Goh Chok Tong says Be Flexible


In a keynote speech given today to the IAVE conference in Singapore, ex-PM and current Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, spoke about the importance of flexibility in encouraging people to volunteer. Goh talked about the need for flexible, ‘bite-sized chunks’ of volunteering that would enable people to fit it into their busy lives. This, he said, would allow volunteering to become a ‘world-wide trend’. This theme of flexibility seems to be the dominant trend in volunteering at the moment; linking in with the rise of online-volunteering and the ongoing development of micro-volunteering.

Goh also talked about the need for increased levels of informal volunteering (see this blog’s dictionary for a definition). He introduced the idea of the ‘vertical kampong’ (kampong is the malaysian word for village) referencing the fact that more than 80% of Singaporeans live in high-rise apartments. As Goh said:

The beauty of informal volunteerism is that people who have been helped will often reciprocate and this enhances the spirit of giving. Nobody should feel helpless or embarrassed to give or receive help. If we can do this successfully, we will become a compassionate and gracious society.

His quote raises this issue of reciprocity, one that will be addressed in the very near future by this blog.

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