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More Singaporeans giving their time and money to charity, says MCCY

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans have been giving more of their time and money to charity, and attending more arts performances, which they are increasingly willing to pay for, new figures released on Thursday (Jan 16) showed.

Underprivileged senior citizens getting free haircuts or basic manicure services. Volunteer.sg, which lets people volunteer with public agencies, saw 9,500 new sign-ups in 2019.

Underprivileged senior citizens getting free haircuts or basic manicure services. Volunteer.sg, which lets people volunteer with public agencies, saw 9,500 new sign-ups in 2019.

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SINGAPORE — Singaporeans have been giving more of their time and money to charity, and attending more arts performances, which they are increasingly willing to pay for, new figures released on Thursday (Jan 16) showed.

The findings were highlighted by Ms Grace Fu, the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth during a media event at *Scape, a community space for youth along Orchard Link.

Ms Fu was presenting a round-up of her ministry’s work in the past year. She also presented findings from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s (MCCY's) annual survey on Singaporeans’ opinions towards building a caring, cohesive and confident nation.

The following is a snapshot of updates provided by MCCY.

VOLUNTEERISM

Ms Fu said that Singaporeans were “generous people”, with eight in 10 people continuing to donate to causes every year.

With the advent of technology, more people have been stepping forward to give their time to good causes as well. MCCY said that the number of users on Giving.sg, an online website which matches people with volunteering and donation opportunities, now stands at more than 220,000 registered users, with the number of new users increasing by 35 per cent in the past year.

Donations through the portal also increased from S$29 million in 2018 to more than S$35 million in 2019.

Another online platform, volunteer.sg, also serves 31,000 volunteers since its launch in November 2018. The website, which lets people volunteer with public agencies, saw 9,500 new sign-ups — almost a third of its total sign-ups — last year alone.

On the corporate front, the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre’s Company of Good programme, which encourages businesses to engage in corporate social responsibility, saw the number of companies grow by 351, or 30 per cent, in the last year, bringing the total number of companies in the programme to 1,475.

YOUTH

As part of its SG Youth Action Plan, MCCY said that it, together with the National Youth Council, had reached out to more than 400,000 young people aged between 15 and 35 last year to gather their thoughts on the Singapore they would like to see in 2025.

Participants raised five key values that they feel are important for Singapore: A more inclusive society, more equal opportunities for everyone to succeed, a caring society, stronger emphasis on environmental sustainability and for Singapore to be a place where people can pursue their dreams.

These values are encapsulated in a draft “youth vision” which states that youth will “foster an inclusive, sustainable and progressive Singapore” and will be refined by the panel overseeing the SG Youth Action Plan by April this year.

As part of the plan, young people here will soon have an idea of how the Somerset Youth Belt will be transformed into a youth zone for them, for instance. The 19-member working panel guiding the development of the youth zone will release the final masterplan for this next month.

This follows a feedback exercise from April last year which saw more than 45,000 youth provide feedback on what they want to see in the stretch that encompasses spaces such as *Scape, The Red Box and a skate park.

ARTS AND HERITAGE

More people are attending arts events here. MCCY said that there was an all-time high attendance of people at arts and culture events in 2018, the last year for which data was collected at such events.

In total, 13.6 million people attended arts and culture events in 2018, surpassing the previous high of 13.2 million in 2017.

The number of people attending non-ticketed arts and culture events also peaked at 11.4 million in 2018, higher than 11.3 million the year before.

Likewise, more people were prepared to pay to attend such events, with ticketed attendance standing at 2.2 million in 2018, the highest since 2012, and higher than the 1.9 million people in 2017.

The full report on the arts and cultural landscape in Singapore will be released later this month.

Similarly, Singaporeans have shown a growing interest in heritage and cultural activities over four years.

The latest Heritage Awareness Survey, conducted by the National Heritage Board, found that 79 per cent of Singaporeans took part in heritage and cultural activities in 2018, up from 75 per cent when the survey was last done in 2014.

This increase was especially significant among young people aged between 15 and 34. The survey, which involved 2,020 respondents, found that among this age group, 84 per cent took part in heritage and cultural activities, up from 78 per cent in 2014.

A majority of Singaporeans (75 per cent) agreed that a better understanding and appreciation of Singapore’s heritage would increase their sense of belonging to the country, up by almost 10 percentage points since 2014.

FINDINGS OF SOCIAL PULSE SURVEY

During Thursday's event, MCCY also released the findings of its most recent Social Pulse Survey, which captures the views of Singaporeans on issues such as sports, arts, culture and community living, and includes questions on building a caring, cohesive and confident society.

The survey, which has been done yearly since 2016, involves interviews with 500 residents aged 15 and above each month from randomly selected households.

It found that more Singaporeans want to build a caring, cohesive and confident society here.

  • 64 per cent of Singaporeans said that they have enough opportunities to contribute to a caring society in 2019, up from 47 per cent in 2017.

  • 72 per cent of Singaporeans said that they have enough opportunities to interact with those of different backgrounds and beliefs in 2019, up from 52 per cent in 2017.

  • 81 per cent of Singaporeans said that they are committed to Singapore amid challenges in 2019, up from 69 per cent in 2017.

  • 60 per cent of Singaporeans wanted to partner the Government in working towards a better Singapore, almost twice the proportion in 2017.

Explaining why recent figures were compared with 2017, MCCY said that as the Social Pulse Survey started in mid-2016, 2017 was used as the baseline because it was the first full year of feedback received for the survey questions.

Ms Fu said that Singaporeans’ willingness to partner with the Government is an “encouraging” sign.

“While we have made good progress, our work must continue with Singaporeans. As we step into a new decade, we will undoubtedly face more challenges as a nation.

“But there will also be greater opportunities to develop the strength of character needed to care for others, to build resilient ties within and across communities, and to ignite confidence in fellow Singaporeans to participate in this endeavour together,” she added.

Related topics

volunteerism Charity arts events Heritage survey MCCY Grace Fu

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