The COVID-19 pandemic is more than just a health crisis. It encompasses human, economic and social crises that have indiscriminately disrupted and affected people’s lives and livelihoods.1 However, communities around the world are demonstrating solidarity, strength and resilience by banding together to provide support and help to those who are vulnerable and in need.
Community resilience, which refers to the community’s ability to utilise available resources to respond, withstand, adapt and recover from adversity, is exhibited through the many community-led and ground-up initiatives that have been established in Singapore and other countries in recent months.2 People from varied backgrounds around the world are volunteering their time, knowledge, skills and resources to help not just the elderly and disabled but also healthcare workers, foreign workers and families in need. There are groups rallying to help those facing discrimination or stigma as a result of misinformation surrounding the virus.3 Fundraising campaigns have also been launched to provide financial relief to those affected by COVID-19.4
In Singapore, the SGUnited portal was launched on 20 February 2020. The one-stop portal enables those keen to contribute to community-led efforts to help those affected by the disruptions caused by the pandemic through donations, volunteering or other
forms of support.5 Some of the initiatives included providing meals for the breaking of fast during the month of Ramadan, sewing reusable masks for migrant workers, supporting local businesses through the purchase of gift cards and monetary donations to support the urgent and critical needs of vulnerable local communities.6
To learn more about volunteerism and the spirit of giving, as well as stories of community spirit in Singapore and around the world during the COVID-19 crisis, check out the resources listed below.
Newmark, A. (2015). Volunteering & Giving back: 101 inspiring stories of purpose & passion. New York: Chicken Soup for the Soul. Retrieved from OverDrive. (myLibrary ID is required to access this ebook.)
5. A cup of comfort for a better world
Sell, C. (2010). A cup of comfort for a better world. New York: Adams Media. Retrieved from OverDrive. (myLibrary ID is required to access this ebook.)
Videos and Podcasts
1. COVID-19: Community groups in Singapore race to help foreign workers
Whittaker, J., McLennan, B., & Handmer, J. (2015, September). A review of informal volunteerism in emergencies and disasters: definition, opportunities and challenges. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 13: 358–368. Retrieved 2020, May 5 .
Lawford, H., L., & Ramey, H. L. (2017, March). Predictors of early community involvement: Advancing the self and caring for others. American Journal of Community Psychology. 59(1/2): 133–143. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from ProQuest Central database via NLB’s eResources website. (myLibrary ID is required to access this article.)
Gil-Rivas, V. (2016, December). Building community capacity and fostering disaster resilience. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 72(12): 1318–1332. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete database via NLB’s eResources website. (myLibrary ID is required to access this article.)
淡马锡基金会向400多家关怀中心 派免洗洁手液。(2020年3月13日)。8视界。Retrieved 2020, May 4.
As part of Temasek Foundation’s wider efforts to help the community and vulnerable groups during COVID-19, hand sanitisers were distributed to about 400 nursing homes, hospices and senior care centres with the support of the Agency for Integrated Care.
Sama-sama singsing lengan jayakan daya usaha #SGUnited. buka puasa. (2020, May 3). Berita Harian. Retrieved on 2020, May 4.
A #SGUnited initiative to provide food for the breaking of fast for the needy and frontliners during Ramadan. This initiative – a collaboration between nine different organisations – aimed to collect SG$3 million to feed 600,000.
This is a series of talks organised by the literary association, Kavimaalai during the circuit breaker period. This segment features poet Kavitha Javahar who acknowledges the challenges faced with staying home for months but motivates viewers to stay resilient.
Disclaimer/ Rights statement
The information in this resource guide is valid as at May 2020 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2020.
Everyone included: social impact of COVID-19. (2020). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/everyone-included-covid-19.html ↩
Community resilience. (2015, June 9). Public Health Emergency. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/abc/Pages/community-resilience.aspx; Co, C. (2020, February 20). Want to help out during COVID-19, but don’t know where to start? Try SG United’s one-stop portal. ChannelNewsAsia. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/coronavirus-covid-19-sg-united-donate-volunteer-12453996 ↩
Associated Press. (2020, April 5). Coronavirus: How Asian-Americans are fighting back against race hate in Covid-19 era. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2020, May 28 from https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/3078488/coronavirus-how-asian-americans-are-fighting-back ↩
Yong, C. (2020, March 4). Spike in donations, more volunteers in Feb. The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/spike-in-donations-more-volunteers-in-feb ↩
Goh, M. (2020, February 21). Want to help out during COVID-19, but don’t know where to start? Try SG United’s one-stop portal. ChannelNewsAsia. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/want-to-help-out-during-covid-19-but-don-t-know-where-to-start-12455324 ↩
SGUnited Buka Puasa initiative. (2020, April 18). Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura. Retrieved 2020, May 5, from https://www.muis.gov.sg/Media/Media-Releases/18-Apr-20-Media-Release-on-SGUnited-Buka-Puasa-Initiative; 5000 masks sewing for Homestay Lodge. (2020). Giving.sg. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from https://www.giving.sg/volunteer-event?event_activity_id=39601519; Support community efforts. (2020). SGUnited. Retrieved, 2020, May 5, from https://www.sgunited.gov.sg/community-efforts/; Sayang Sayang Fund. (2020). Giving.sg. Retrieved 2020, May 5 from https://www.giving.sg/community-foundation-of-singapore/sayang_sayang_fund ↩