IASG staff have volunteered for food distribution drive in collaboration with The Love Aid Project for Chinese New Year. The beneficiaries were elderly residents of rental flats in Singapore.
Singapore may be an affluent country but it has no defined poverty line. This makes the poor invisible in society. However, there are numerous charity organisations, individuals, and companies that are reaching out to this group of people. It is estimated that about 10% of Singapore’s citizen population are in need or approximately 378,000 people.
At IASG, we help our clients who are applying for Singapore PR and Singapore Citizenship with their social integration efforts, where clients may choose to donate, volunteer, mentor, or busy themselves with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. This boosts their Singapore PR / Citizenship applications, showing the government how serious they are about living in Singapore long-term. Due to Singapore’s past issues with racial discontent, the government wants to see how foreigners can adapt and assimilate to the local culture and live in harmony amongst the locals.
Food Distribution Drive
One of the popular ways to integrate into Singapore’s society is through giving food. Singaporeans love food and sharing it shows how they care. It is also a common gesture for Singaporeans who used to live in the kampung (village) to share food with their neighbours. Although Singapore is now a modern society living in high-rise flats, people still share food during festivities such as the muslim fasting month of Ramadhan, Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, and Deepavali. Kuehs and traditional home-cooked food are shared with neighbours to celebrate the festivities and a way to keep the kampung spirit alive.
As an organisation, IASG participates in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) every year to give back to the community. This is also our way to walk to the talk. In 2021, we partnered with The Love Aid Project, a privately-funded NGO headed by activist Gilbert Goh, to distribute cooked food to residents living in Whampoa rental flats during Chinese New Year period. The residents are mostly elderly folks and low income families who were very happy to chat and interact with our volunteers. As per Chinese customs, ang baos (red packets) were also given to the residents as part of the Chinese New Year celebration.
Because of the Covid-19 measures, our volunteers practised social distancing and mask-wearing during the visit and food distribution. Especially in these difficult times, we feel the need to spread joy and love to our fellow people.
What Other Ways Can Foreigners Integrate into Singapore’s Society?
Other ways to learn about Singapore culture is through trying the local food, learning Mandarin or Malay (or even Singlish!), and making friends with locals. However, for Singapore PR / Citizenship applicants, engaging in social integration activities via recognised organisations would be more beneficial. This is because there will be proper documentation produced to certify your participation and this can be submitted as part of the document package for the submission to ICA.
Apart from donating and volunteering, foreigners may do mentoring and CSR activities on behalf of their companies, especially for foreign business owners who are looking to live long-term in Singapore.
Mentoring is a good way to guide, help, and train local students in specific fields such as technology and finance. These are some of the top sectors that the Singapore government is focusing on to build its economy, thus, skills in these sectors are very much in demand. A Singapore PR / Citizenship applicant may benefit from mentoring as the government encourages skills transfer to the locals.