Sharifah Khadijah bte Abdullah Alsagoff always wanted a purposeful career, where she could bring about positive change in others’ lives. At Daughters Of Tomorrow (DOT), which supports lower-income women towards sustained employment and social mobility, the digital marketing & communications executive creates content to promote its programmes and projects.
For two years after completing her English Language degree studies at the National University of Singapore, Khadijah interned at various non-governmental organisations (NGO). At one of them, Project X, she stayed on as an outreach volunteer to assist in coordinating schedules and events. Such exposure to different communities and ideas equipped her with the confidence necessary to navigate sensitive social situations – it helped shape how she engages beneficiaries at DOT.
Founded in 2014, DOT has supported more than 1,100 women in Singapore through skills training, job bridging and befriending programmes. These women come from families that earn between $200 and $650 per month, and struggle to break out of unemployment and poverty.
According to MSF Comcare as well as DOT’s estimation from more than 60 social service centres’ capacities, more than 25,000 families in Singapore struggle to find and sustain a livelihood. At least 27 per cent of people with an annual income of $20,000 or less have mental wellness issues such as depression and anxiety.
And by connecting them to volunteers and community resources, DOT further improves job opportunities for these women. This empowers them to achieve financial independence and fulfil their potential.
Meanwhile, read on as Khadijah, 24, shares more about what she loves about her job and how you can contribute too.
What do you enjoy most about working in social services?
It gives purpose to my work; helping others allows me to connect with the community. I’ve met many inspiring people who have a heart for giving and are bringing about meaningful change in their own ways. They inspire me to always consider how I can do better to make a positive impact.
Most memorable experience at Daughters Of Tomorrow?
One of my earliest assignments was to interview Mervis Yeo, a DOT community leader, for a campaign. Listening to her share about her experiences was so inspiring because she’s such a confident speaker and excellent storyteller. She also told me about her plans to create a podcast with DOT. Meeting women like Mervis drives my passion for social services.
You organised the “Women in the Workplace: An International Women’s Day Roundtable by DOT” on 11-13 March 2022. Any takeaways?
It was the first time I’d organised an event for 40-50 people. It showed me the importance of networking – so many panellists, sponsors and workshop vendors chipped in with their time and resources pro bono, in addition to assistance from DOT staff and volunteers. We had to overcome so many challenges, for instance, some of us came down with Covid-19. But we remained united and committed; it’s my proudest achievement at DOT!
Advice to those who want to contribute but don’t know how to start?
Find a cause you’re passionate about – you’ll naturally want to set time aside for it. Contact an NGO and ask about opportunities for volunteering! Here’s a surprise: you don’t necessarily need a background in social services to contribute. Skills such as photography, legal knowledge, and accountancy can be very helpful for smaller organisations too.
You can help to empower women and enable families through various programmes: Befriender, Volunteer Childminder, Supportive Employer, Poverty Sensitisation Workshops, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Donation/Fundraising. Find out more about these opportunities at Daughters Of Tomorrow here.