By Yik Wei Choo (YES 2009-2010, Malaysia, placed by ACES in Toledo, OH)
YES alumni in Malaysia had an amazing time promoting volunteerism among youth in Kuching during Global Youth Service Day. Our special collaboration with Swinburne Sarawak Student Council made this event even more special. From May 2-4, Tay Lynn Jia ’20, M Ruban A/L Murugan ’20, Muhammad Nadzirul Afif bin Mohd Nazri ’20 and Lai Jun Hao ’17 organized the Say YES! to Volunteer activity for 35 high school students in Kuching. The workshop aimed to equip participants with knowledge on global citizenship and cultivate the spirit of volunteerism among youth.
On the first day, the keynote speech was delivered by the AFS Sarawak Chapter President Mr. Bahtiar Afandi, followed by an overview of the YES program by the YES alumni facilitator. The workshop opening was followed by ice-breakers and workshop sessions designed to help participants learn about their roles as global citizens in the local community and how they might participate in community service projects.
On the second day, participants gathered to board a bus to Lions Nursing Home and The Reservoir Park, where they were then split into two teams and helped clean the two locations as well as visit with nursing home residents. After lunch, everyone departed to Damai Beach for beach cleaning. The main task was collecting trash at the beach compound, and within 2 hours, a total of around 10 big bags of trash were collected.
On the final day, participants were given topics related to the sustainable development goals and engaged in group discussions and brainstorming as to how they might tackle some of these issues. After sessions on project planning, participants were tasked with outlining community service projects which could be put into action in the near future. Let's keep the spirit of volunteerism alive!