Volunteer Cooperation
Volunteer Cooperation

Specialists Projects

Sharing skills and experiences can empower communities while creating greater intercultural understanding and appreciation. 

Our teams of Specialist Singapore International Volunteers (SIV) visit overseas institutions regularly to exchange skills and build organisational capacity, collaborating with our partners to effect long-term positive change in their communities, particularly in the areas of healthcare and education.

Specialist Healthcare

Specialist SIVs seek to empower partners from our neighbouring countries to become catalysts for long-term positive change in their respective communities. We do this by enhancing specialist skills through the training of trainers to establish a core group of local instructors who in turn cascade trainings for their peers and colleagues.  For example,

  • Singapore healthcare professionals work closely with their counterparts from Yunnan, China, to enhance the skills and knowledge of rehabilitation and chronic disease management for the elderly, while training local partners to become trainers themselves.
  • Together with the East Java Provincial Government in Indonesia, we launched a three-year training programme to enhance the practice of child and adolescent psychiatry. Specialist SIVs comprising mental health  professionals from Changi General Hospital and the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore will train a core of ‘master trainers’ from four public hospitals in East Java to better diagnose mental conditions, develop treatment plans, devise standard systems and processes. 

Specialist projects are carried out over a span of between two and five years. Specialist SIVs will be required to travel for periods ranging from one to two weeks, for two to three times a year.

One of the most rewarding things for me is seeing improvements in the health of the working population in the countries I work in, during our follow up visits. It is also great to see the people we train being promoted to positions of authority in their fields and continuing to effect positive change in their own countries by training other practitioners and employing best practices.

Professor David Koh, Outstanding Singapore International Volunteer Award 2012 recipient  Preventive Medicine and Occupational Health


This day marks an important opportunity for all of us to learn from one of the world leaders in maternal and child health, namely Singapore, and the KK Women’s and Children’s hospital has been leading in Singapore and providing maternal and child health services and this day marks an important opportunity for us to learn from them so that we can move forward to the next stage of our maternal healthcare programme.

Dr P Senthil Kumar, Indian Administrative Service, Special Secretary to Government, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu, India   

Specialist Education

Education is one powerful way to effect tangible, long-term change.

  • Our Specialist SIVs have trained 138 Special Education teachers, special needs students and their families in Medan, Indonesia; coached 36,000 preschool educators and developed an Early Childhood resource guide in Myanmar; guided English teachers and librarians in Jaffna, Sri Lanka and conducted social work coaching and curriculum development in Vietnam.
  • Since 1993, 11 in-field volunteers from SIF have lived in Sri Lanka for up to a year each, serving in the education sector either as teachers of English, Special Education or Physical Education. 

Specialist projects are carried out over a span of between two and five years. Specialist SIVs will be required to travel for periods ranging from one to two weeks, for two to three times a year. 

During the course of my work, I was sometimes asked, “Why not donate money instead?” My answer has always been that money will always run out but ideas are far more valuable and will last forever. Training-the-trainers programmes empower communities in a sustainable way and multiply the effect of what we do. Dr. Khoo Kim Choo, Early Childhood Specialist, Singapore International Volunteer, Vietnam & Myanmar


I’m very inspired by the trainers’ commitment and dedication to liven up our preschool classrooms. During the project, I’ve worked closely with the SIF team to develop the resource centre in Preschool Number 1 to become a reference point for other preschools in Yangon. This experience has allowed me to see first-hand the transformation of the school and the impact it had on the children.

Daw Thinn Thinn Sein 
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Dharma School Foundation, Myanmar  
Better understand the effectiveness of SIF's model of volunteer cooperation and how it creates positive impact on professional skills, organisation capacity development and intercultural understanding - some of the key benefits brought about by our volunteers. Download this study on Creating Sustainable Impact Through Short Term Volunteering in Asia.



2 June 2015
Singapore and China Organisations Join Hands to Enhance Healthcare Services for the Aging Population in Yunnan

SIF inked a three-year partnership to establish a platform for healthcare professionals in Singapore and China to join hands in exchanging knowledge, skills and resources to address this shared social challenge.

19 March 2019
Occupational Therapy for Children with Special Needs in Jakarta

Riding on the success of an earlier special education (SPED) project in Medan, Indonesia, the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) launched a four-year SPED training project in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 25 February 2019. The project,...

3 December 2018

Journey with our favourite local personalities as they team up with our Singapore International Volunteers to do good overseas!

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