Volunteerism is good for both the volunteer and the community. It shapes your character and enhances your self-confidence. Your contribution further inspires other people to pitch in. One of the more popular choices for volunteer work is with t he Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps, or SAFVC. The uniformed volunteer scheme is open to women, new citizens between 18 to 45 years of age and first-generation permanent residents.
The SAFVC choose from hundreds of applicants who want to contribute to the defence and security of the island nation. You will need to pass the criteria, submit an application, go through an interview and wait a few weeks for a medical screening. What this all means is that it is not easy to make it to the batch of suitable volunteers.
The challenge continues once you go into training. Some volunteers describe the two-week instruction as more challenging than expected. Naturally, the SAFVC training is not as intense as the programme for the men and women of service. But it’s still better to prepare for it, to ensure success at the end.
Here are some things you can do:
1. Be aware of roles in the Corps, and anticipate where you might fit in the organisation.
The SAFVC have nine roles across different areas, namely army, navy and air force. Your medical fitness and overall aptitude will determine your assignment. You can choose to switch to another role later one, for example, from air force volunteer you move to infomedia staff for the army, but this is still subject to an evaluation.
2. Prepare your body.
Maintain a fit and strong body. You will go through tough physical challenges during the training, from endurance drills to carrying load bearing vests and rifle through battle inoculation course. Prepare your body for such activities and you will fare better when the time comes.
3. Get to know fellow volunteers.
You can manage the physical and mental exhaustion when you reach out to other volunteers. Discover their stories and why they’re volunteering. Share notes on how to overcome every drill. And encourage each one during training.
4. Focus on the aim of your endeavour.
Finally, never lose focus on your aim as a volunteer. The drills and the military-like life for a couple of weeks may overwhelm you at times. But don’t let those stop you from making a contribution to Singapore’s defence and security.
The SAFVC is not your average volunteer work. It’s an honour, and a duty that every qualified Singaporean and permanent resident needs to consider. It’ll do you and the community a lot of good.