Launched in September 1993 by Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large and VSA Patron, Professor Tommy Koh, Very Special Arts Singapore is a local charity organisation dedicated to providing opportunities for people with disabilities to be involved in the arts. For the past 25 years, VSA Singapore has been running successful art programmes, workshops, competitions and art exhibitions for the special needs community, creating awareness among members of the public of their immense talent and resilience.
Through our programmes, we:
Promote the educational, social, rehabilitative and therapeutic benefits of visual, performing and literary arts;
Integrate individuals with disabilities into mainstream society through the arts; and
Assist them in obtaining financial independence through arts and arts-creation.
At VSA(S), we have the following opportunities:
This involves attending our classes for our beneficiaries, and acting as a facilitator, providing classroom support and behavioural management. Your role may vary depending on the functioning level of the class; typically, in lower-functioning classes, you may be required to help out with behavioural support, like enforcing boundaries when a student refuses to comply, while in a higher-functioning class, your role may be as simple as sitting next to our students and providing company to them as they create their art works.
Across the year, we have many events to support our cause, such as art exhibitions, concerts, fundraising events, merchandise fairs, etc. Our events typically last for a day long till a week. Thus commitment is required only on an ad-hoc basis.
From time to time, we get collaboration or project requests from schools and companies wishing to do something to better VSA in any way. For example: students from ITE create a marketing video for volunteerism at VSA(S) as part of their final-year project.
Commitment levels are dependent on the length of the project, and often, collaborators will need to work very closely with a relevant member of staff for the project.
For class volunteers, you will learn along in class as you get to know our students better, and our teachers, who are mostly trained in special needs, will be there to answer any questions you have.
There will also be mass training sessions for existing class volunteers (or those interested to join) throughout the year. While we have planned for them to take place every quarter, the training will only take place if there is a minimum of 20 RSVPs. These mass training sessions will be communicated to you via the volunteer mailing channel, so please make sure you are on it.
For event volunteers, there are usually no specialised training - we typically conduct email briefings before the event, and in-person briefing on the day itself. If there are activities with complicated steps, we may ask you to come down for a pre-event dry-run or training.
[NEW] For merchandise volunteers, there are training sessions available to the first 2 Tuesday evenings of each month - please always RSVP in the email sent to you.
There are 2 compulsory steps to take:
About volunteer registration:
When you register as a volunteer, you are actually signing up for VSA(S)'s volunteer mailing list and making yourself and your volunteering preferences known to us.
You will first receive 2 emails, one on Bantu and the other on resources for interacting with people with disabilities. From then on, you will also receive relevant emails on the kinds of volunteering opportunities you have indicated an interest in.
Bantu is the volunteer management system of choice we use at VSA(S).
It allows you to:
While Bantu allows you to view our current opportunities, it doesn't send you an alert whenever something of interest is created - thus, we rely on our volunteer mailing list to keep you informed. Also, some activities are meant for existing volunteers and cannot be viewed on Bantu publicly. Thus, please make sure you sign up for the mailing list before creating an account on Bantu.