I am Jason, currently a sophomore studying Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical-Aeronautics) in UTM JB.
On 4 – 17 April 2015, I contributed to global volunteerism by joining YSS-ASEAN Students Volunteer Mission to Savannakhet, Lao PDR. I was one of the 31 selected from over 600 applicants throughout Malaysia.
Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa (YSS) or Malaysia Students Volunteer Foundation was established on 24 August 2011 and aimed to train Malaysian Global Volunteer Icons. Since Malaysia as the chairman of ASEAN, the global community outreach engaging between Malaysia and other ASEAN countries should be encouraged.
In the mission, 31 students were split into three groups to volunteer in three villages which were Ban Na, Ban Kheuakhaokat and Ban Laosouliya. I was assigned to Ban Na village together with the other 19 student heroes and heroines. Each of us has a Laotian counterpart from Savannakhet university throughout the course of mission to assist the communication and projects. We learnt Laos language and teach them Malay language in return.
We had made large contribution and difference in Ban Na village of 5436 people. As the leader of information technology cluster, I was committed to improve the information technology by setting up a new desktop PC from industrial sponsor and organizing IT tutorials with students and teachers. Too, we conducted community projects in both primary and secondary schools which impact 800 Laotian students. We managed to build noticeboard, brick pavement, monument, bamboo benches and upgraded the volley court. We fixed broken chairs and tables in classrooms. We also renovated and painted fences. We painted the school buildings and decorated the reading room. To enhance the exposure of ASEAN to local students, we pasted the 10 ASEAN flags on the wall of school. Moreover, We organized English classes and fun-learning to the local students. On the other hand, we organized health session to check Laotian students’ Body Mass Index (BMI), teach them proper hand-washing and oral-brushing techniques.
It was a big pride that my contribution in the 2-weeks student volunteer mission to Laos has been honorarily acknowledged by Malaysia Prime Minister and being shared in his official twitter. The volunteer mission inspired me to do goodness and empower others. I am different as I made a difference in others’ life through volunteerism. All these exposure reformed my mindset and personality. Today, I have a strong keen to help others and desperate to be part of global contribution in any means.
The mission was tough since the success of projects depends on our initiatives and efforts yet in a short period of time. We breathe, we live and we learn. The bright side was establishing a strong friendship and bonding between local host family. We treasure the cross-cultural learning and moment besides the volunteering intention there.
The 2-weeks journey was tough yet meaningful to say and share.
Herewith the verse in the post-mission:
“We are volunteers;
We are sincere;
We did hard works;
We did heart works;
We are different;
We made a difference;
We are special;
We empowered others;
Now everyone can fly;
And now everyone can volunteer;
We were Malaysian volunteer heroes and heroines!
Across country’s border;
Regardless of different culture;
Beyond language barrier;
Flying to Laos for making a difference in the local community.
No matter what happens;
We are the student volunteers;
We did the things right;
We did the right things.
We met hardship;
We made friendship;
The mission was a success;
It inspired me to do goodness;
For the people and the world.”