Monday, 6 March 2017

Inspiring others through his service

A faculty in the NUS Business School, Associate Professor Albert Teo has been serving as the Programme Director of the YMCA-NUS Business School Volunteer Service Management Programme (VSMP) since its introduction in 2007.

Since his graduate school days in the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1990s, Albert has been actively volunteering in various non-profit organisations and has developed deep insights into social issues. “The takeaways from volunteering enable me to share my experiences in the lectures, as one would not be able to effectively explain concepts unless one has been involved in the work of non-profit organisations,” said Associate Professor Albert Teo.

Now its 10th year, the idea of VSMP stemmed from a need for a course to continually build up a strong force of volunteer leaders for both the YMCA and the social service sector. YMCA approached NUS Business School for support and the school readily agreed to support the worthwhile cause, which was formalised it into a certified programme with an objective to inspire and equip volunteers and social service staff with the necessary skill sets and knowledge to implement service projects successfully.

On 3 March 2017, over 67 voluntary welfare organisation staff and volunteers received their certificates at the YMCA-NUS Business School VSMP Commencement Ceremony. A first in the social service sector that represents the collaboration between a voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) and a reputable international premier university, VSMP provides formal training to volunteers and staff of VWOs to prepare them to more effectively serve in the social service sector. As part of the curriculum, each participant has to fulfil 30 hours of practicum through a service project at a VWO, making it a holistic and relevant for all participants.

“The formation of VSMP was a culmination of YMCA and NUS Business School’s shared desire to build capacity and capability for the social service sector. Over the last 10 years, the programme has gathered good momentum, and empowered participants to feel more confident, as well as strengthened their ability to serve the community better,” said Albert Ching, Chairman of VSMP Committee.

Samuel Koh, Executive Director, Christian Outreach to the Handicapped has been sending his staff to participate in the programme since 2015. “I can see my staff being more proactive after attending the course. They are taking the initiative and I can also sense a certain vibrancy in the way they go about engaging volunteer groups that come to our centres,” he said.

To date, the programme has trained over 310 volunteers and staff from more than 100 non-profit organisations and over 390 youths from Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes.

The next run of VSMP will be held in September 2017 for volunteers and staff from Voluntary Welfare Organisations. Should you wish to find out more about the programme, please contact Li Chye at

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