Singapore Soka Volunteer Group in Focus
Since March 2011, ten members of Singapore Soka Association's (SSA) Singapore Soka Volunteer Group (SVG) have been volunteering every Friday at the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) Eldercare Co-operative's Dakota Center in an effort to support senior citizens in the community. The co-operative was set up by NTUC to provide affordable and quality care services such as social activities, nursing care and physiotherapy.
Volunteers from SVG help organize handicraft making sessions to a group of 20 seniors on a regular basis. On May 6, they organized a workshop on making cards to give family members for Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day.
SVG was officially formed on March 25, 2004 with the objective of contributing to the well-being of the vulnerable in society based upon the Buddhist principle of respect for the dignity of life.
SVG has been actively participating in community events and programs for seven years, partnering with various organizations including the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) and Dover Park Hospice. Another close partner is Silver Ribbon (Singapore), which focuses on mental health and wellness in Singapore.
SVG has also taken the lead in a series of activities with partner organizations in the past years. These include SSA's "Day Education and Activity" program for the elderly; the "World Mental Health Day" symposium; the "Bag of Hope" project, a community outreach effort targeting families in need; "Streetwise Run," an annual event to raise money for disadvantaged children and youth across the country; as well as the annual New Year's celebration called "Marina Bay Countdown."
The group also participates regularly in Home Ownership Plus Education--a program that supports young, low-income families.
[Adapted from an articles from the March 16 and May 18, 2011, issues of the SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association (SSA); photo courtesy of SSA]