“Re-tyring” with a purpose

by | September 12, 2017

RSVP Singapore launches new initiative to engage seniors in workplaces.


Koh Juay Meng, president of RSVP Singapore, at the opening ceremony.

To encourage more seniors to serve the community, non-profit organisation RSVP Singapore has launched a pre-retirement initiative in Singapore targeted at employees 45 years and above.

Titled “Retire with a Purpose”, the initiative focuses on collaborations with corporates to support a policy of volunteerism and community engagement in their workplaces. Over a five-month period, mature employees who are interested in retirement planning and supporting community causes will be introduced to a structured volunteering journey based on their interests, time commitment and goals.

This initiative was launched by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing during RSVP Singapore’s National Senior Volunteer Month (NSVM) opening ceremony at ITE College Central. Sharing about the new initiative, he said: “Senior volunteers can contribute their time and talent to help build a more caring and cohesive society, just like every Singaporean. … Such programmes would give them a sense of mission and empowerment.”

The launch of the new initiative by RSVP representatives and guest-of-honour, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing, and special guest, former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.

He added in his speech at the opening ceremony that he thought it was a typo error in the name of the initiative, that it would be more apt to call it – “Re-tyre with a Purpose”. “You re-tyre not because you are going to rest but you re-tyre because you are going to run the next lap even faster, with more purpose, with more vigour.”

Volunteering also brings about many benefits. Koh Juay Meng, president of RSVP Singapore, shared one of them: “Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. Even back in 2008, researchers at the London School of Economics found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were.”


More initiatives launched

RSVP Singapore also launched another initiative called VOOP, which stands for Volunteer OPtimiser. It is a new automated volunteer management system developed by Trampolene, a spin-off of A*STAR. Enabling its volunteers to not just be senior volunteers but smart senior volunteers in line with Singapore’s vision of a Smart Nation, one of the features of VOOP can pinpoint where RSVP Singapore’s volunteers stay so the organisation can easily determine where they are and plan its targeted activities around those areas. RSVP Singapore can also see the volunteer’s preferred activity and availability. According to the organisation, it has piloted this system for its Silver IT Fest e-registration for its classes.

RSVP Cookbook.

Also at the NSVM opening ceremony, the organisation launched its first cookbook “The RSVP Cookbook” – a collection of recipes of 49 main courses and 17 desserts, and curated by its senior volunteers. The recipe contributors comprised volunteers from the organisation and certain VIPs including Senior Minister of State Dr Amy Khor, the Danish Ambassador to Singapore, and the spouses of the EU, Turkish, Chilean and Angolan ambassadors to Singapore. The book will be on sale to the public for S$20 per book at RSVP Singapore’s office and all proceeds will go to fund its services.

“I love to eat, but a lot of good, delicious, traditional food and recipes are now lost. We cannot find the food anymore or it is not the same as before. We want to pass down this food heritage to the next generation, so that we can still savour the food we treasure,” said Juay Meng.

RSVP Singapore is looking for 10 corporates for its Retire with a Purpose initiative. Those interested can contact the organisation at 6259 0802 or e-mail to: general@rsvp.org.sg.


(** PHOTO CREDIT: RSVP Photography Activity Circle)




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