Beneath The Rug


Tensions and Dilemmas within Singapore's Social Sector 

Through the years spent interacting with people from within and out of the social/impact sector, the Solve n+1 team noticed a huge gap between the publicly perceived landscape of social care and the actual environment the sector operates in. To many of us, the only SSO we know is the Singapore Symphonic Orchestra, not the Social Service Office where many of the vulnerable in Singapore go to for government aid. 


Most of us are disconnected from vulnerable and hidden communities in Singapore. We hardly encounter their existence, and even when we hear of stories about the plight of migrant workers or families living in rental housing, they appear distant and removed from our lives. When these issues receive public attention, it is instinctive to ask if the government can do more to help these communities.

As a partner in the social and impact sector, we know that many of these issues are complex and multifaceted, requiring not just the government but also a host of other actors ranging from private enterprises to non-profits, social workers and individuals like us, to address. Rather than shifting the blame or pointing fingers at an individual or organisation, what if we could collectively contribute and resolve these issues together? What would that require? 

Lived experiences from people in the social and impact sector, will help break down the complexity of care surrounding the sector it. This makes it accessible to the public and invites them to participate in individual social responsibility. 


We are collecting stories of tensions and dilemmas from people in the social and impact sector with lived experiences, including but not limited to social workers, caregivers and individuals from vulnerable communities. 


To accompany these stories, we also plan to provide two resource guides. 


The first guide aims to equip readers who have a foot in the social/impact sector with the ability to facilitate conversations based off the stories they read. We believe that when they lead the conversation, readers with an understanding of the sector can point family and friends to areas where they can contribute and commit to individual social responsibility. An outcome can be as simple as having family and friends ask the reader how they can support them in your work, or even birthing new micro-initiatives for various communities.


The second guide aims to help readers tell their own story. While the stories we compile may undoubtedly resonate with individuals and inspire them to share it with others, it still cannot be compared with telling one’s own story. 


In getting these stories out, we are in the midst of exploring possible mediums such as a physical book, an e-book, as well as through social media platforms via videos, illustrations and podcasts. 


If this project resonates with you and you would like to contribute, we invite you to connect with Lewin or Tian Wei at and respectively

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