Social entrepreneurs propose apps to help caregivers, the elderly
To tackle the problem of caregiver fatigue, Ms Isabel Lim is hoping to create a network of paid volunteers. Her idea was presented as part of the LeapForGood (LFG) Hackathon that took place last weekend.
LFG is an initiative spearheaded by the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE) to help aspiring social entrepreneurs develop their ideas into sustainable ventures.
The event saw 88 participants form 25 teams to propose solutions that meet emerging social needs in Singapore, particularly those faced by the elderly.
Ms Lim, 43, a stay-at-home mother, worked with her son Rafael, 15, to propose a mobile application called Swap that matches individuals with basic caregiving skills to other caregivers.
Ms Lim explained: "Caregivers can get burned out, so this application will help them find someone with experience to come in and relieve them."
It would be a paid volunteer scheme, she added.
She told The New Paper: "Some people feel awkward if others do it for free, so by paying a token sum, it saves them the embarrassment of asking people they know for help without giving anything in return."
The mother-and-son team was one of three winners at the hackathon.
Another winning team, F55, came up with a platform linking senior citizens to jobs, volunteer opportunities and leisure activities based on their preferences.
Ms Flora Ng, 56, an IT executive who was part of F55's team of seven, said: "Every time people think of jobs for the elderly, they think of cleaners in hawker centres. We hope to change this perception that the elderly can no longer make a major difference in society."
She hopes to honour her mother who died two years ago through this project.
She told TNP: "I promised her to do some good for society."
As winners, both Ms Lim and Ms Ng will prototype their solutions at the Demo Day organised by raiSE on Aug 18, in addition to receiving $1,000 each.
LFG will continue to accept submissions until April 22.
On Demo Day, a maximum of seven social enterprises with the best proposals will each be awarded a grant of up to $100,000.