Title : National Volunteer Centre's plans to develop Volunteer Management System gets praise
Date : 28 December 2000

Active volunteers have praised the National Volunteer Centre's plans to develop a Volunteer Management System to recruit and retain volunteers.

They feel such a system is sorely needed to address the low level of volunteerism in Singapore.

It is a day out for children from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled, put together by the NUS Students' Union Volunteer Action Committee.

And in order to bring out the best in these volunteers, Volunteer Coordinator Mervyn Sek feels the Volunteer Management System needs to recommend training as a top priority.

"A lot of voluntary welfare organisations lack financial resources necessary to provide adequate training and orientation for volunteers. This is crucial because a lot of volunteers come in and they lack the necessary education of how to provide total care and service to the beneficiaries. So I believe with proper training, we are able to retain more volunteers and in fact, sustain volunteerism in Singapore."

Other suggestions include getting new volunteers to learn from their more experienced seniors, or having activities so volunteers can interact better among themselves.

The Volunteer Management System has been hailed as the answer to giving volunteers a career path, and a more professional job to do.

YMCA volunteer Ranny Choo, says that makes "matching" them to their interests very important.

"From my experience, I guess it's the lack of system whereby the volunteers can get to know more about which area they're interested in. That actually is one of the key aspect in retaining their interest. If they're doing something that they are interested in, then they would be more motivated to help out and probably they will stay longer."

Many volunteers also feel that the seeds of volunteerism are usually planted in the young, and have asked that the Community Involvement Programme in Secondary Schools be expanded.

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