University internships in Singapore
Image adapted from: Silver Horizon Travel
Be it for future employment or university, it’s important to gain as much exposure as possible. If you’re someone who’s passionate about society and genuinely wish to help those in need, these 5 companies, which are regulated social enterprises under the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF)’s Co-operative Scholarship Programme, offers opportunities such as internships that will let you connect with the community while gaining valuable experience.
1. Help reintegrate ex-offenders with the Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS)
The stigma that surrounds ex-offenders can makes it difficult for them to rejoin the workforce. Helping them to reintegrate into society makes a big difference to them and their families, which is why the Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS) organises a job placement programme which connects them with supportive employers.
The ISCOS Bursary Award Ceremony 2017.
Image credit: ISCOS
The ISCOS Support Group provides strong social support through peer groups and mentor systems, doing their best to reduce chances of recidivism. They host bi-annual ISCOS Fireside Chats with their members, where topics of family bonding and sustaining employment are discussed.
It can also be hard to pay the bills with a family member behind bars, but ISCOS reaches out to children of offenders serving time and help them in various means, such as providing tuition bursaries to their beneficiaries under the Yellow Ribbon Fund-ISCOS Fairy Godparent Programme. They’ve even organised non-academic activities for kids, like a cool ice skating outing for 40 of their beneficiaries last December.
2. Meet adventurous seniors at the Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative Ltd
Image credit: Silver Horizon Travel
Hands up if you’ve been entranced by the stories “back in their time” our grandparents tell us. They’ve got wells of wisdom and life experience, so working with seniors who are still actively trying out new things in life can bring invaluable perspective to the rest of us.
The Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative is a social enterprise formed by seniors for seniors, and volunteers promote active learning and living through customised travel programmes and specially designed tour packages. Through travelling to new and interesting countries, the co-operative hopes to foster friendship and support among the seniors as well as allow them to continue learning.
3. Work with children and their families at NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd
Image credit: NTUC First Campus
Preschool was a fuzzy memory at best, but we’ve heard the sentimental stories from our parents of being a much sweeter, more curious kid. If working with children at their first step of growth and making a positive difference to young lives sounds good to you, try out for the NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd, which manages different pre-schools and student care centres.
As a social enterprise, NTUC First Campus is committed to ensuring that all children get a good start in life with quality education, regardless of their background. Its main pre-school brand, My First Skool reaches out to children from low income families, setting aside places for these children and offering them assistance ranging from financial to developmental programmes with its Bright Horizon’s Fund.
For those who are interested in early childhood education, The Caterpillar’s Cove brings together teachers, researchers and student-teachers to work out the best way of teaching and nurturing that’ll benefit children most.
4. Run for a cause at the RunningHour Co-operative Ltd
Image credit: @cassieyogie
Sure, NAPFA might have been a terrifying memory for some of us, but running for a cause is different from running for a grade. If you’re really into sports, consider joining the RunningHour Co-operative Ltd, an inclusive Healthy Lifestyle Club started by fitness enthusiasts, who act as running buddies for people with intellectual, physical and visual challenges.
Through this mainstream activity, the co-operative hopes to provide opportunities for persons with special needs to interact with their peers, building bonds and integrating them into social networks as a result.
5. Provide affordable healthcare and eldercare services with NTUC Health Co-operative Ltd
Image credit: NTUC Health
We might take our good health and perfectly working joints for granted, but some of our grandparents suffer ailments that makes it difficult for them to move around on their own. The NTUC Health Co-operative Ltd provides a holistic suite of services to meet the needs of the seniors and their family.
Image credit: NTUC Health
This co-operative operates Henderson Home, a 3-in-1 integrated senior care home with services catering to elderly who need a place to stay, a full-day care centre to engage the elderly while their family are away at work. Also available is a senior activity centre where ah gong can choose to exercise in the gym, leisure read or chat with friends over a cup of kopi-o.
Sign up for the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) Co-op Scholarship
Image credit: scoop.coop
Stepping up to lead a positive change in our society is not easy. Still, this scholarship allows you to gain greater exposure, learn more about the different groups of people in our society and work with them to create a more inclusive community.
The scholarship will provide a full tuition fee subsidy and an allowance of up to S$3,500 per annum - that’s almost $300 a month for your daily necessities. Apart from that, you’ll get a hostel subsidy of up to $3,500 per annum, and a one-off computer grant of up to $3,000.
Of course, you’ll also have internship opportunities with more than 60 SNCF affiliates, beginning with a 2-month internship at SNCF in your first year of university, then a 7-month off-site internship in the second year. You’ll be able to choose a 2-month internship at a co-operative of your choice in the third - some of which are listed right here, above.
You’re even be assured a job after completing your uni education- your bond period will be equivalent to the number of years of sponsored studies, of up to 4 years. But by fulfilling all 11 months of the internship, you can offset your bond by 1 year.
Last year’s scholars: Charmaine Yee, Goh Yu Xuan & Janice Chai.
Image credit: @sncfsg
Besides being groomed by the professionals in the co-operative movement, you’ll have plenty of time to consider your options, since you’ll only need to make your employment choices in your last year of study.
To begin your application, log into your Brightsparks account, or simply click the link found in the SNCF webpage. You’ll have to fill up your personal particulars, ‘O’ Level, and ‘A’ Level or equivalent scores. Add in your CCA, preferred university courses and any supporting documents. Those successful will receive an email for the next stages of scholarship applications.
There are real benefits to working with those in need - besides personal satisfaction in watching their circumstances improve, you’ll also get to interact with diverse groups of people, gaining different perspectives throughout.
This post was brought to you by SNCF.