National Day 2022 - building a stronger Singapore with tech
Many aspects go towards building a nation, and one of the most important is community. Communities, after all, give different people a sense of identity and forge common values, ultimately rooting individuals to a country.
In line with this year’s National Day Parade theme – “Stronger Together, Majulah!” – we want to mark Singapore’s birthday by looking at how tech can help bond our communities and enhance their resilience for the future.
Read on to find out more about various initiatives and how you can be a part of them!
#DoingGood – NDP 2022
This year’s NDP has a series of voluntary events collecting known as #DoingGood. Among the over 80 activities are several tech-focused ones.
For instance, with e-payment becoming increasingly ubiquitous, you can help seniors gain confidence in using digital payment tools and eventually experience the convenience of going cashless.
Or you can refurbish donated laptops to make them suitable for use by low-income families. Tech experts will be on hand to guide you so you don’t have to be an IT guru to take part.
Events run across July and August, so check out the listing page for chances to make a difference this National Day.
As its name suggests, better.sg is all about creating a better Singapore by building and scaling innovative digital tools to address societal issues.
This volunteer-run organisation helps bring to life a variety of projects that help different groups of beneficiaries. One tool uses voice-over-IP tech to aid migrant workers to call home and connect to their loved ones for free. Another is an online game that encourages empathy by allowing you to experience a day in the life of someone from a different background.
You can volunteer in various capacities, be it helping to brainstorm and develop new tech tools, generate articles and podcasts to spread the word about #techforgood, or helping to develop better.sg’s community by lending a hand with members’ activities.
Engineering Good is a charity that helps empower those with disabilities and the disadvantaged through engineering and technology.
One way it does this is by providing those with disabilities with the tools to make daily life more convenient. Over the years, volunteers have delivered projects such as customised writing tools and retrofitted light switches for those who have limited dexterity with their hands.
Another aspect of the group’s work is digital inclusion – providing devices and know-how to those who do not have the means to be digitally connected. They collect and refurbish pre-owned laptops and then distribute these devices to those in need.
SG Enable Smart Home
Another organisation that helps people with disabilities live more independent lives is SG Enable, which partnered with Google to develop the Smart Home Guide.
The guide advises about the benefits of smart home devices and how people with disabilities – such as physical disabilities, visual impairment, and deafness – can set up their home with such conveniences.
For example, people with deafness can programme lights to flicker when the doorbell rings. They can also set up a light to turn a certain colour when it’s raining so that they can quickly close the windows and take in their laundry.
Small teams of volunteers also work with potential beneficiaries to understand their needs and how smart devices can improve their way of life. They then assist to set up the smart home. The eight month scheme runs till September this year and has so far benefited 25 people.
Singapore Women in Tech
As tech becomes increasingly important in our society, it is imperative that tech opportunities are equally accessible to everyone. While 41 per cent of tech professionals in Singapore are women, well above the global average of 28 per cent, more can still be done to develop and retain more women talent in the tech industry.
The Cross-Polytechnic Girls in Tech Committee, made up of girls studying infocomm technology courses in the five Singapore polytechnics, aims to do just that by being a community of support for girls in tech.
It aims to reach 700 girls each year and participants will visit companies and attend workshops by women tech leaders.
They will also be able to take part in the annual Girls in Tech Week in October.
If you are a woman in tech, do consider taking some time to share your career experiences with the budding techies of tomorrow!
Issues like climate change can often seem too daunting for any one person to make a difference.
The CNA Green Plan aims to correct this perception by shining the spotlight on inspiring individuals who take small steps to go green.
Individuals submitted examples of them doing their part in their day-to-day lives to promote sustainability.
Some of the winning entries involving tech include:
- A fitness enthusiast who “burns fat, not fossil fuels” by using exercise bikes that convert workout energy into electricity to charge mobile devices.
- A supporter of renewable energy installing solar panels on the roof.
- A hand-crafted radio reconfigured from discarded parts of a 40-year-old radio.
Making National Day more than just a public holiday
Yes, National Day is a much-needed break from our busy school and work lives, but it can also be so much more than just a public holiday.
Make this National Day period much more meaningful by taking part in efforts to forge a better Singapore that’s a home for everyone.https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/building-a-stronger-singapore-with-tech