average of $10 a pack, can impose financial burdens on those who need them, from the elderly to persons with disabilities. Go With The Motion Singapore seeks to alleviate this by supporting them through a donation and distribution concept – donation boxes are placed island wide for the public to donate adult diapers which are distributed to partnering social service agencies and beneficiaries.
Singaporeans can join GWTM as volunteers to deliver the diapers; donate adult diapers at GWTM donation boxes; and donate to the cause.
GoodHood.SG is a ground-up movement to revive the kampung spirit, supported by a neighbourhood app. Launched during the Circuit Breaker in 2020, GoodHood.SG has supported over 30,000 acts of kindness including gifting pre-loved items and lending a helping hand such as running errands for neighbours.
GoodHood.sg believes that if neighbours interact more easily, our neighbourhoods will be better places to live in; and we should use technology to do good unlike profit-maximising startups.
Hey, You Got Mail! (HYGM) is a ground-up, non-profit initiative started during the pandemic to remind others about the importance of human connection. In particular, the team has focused its efforts on connecting with seniors who are more likely to be adversely impacted by social-distancing restrictions.
The team has embarked on a mission to combat senior social isolation through physical activities such as card writing, befriending, door-to-door distributions, and digital means like digital clinics and educational posts. Interested members of public can sign up as volunteers on Telegram through @hygmbot.
KampungKakis is a neighbourhood buddy system that aims to provide sustainable psychosocial support to isolated and frail seniors in the community, by matching them with neighbour volunteers based on proximity, spoken language and assistance types. A ground-up initiative that started during the height of the pandemic in 2020, KampungKakis’ vision is to build a community network across Singapore that is resilient and self-sustaining so that vulnerable seniors will not be left behind in times of crisis. KampungKakis is now a registered non-profit with a base of over 1,500 volunteers and supporting over 700 kakis-in-need.
Established in 1995, Lions Befrienders (LB) has more than 26 years of experience in befriending and caring for seniors to enable them to age in place in the community. Over the years, LB strives to address the varied needs of more than 86,000 seniors by adopting a senior-centric approach in its eldercare services. Leveraging the support of some 1,500 regular volunteers, it actively engages more than 7,800 at-risk seniors through a spectrum of integrated eldercare service to provide holistic, high tech and high touch care to ensure that the seniors are engaged.
LB currently operates 10 active ageing centres, three cluster support, two senior homes and home personal care services, and extends befriending services to socially isolated seniors.
13. Montfort Care
Montfort Care is a network of programmes committed to enhancing the lives of people, families, and the community facing transitional issues.
GoodLife! HomeBathing, a programme by Montfort Care, is an island-wide home bathing service for seniors who are bedridden and have physical limitations and mobility challenges. With the aim of providing a dignified warm bath for its clients in their homes, GoodLife! HomeBathing has served more than 600 baths since it started in 2018.
Taking referral from the community and health institutions, GoodLife! HomeBathing also educates caregivers on how to clean their loved ones comfortably and provides psychological and emotional support when required.
14. Mum Space
With a vision that every mother is a mentor to their own children and a peer mentor for another mother, Mum Space is a community where mothers come to be refreshed.
Anchoring on the belief that mothers are the hearts of every family and when the heart is empowered, the entire family thrives, Mum Space has organised summits, monthly gatherings and courses where women, mentors and mentees, achieve personal growth through sharing their experiences.
15. Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) （新加坡肌肉萎缩症协会）
Formed by a group of individuals to support persons with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and their families facing the incurable and debilitating condition in March 2000, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) (MDAS) is a non-profit social service agency and committed to uplifting the lives of children and adults living with Muscular Dystrophy (MD).
An Institution of Public Character (IPC) charity, MDAS understands the challenges of their members and their families. Their programmes and services range from life-skills training, enrichment, sports, health education, counselling, physiotherapy, respite care, wheelchair-accessible transport to financial-related assistance, and are aimed at enhancing the quality of life of their members and families.
Launched in 2012, Over-The-Rainbow (OTR), is a mental wellness initiative of the family foundation of Chow Yen-Lu and Yee Ling (周昱儒和妻子), in loving memory of their dear son and only child who ended his own life at the age of 26 after suffering for many years from manic depression.
A pioneer in youth mental health, OTR is an e-stop hub for youth mental wellness, innovating and pushing the envelope with wellness programmes and festivals, community outreach, volunteer training programmes, online support platforms, magazines, and digital campaigns, which collectively has touched nearly a million lives and transformed many others.
17. Playeum (儿戏轩)
Founded in 2009, Playeum is an Institution of a Public Character charity that focuses on amplifying the voices and abilities of all children through play and the arts. Through workshops, public outreach projects, and long-term play intervention programmes, Playeum creates a safe space and equal opportunities for children to develop the foundations they need to thrive – confidence, resilience, and creativity to lead their lives and make meaningful contributions, particularly those who come from low-income or disadvantaged families and those with special needs. Over the last five years, it has reached out to over 62,000 children and their adults in various settings.
18. Rare Disorders Society Singapore
Established in 2011, Rare Disorder Society (Singapore) (RDSS) supports the community living with a rare condition in Singapore and aims to raise the awareness of individuals and organisations on the challenges such patients face and how we can do a part to help. To date, it has more than 150 families registered with RDSS. Serving as a platform to support and share resources and information more efficiently, the organisation aspires to build an inclusive ecosystem that improves the quality of lives for its beneficiaries and families.
19. SG Assist
SG Assist was founded by Greg and Adrian in December 2018 who share similar experiences in taking care of their parents. Having gone through the toughest period, they realised how daunting the journey is for caregivers – the uncertainty, exhaustion and loneliness. Their personal experiences inspired them to come up with sustainable solution to improve a caregiver’s life.
SG Assist today has a pool of 5,000 ~ passionate and growing neighbourhood – volunteer network that can support and lighten the burden of caregivers with ad-hoc assistance. We also successfully launched our care concierge services, empowering caregivers with smart home monitoring technologies and personalised care navigation support to provide timely and affordable assistance for their loved ones at home.
20. Singapore National Stroke Association (新加坡防止中风协会)
As the national support group for stroke survivors and caregivers, the Singapore National Stroke Association (SNSA) was formed by the people they serve – stroke survivors and caregivers, with guidance from doctors and other health professionals.
SNSA provides help, support, and information to stroke survivors and caregivers. It organises free programmes, events, activities and creates opportunities for stroke survivors and their caregivers to acquire relevant knowledge, experience a sense of solidarity on their journey towards holistic rehabilitation, and help to raise awareness of stroke prevention and management. Interested individuals may join SNSA as volunteers or befrienders.
21. Single Parent Support Group
Started in 2013, Single Parent Support Group (SPSG) focuses on complimentary counselling for single parents. Specialising in child psychology and mental well-being of children, she believes in developing children to be confident and creative through sports, arts, and music. She has her unique way of teaching and focuses on good parenting effects.
The founder is also a healer, a life coach, a relationship counsellor and understands cognitive behavioral therapy.
22. The Tapestry Project Singapore
Behind every statistic is a real person with a story to tell. Founded in 2014, the Tapestry Project SG is an independent non-profit digital publication that aspires to restore hope and reclaim dignity through the power of story. A volunteer-run organisation, Tapestry conducts narrative journaling workshops and writing circles that interweave nuanced and empowered conversations about mental health. These diverse stories are written by people with lived experience, caregivers, and the everyday person who share Tapestry’s vision – to create an inclusive, empathetic society for all who experience mental health challenges.
23. Vanguard Healthcare (先锋保健集团)
Since its inception in 2014, Vanguard Healthcare has been spearheading eldercare services. It currently operates five care homes at Pearl’s Hill, Woodlands, Tampines, Bukit Batok, and Senja.
In October 2021, Vanguard Healthcare, committed to supporting caregivers caring for their elderly, piloted the Night Respite Care service at Woodlands Senior Care Centre. Reaching out to the elderly near its care homes, Vanguard Healthcare desires for all seniors in the community to participate in the activities and services rendered at its senior care centres.