Singapore

Help for needy more effective if offered in concerted way: Desmond Lee

Help for needy individuals and families could be more effective if it was offered in a concerted fashion by groups within the local community.

That is why networking sessions will be held for service groups to get to know one another and work together more effectively to help those in need, said Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development.

Social service offices, which come under his ministry, will be organising networking sessions town by town this year, he told reporters during a visit to the Henderson-Dawson district in Tanjong Pagar GRC yesterday.

Said Mr Lee: "Networking is really not rocket science. A room, maybe a buffet, some food, (we can) bring together people from different organisations."

Representatives from the likes of family service centres as well as grassroots or voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) can "come together, exchange name cards, shake hands, make friends, put a face and name behind a telephone number and e-mail", he added.

It is also a chance for them to explain what their organisations stand for, the programmes they run and the gaps that they face, he said.

HARNESS STRENGTH

Mr Lee said this will allow these service groups to work with "all the relevant agencies, volunteer groups, to harness the strength of government schemes and community volunteers".

Said Mr Lee: "Organisation silos and divisions fade away once people know each other because we all have one common purpose... We want to make a sustainable impact and improve the lives of the vulnerable."

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