Audience at SEAGA forum
Here's the audience at the forum on Saturday. I spoke about how NGOs play an important role in getting people to be involved in society, how they promote the exact opposite of apathy that we keep complaining about that we see in Singaporeans. I said that I think NGOs are an important link between the authorities and the general public and that NGOs can help to foster relations between the two parties. I also said that I felt that not everyone can be involved in public service or politics but everyone can volunteer in an NGO.
Someone asked about volunteerism in Singapore and what we felt the demographics are. I said that right now I felt the volunteerism rate was a bit low compared to other countries.
Someone made the comment that he felt Singaporeans were busy and that's why people do not volunteer. The session wrapped up before I could answer that. I think that frankly everyone is busy - it's what you make a priority of. There seems to be this impression that one volunteers because one has a lot of free time - in fact I find people who actively volunteer are probably the most busy people I know. One of the speakers on the panel for example volunteers with several different groups and works part-time someone too - yet she volunteers. I think countries with higher volunteerism rates are not any less busy - but that their priorities may be different, whereby giving something back to the community is considered to be important.
Labels: forum volunteers