1. What is the Water for Life project about?

    Water for Life (WFL) is a clean-water project initiated and managed by the Singapore International Foundation. It is also our very first Community Programme, defined as one that channels resources directly to a community to meet vital needs in a sustainable way. The project aims to bring clean drinking water to villagers and provide basic hygiene programmes for the communities. Volunteers will travel to local communities to build bio-sand filters as well as conduct hygiene workshops. The SIF’s Water for Life programme has been delivered in Indonesia (Lamongan), Myanmar (Yangon) and Cambodia (Siem Reap, Kampong Speu). Click here for more information on what to expect as a volunteer in our WFL programme.

2. How does the Water for Life programme support Cambodia’s capacity-building efforts?

    The SIF’s Water for Life (Siem Reap) programme aims to:

    • Reduce the incidence of water and sanitation related diseases through the provision of enhanced water supply and sanitation facilities;
    • Increase the capacity of participating communities to adopt improved health and hygiene practices; and
    • Strengthen participating communities’ capacity and capability to plan, implement and manage, operate and maintain health and environmental improvements through enhanced water and sanitation facilities

    Through this programme, the SIF also contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).

3. What kind of activities will the ‘Water for Life’ trip comprise?

    A volunteer will be engaged in the following activities:

    • Constructing and installing bio-sand filters
    • Conducting hygiene workshops and planting trees at a school
    • Making eco-soap that will be added into hygiene kits for students

4. What is a bio-sand filter? Will I be taught how to build or install one?

    A bio-sand filter is a water filtration system that makes dirty water safe to drink.
    It removes pathogens and microbes through layers of sand and gravel.
    It is an essential step in the multi-barrier approach to safe water.
    You can find out more about bio-sand filters here.
    Upon arrival in the host country, you will be trained on how to build and install these bio-sand filters.  

5. I am a foreigner/PR living in Singapore. Can I volunteer in Community Programmes?

    Yes, we welcome all volunteers who are residing in Singapore. Volunteers have to be Singapore citizens, PR or foreigners holding a valid work or study visa based in Singapore.

6. What are the prerequisites to be a Community Programme volunteer?

    Our volunteers are the backbone to the success of our SIF programmes!
    We welcome volunteers who are residing in Singapore such as Singapore citizens, Singapore permanent residents or foreigners holding a valid work or study visa.

    Volunteers must be:

    • At least 18 years old and above
    • Medically fit for overseas travel
    • Culturally sensitive
    • Adaptable and willing to serve
    • Open to sharing and learning
    • A team player with good interpersonal skills

    Volunteers may apply individually or as a group.
    To start a WFL trip, we need a minimum of 8 volunteers.
    There is a maximum of 12 volunteers per WFL trip.

7. How do I register and apply for the volunteer trip?

    You may register your interest by submitting your details here.
    We will contact you within 3 working days.

8. I am unable to form a team. Can the SIF help to find or link me up with other like-minded volunteers?

    We will facilitate matching of individuals to form a team based on the dates scheduled and will inform you once we have enough people to start the trip.

9. What are the costs involved for volunteers?

    The cost for each volunteer is as follow:

    • Single room: SGD 1, 350.00
    • Twin-sharing room: SGD 1, 250.00

    The cost above includes:

    • Pre-trip arrangement
    • Return air tickets to host country
    • Hotel accommodation
    • 2-way airport transfers
    • Local ground transportation to and from project sites
    • Lunches on service days and one welcome dinner
    • Travel insurance
    • Medical and security assistance services
    • Project administration and management

    Rates are based on standard itineraries and are subject to fluctuations in flight and in-country costs.
    They will be reviewed periodically at SIF’s discretion.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

    If the SIF cancels the WFL trip due to insufficient number of volunteer or for unforeseen reasons, the full amount will be refunded to volunteers.

    If a volunteer cancels the trip, the following will apply:

    5 weeks prior to trip departure or upon issuance of tickets, whichever comes first: No refund

    Land Costs*
    15 days or more prior to trip departure: 50% refund
    14 days or less prior to trip departure: No refund

    *Costs for hotel accommodation, 2-way airport group transfer, local ground transportation to and from the project site, local logistics and on-site assistance, travel insurance and medical and security assistance service.

11. Does the SIF provide any funding for volunteers?

    All volunteers are required to finance their own volunteer trips.

    This is because the Community Programmes focus on channelling resources to disadvantaged communities and directly addressing their immediate concerns. By having volunteers to take care of their own costs, we are then able to focus resources on the communities.

    You may choose to raise funds publicly or privately among friends and family. Please check with the Commissioner of Charities and the Singapore Police Force for regulations pertaining to public fund-raising as well as applications for fund-raising permits should you choose to do so.

12. Can I extend my stay beyond the volunteer trip?

    Yes, you can.

    Before you make your payment for the WFL trip, please inform us if you would like to extend your stay so that we can advise you on the additional costs.

    All additional costs incurred because of your extension of stay will be borne by you. Once you have made your payment for the WFL trip, you will not be able to make any changes.

13. What is the SIF's role in organising the volunteering trip?


    The SIF will manage all necessary administrative and logistical arrangements for community programmes such as the Water for Life programme.

    These arrangements include:

    • Booking of flights and accommodation
    • Airport transfers and land transport in host country
    • Travel insurance

    Prior to departure, a pre-deployment orientation (PDO) will be conducted to equip volunteers with the information and resources they need to be adequately prepared for the volunteer programme.

    During Trip

  • An experienced SIF-appointed team leader will be assigned for every trip.
  • He/she will travel with the team to provide on-site assistance during the volunteer trip.
  • SIF staff members in Singapore will also remain contactable throughout for consultation.

14. Are the volunteering trips dangerous?

    There are inherent risks associated with overseas volunteering. The SIF will advise all volunteers on travel insurance coverage and necessary precautions in terms of personal medical needs and safety. As the SIF undertakes to provide a safe working environment to its fullest ability, volunteers are likewise required to take full responsibility of inherent risks when travelling and working at project sites.

15. Will there be any certificates/acknowledgement for volunteering in Community Programmes?

    The SIF will provide volunteers with a letter of participation upon request, please email [email protected] with your request.

    In addition, you will become part of the community of Singapore International Volunteers and get to enjoy privileges accorded to this community of volunteers.

16. Will I be able to keep in contact with the local community, or visit them independently, after my trip?

    Yes, you are free to maintain contact with and visit the local community.

17. What does a typical WFL itinerary look like?

    (See Annex A)

18. Are there any other Community Programmes that we can volunteer in?

    The SIF’s community programmes comprise:

    While our Words on Wheels mobile libraries are still active, please be informed there will not be any resumption of overseas volunteer trips at the moment.

    We are continuously seeking meaningful projects that will bring Singaporean and overseas communities together. To remain up-to-date with our volunteering opportunities, sign up for our E-Newsletter by emailing us at [email protected].

19. I would like to donate cash or resources to the project. How can I do it and is this tax deductible?

    While we welcome donations of funds as well as resources, we will need more information on your donation to assess if this is viable for the overseas community, and if it can be tax-deductible.

    Please contact us at [email protected] for further discussion.

Annex A

    *The programme below is subject to change at the discretion of the Singapore International Foundation.
    Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
    Travel to Siem Reap

    Workshop: Making eco soap

    Collect soap for hygiene kits
    Briefing by Water for Cambodia

    Construct bio-sand filters, wash sand and stones

    Pack basic hygiene kits
    Install bio-sand filters at households and schools

    Conduct water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) training at schools

    Tree planting and environmental awareness for schools
    Depart for Singapore