From Compassion to Action (Volunteer Induction Workshop)

Caritas Singapore’s Frances Ng (Volunteer Coordinator) and Gail Ng (Special Projects & Young Adults) served as presenters at the Volunteer Induction for 30 regular volunteers of the Caritas family (Caritas Singapore and member organisations) on Friday, 11 May at 7.30pm at Agape Village.

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This induction workshop was a great way for the volunteers to learn about Caritas Singapore’s social mission in Singapore and better understand how they can apply Catholic Social Teaching in their lives. Frances gave an insight into the various services and programmes held at Agape Village, a Caritas Singapore initiative, our strategic plans, as well as our unique Integrated Volunteer Management Framework. Some of the participants in the induction are regular volunteers with several of Caritas’ member organisations at Agape Village.

Frances shared, “With this induction, we hope to give our volunteers a better understanding of the social issues and programmes and services offered by Caritas family in response to those issues. We hope that they can be our ambassadors to refer people in need to Caritas family.”.

Gerard Low who volunteers as a befriender at Mamre Oaks Day Activity Centre for the Adults with Intellectual and Development Disabilities shared, “The take home message on why we do what we do is: Because they are worthy, and we on our part need to be humanised.”

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Find out more about the 25 member organisations under Caritas Singapore, their areas of specialisation.

Gail gave a brief overview of the principles of the Catholic Social Teaching (CST). She also elaborated on the Principles of Service which is a set of guiding values and approaches which Caritas Singapore and our Member organisations use to guide the way we serve our beneficiaries. It is important for volunteers to understand Caritas Singapore’s Principles of Service, as this underpins our work, and our expectations of how volunteers partner with us. For our volunteers, it also helps to understand what the Catholic Church teaches, and how they can try to apply CST in the various facets of their lives.

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Christina Lye recently started volunteering for Agape Experience. She shared, “CST was something new to me. The one that called out to me was “The Principle of the Dignity of the Human person”… It is not about giving people money but respecting the dignity of the work they choose to do and about them as a person that God created.”

Gail stated, “Everyone has equal dignity and that is why we need to treat all with respect, especially for the needy who are hurting and need mercy and hope. We live our faith in the world and our Church has given us the precious gift of the social teaching to do so. We can, by putting these into action, strengthen our relationship with our God and re-think the values that the world presents us.”