Singapore Red Cross Receives the COVID-19 Resilience Certification

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) received the COVID-19 Resilience Certification from the Ministry of Health on 10 December 2023 in recognition of its contribution to Singapore's fight against COVID-19. 

Three months before the COVID-19 outbreak in September 2019, the SRC established the Centre of Excellence in Pandemic Preparedness (CoEPP) - a platform for the exchange of conversations, and the development of networks, frameworks, information sharing and pandemic expertise to promote thought leadership and build capacity on pandemic preparedness. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic presented the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement with several challenges and learning opportunities, the CoEPP invited the Southeast Asian (SEA) National Societies to document the insights gleaned from their COVID-19 response. These insights have been compiled into a white paper, titled ‘Road Ahead: Insights from Southeast Asia COVID-19 Response'.

In the same spirit of sharing insights from the COVID-19 pandemic, SRC also organised the seventh SRC Humanitarian Conference in 2022, themed 'Humanitarian Response to COVID-19 – Anxiety & Hope' at the Marina Bay Sands. The conference featured a lineup of distinguished speakers, including Guest-of-Honour, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, who shared their experiences, thoughts and lessons learned during the pandemic. Over 300 participants attended the physical event while another 80 participants attended the event virtually.

Supporting the local community during COVID-19 

To mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of vulnerable communities in Singapore, SRC established the Centre for Occupational Learning and Employment (COLE) to offer basic employability training and job facilitation for Singaporeans aged 18 to 59, whose livelihoods were affected by the pandemic. SRC’s COLE provided free soft-skills training, career coaching, and job recommendations to 550 candidates, including SRC’s beneficiaries, between July 2021 and July 2023. 

Amid the pandemic, SRC continued providing its beneficiaries and clients with essential care services via its ElderAid, Family LifeAid, TransportAid, and Home Monitoring and Eldercare (HoME)+ services. SRC introduced the customised care packages initiative in 2020 to distribute essentials comprising medical, hygiene, food and household supplies to more than 200 seniors. In addition to conducting weekly arts and crafts, haircuts and workout activities for seniors,  SRC volunteer befrienders also visited seniors who lived alone every fortnight. Working with The Social Kitchen, SRC also delivered close to 1,800 warm meals to more than 1,000 families in need during the pandemic.

Through Project R.I.C.E+, the annual fundraising campaign championed by Red Cross Youth - Chapters, SRC distributed customised bundle sets comprising food and daily necessities to some 23,000 beneficiaries from single-parent, skipped-generation (households where grandparents care for grandchildren), and low-income families, as well as migrant workers.  

Meanwhile, as part of its Young Hearts programme for at-risk children and youth, SRC volunteers ran weekly tuition and digital workshops for 80 children, aged between seven to 12, from disadvantaged families. 

Besides these efforts, SRC partnered with the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) in organising mental wellness activities, such as art jamming and music ensemble sessions for foreign domestic workers in Singapore.