The True Meaning of Giving As Told By Youth Volunteers

We’ve heard much about the importance of strengthening our social compact. Find out how inspiring youths like Jonathan Yeoh, Sujesh Veeramani, Joy Lim, and Jobie Lee found their own ways to give back to the community.

  • 12 Dec 2022

To these young volunteers, sacrificing their time for others gives them a sense of purpose and belonging in the community.

Assisting and befriending the elderly

Sujesh Veeramani and Jonathan Yeoh, both 17, started Project Amica, after volunteering at various organisations and being inspired by their Seniors from The Youth Collective. Project Amica aims to ignite a sense of community and family between volunteers and those receiving help.

With Singapore’s rapidly ageing population, they soon found themselves a cause they believed in — helping the elderly who are not physically able to carry out their daily chores.

"The sense of fulfillment you get when you see your little actions having an impact on the elderly is not something you can find anywhere else."

When asked what keeps them going, it’s the smiles, laughter, and words of encouragement from the elderly. But it isn’t just the elderly that benefit from their help.

Volunteering has created opportunities for Sujesh and Jonathan to reflect on and learn from their service, helping them grow as individuals and leaders. They believe that acts of selflessness brings them closer to the people and places around them.

Members of Project Amica visit an elderly's home in Yuhua.

Forging friendships while uplifting underprivileged families

For Jobie Lee, 27, her interest in volunteering grew when her late social studies teacher invited her to attend a parliament sitting. She volunteered as a grassroot leader while studying, and her passion to serve her community eventually led her to join the National Trade Union Congress as an Industrial Relations Officer.

"Keep an open mind and serve with empathy." 

While time management is one of her key challenges when it comes to volunteering, she finds that making new friends on the ‘job’ helps her broaden her perspective on life.

This camaraderie strengthens the kampong spirit within the community, which is what she firmly believes has always helped Singapore brave challenging times, such as the recent pandemic.

Jobie and her teammate help to distribute meat during the month of Ramadan.

From active visitor to active volunteer

After spending countless hours visiting the museum during lunchtime and after work, Joy Lim, 33, fell so deeply in love with its people and environment that she decided to be a part of the National Museum of Singapore — as a volunteer.

Joy studies interesting facts she can share with her visitors.

To her, meaningful experiences can be as simple as helping visitors with special needs, such as directing wheelchair-bound visitors to entrances and lifts, or recommending the best way to explore the galleries to visitors.

On top of that, volunteering gives her the confidence to speak in public and the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, people from all over the world.

When asked about the best piece of advice she has for those embarking on their volunteering journey, Joy shares her favourite quote from Helen Keller:

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched — they must be felt with the heart."

A little kindness goes a long way. Sign up to volunteer at