IAVE Asia Pacific Youth Volunteer Conference 2017

Article contribution by SCI Malaysia, telling us all about the IAVE Asia Pacific Youth Volunteer Conference.

Date : 22 Nov & 23 Nov

Venue : Kuala Lumpur Convention Center

I’ll briefly go through the event on personal perspectives. It was the first time I heard about IAVE Asia Pacific Youth Volunteer Conference. At first, I didn’t expect myself to be able to attend due to the event being held on working days and the long travel distance from Penang to Kuala Lumpur. After much consideration, I decided to take the opportunity given as it was rare for such a meaningful event to be able to take place in our own nation country. Here, I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Anwar for sponsoring my participation on this IAVE Youth Volunteer Conference.

The IAVE Youth Volunteer Conference 2017 was organized by Yayasan Salam Malaysia, in collaboration with International Association Volunteer Effort (IAVE), Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light (HWPL) from South Korea, Service Civil International Malaysia, Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa and many other organizations, just to list a few. The theme for this year is “The Power of Volunteering : What Have You Changed?”. There were 620 participants in total, coming from 32 countries all over the world to make this conference a successful event.

There were numerous concurrent breakout sessions ongoing throughout the entire conference. Thus, difficult decision had to be made to attend one among the three. The first session I attend was Human Library. Human library is a rather more interacting concept where the speakers are the books to directly share their wisdom and experience whereas audience are the readers to listen and at the same time inquire to have their questions answered instantly. One of the greatest pleasure in this session was that I had chance to read an inspiring “book”, namely Datuk Yong Soo Heong, CEO of BERNAMA. He shared his passion in his profession while he was once young that he really put in effort to complete the tasks given to him without fail. One of the instances was that he was stuck in traffic jam on the drive to interview the Prime Minister. To ensure that he could arrive in time, he abandoned his car at the roadside in the middle of the traffic jam and immediately halted a motorcyclist passing by to give him a ride to the destination. The golden advices from Datuk Yong to us the youngsters were to learn to work in a team, not being isolated to work individually; always have singlemindness; work harder, so that you surrender harder. He also recommended a book that would add up wisdom and enrich the way of thinking, i.e. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

Apart from that, on the other sessions, I was able to get introduced to some other volunteering organizations not just in Malaysia but also in other country like South Korea. One of them was Malaysian Youth Council where they have a YOUGET training center for the young generations and also work in collaboration with UPM to offer diploma study in Youth in Development Work. Also, Yayasan Salam Malaysia which I was quite familiar with, they also voiced out that they plan to make a change to introduce more young into volunteering by being democratic and making the volunteering work a pleasure instead of a pressure to the youth. Besides that, Kindness Malaysia also shared their propaganda “be anyone to anyone” by emphasizing kindness in doing good deeds. Other than that, I get to know about the high school youngsters from the South Korea on their volunteering activities to teach children on the Korean writing. Also, Wan Akmal Othman from Pertubuhan Kebajikan Projek Ihsan also spoke about their English Camp activities to provide education to the children and expose themselves more to English language in Malaysia. Dr. Mohd Hazmi Mohd Rusli also shared his Phd journey in overseas to tell us that success are made by the people whom one travels with. Aisde from that, I was impressed by the speaker Khairuddin Aziz on his persisting effort of integrating rock music into promoting a drug free environment among the children in schools. Through his organization Drug Free Youth Association, he became the ambassador of saying NO to drug and organized numerous visits to the schools in Malaysia. His determination on instilling a drugless lifestyle in youth really earned my respect.

One of the spotlights that worth a mention here is that two of our beloved SCI members were proudly invited to be the speakers in the IAVE Youth Conference. They are none other than Edward and Chih Ming. Another spotlight would be Kak Nurul and Chih Ming were the MC for the opening ceremony to kickstart the event. Our president Edward highlighted the impact of international workcamps that bring change within individual which help breakdown stereotypes for a peaceful world of mutual understanding. He emphasized that being volunteering helps to develop softskills as well as to coorperate to work in team. These valuable skills are not taught in school and through workcamps, it is the best platform to learn and perform. Some of the motivational quotes Edward shared that really crafted on my mind was to get out of our comfort zone to explore beyond and failure is an option if you do not make your move. Apart from that, Chih Ming also shared his experience on joining three organizations (i.e.: SCI Malaysia, Special Olympics Malaysia and Leo Club of HELP CAT concurrently. He mentioned that being active in three different organizations had taught him different values. From SCI Malaysia, he learnt how to be selfless and to organize from the grass roots. In Special Olympics Malaysia, Chih Ming highlighted the value of inclusion and acceptance towards everybody regardless of physical or mental inferiority. Meanwhile, he also mentioned that being the Founder of the Leo Club in HELP provide a platform for him to perform and also to develop his leadership skill to the next stage. In his speech, Chih Ming emphasized the important of networking with people of different background which will widen our social circle and help to seek the right partner strategically in doing anything.

Other than just speeches and sharing in the IAVE, there were also some interacting activities that help break the ice between the participants. One of them was choosing three good traits (like creative, kindness, leadership) that were printed on card from a desk of cards and described the traits that fit to yourself to the others in a group. Also, we took part in the role-playing game as a religious leader to explain the roles of the character and things to be done in stopping Syria civil war. Besides interactive game, there were some cultural stations held outside the ballroom before the start of gala dinner. Some of the highlight would be Chinese calligraphy, Indian Mehndi, pewter crafting, textile painting and also dances of different races which showcased the culture of diversity in Malaysia to not only the international participants but also the local as well.

Sherlock Kun, SCI Malaysia



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