Choose a career to give back to society
Growing up in a low-income family, Ms Zizie Zuzantie Mohamed Said is grateful to have received a lot of support from the community since she was young.
This included support for her studies at school through bursaries and scholarships funded by charities.
Understanding the importance of education from an early age, Ms Zizie initially wanted to become a teacher to nurture the next generation.
However, through the opportunity to volunteer at the Meet-the-People sessions (MPS) with the People's Action Party (PAP) and Homeless Hearts of Singapore, a centre that provides support to those who have no shelter, she chose to venture into the social service sector to contribute time and effort to the community and empower those in need.
Ms Zizie, 32, is currently the Assistant Director of Outcomes and Standards at the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).
Ms Zizie is among 30 individuals whose contributions to Singapore are highlighted in the 'Stories From The Heart' series by NCSS that features the collaboration of social service agencies (SSAs), NCSS staff and volunteers.
As a volunteer, she was given many opportunities to help those in need.
In fact, it also allowed her to think about how she could contribute to society and make a bigger impact.
"When I was growing up, I knew what roles I wanted to be in.
"Among them was education, or developing policies that can help children to complete their education.
"But through the experiences I had volunteering at MPS sessions, I learned more about the social service sector and it increased my interest in the field," she said.
Her journey in the social service sector began at NCSS with the service team in 2013, specifically in the Children, Youth and Family Services.
Now, her duties at NCSS include reviewing how SSAs can deliver difference high quality programmes that can improve the community.
Having just celebrated her ninth year with NCSS this month, Ms Zizie said she and her team are often looking for ways to continue to improve the sector.
However, she faced several challenges in achieving that goal.
"When we want to move the sector forward or bring in corporate support and other donors, there are heightened expectations of the programmes and interventions offered.
"My biggest challenge is how we can show the impact and results of the programmes we support," she said.
Apart from working at NCSS, Ms Zizie, who is the youngest in her family and has three older brothers, also spends her spare time serving the country as a SAF Volunteer Corps.
This article was also featured in Berita Harian on 21 September 2022.
Check out the further report: About the ‘Stories from the Heart’ series in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the National Council of Social Service: