As 2021 progresses with the COVID-19 situation gradually becoming under control, we look back at how the pandemic has affected the social sector, specifically social organisations in our community.

(Photo credit: SUN-DAC Facebook)

In this article, we hear from Mr Quek Hong Choon, Executive Director of SUN-DAC on how COVID-19 has affected his company services and his thoughts on volunteering. Established in 1990, SUN-DAC is a non-profit social service agency which serves and cares for persons with disabilities as well as providing support to caregivers. With 3 existing centres in present, SUN-DAC was previously the first void deck Day Activity Centre in the community.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SUN-DAC, being a social service agency and charity organisation, had to quickly adopt digitalisation and remote online platforms to continue to support its service users. As many of SUN-DAC’s service users were adversely impacted by the pandemic both financially and psychologically, the social organisation also had to adopt more digital online fundraising and social media presence to garner support.

“Prior to COVID-19, we had limited e-volunteering. COVID-19 gave us the impetus to adopt this to help us engage our stakeholders, and do our work better, especially in areas where we lack the resources and skills.” Mr Quek explained when asked about his initial impression of e-volunteering.

When met with insufficient dedicated resources on digitalisation, Mr Quek decided to engage the help of SkillsForGood. “It is a good resource with skilled volunteers that can help us in our digital and social media journey, as this is a relatively new area for us” he explained. The volunteers proceeded to help SUN-DAC beef up its social media platform and the design of digital materials.

Over the time, the pandemic has definitely made SUN-DAC try more new things such as adopting new measures like e-volunteering and swiftly adapting to new initiatives. Looking at how e-volunteering has helped his social organisation, Mr Quek agreed that e-volunteering is definitely here to stay in our society.

On what SUN-DAC looks out for when choosing volunteers, Mr Quek emphasised the importance of how its volunteers should share a similar desire and aspiration. That is — to serve persons with disabilities and their caregivers to improve their quality of life; and to co-create a more inclusive society. On top of that, SUN-DAC also aims to find a good fit between what the volunteers desire to contribute and its area of needs. Mr Quek hopes to encourage more volunteers to consider a longer term partnership with the organisation they volunteer in, so that they are able to make a greater impact.

When met with insufficient dedicated resources on digitalisation, Mr Quek decided to engage the help of SkillsForGood. “It is a good resource with skilled volunteers that can help us in our digital and social media journey, as this is a relatively new area for us” he explained. The volunteers proceeded to help SUN-DAC beef up its social media platform and the design of digital materials.

Mr Quek definitely recommends SkillsForGood to other social organisations if they have needs that can be met by the volunteers. “SkillsForGood has the potential to bridge the gap and a need in many social service agencies in terms of matching skilled volunteers in the area of digital and social media design and engagement.”

About Skills for Good

Skills for Good, a local volunteer-matching organisation, with a base of eclectic volunteers with skills ranging from marketing and communications to information technology to fundraising. We seek to empower volunteers through convenient and meaningful skills-based volunteering opportunities that help social organisations to achieve their mission.​ Volunteer with us today and wake up tomorrow with the warm and fuzzy sensation of ‘volunesia’.

Lead Author: Kok Nee Tsu

Co-Author: Nur Laili

We are the Social Good Advisor team at Skills for Good, helping social organisations across the globe to deliver impact

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