On the way to 2020: Edward Chuah

With our centenary approaching, we are interviewing SCI activists and asking them what 2020 means to them. This month we present to you Edward Chuah, activist of SCI Malaysia and Asian Development Committee.

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When and where was your first workcamp?

The first ever work camp I attended was in Malaysia, back in 2010. It was a workcamp focusing on environmental issues. I vividly remember putting up a tent by myself and the refreshing cold waterfall nearby!

What is your role in SCI Malaysia?

I am currently the President of SCI Malaysia, among other active members

Besides SCI Malaysia, you are active in the Asian Development Committee. Can you tell more about it - what is the ADC and what do they do?

The Asia Development Committee (ADC) is an informal SCI working group consisting of branches or groups in the Asia-Pacific region, from Japan to Australia, India to Mauritius.  We have few wonderful volunteers who took up the responsibilities to be in the ADC secretariat and help coordinate the ADC members. We wish to improve visibilities and communications among ADC members and to the rest of SCI world. Through the Asian Platform Meeting (APM), which we organize 2 times a year, we hope to share best practices, latest information and help in capacity building amongst branches in the Asia-Pacific region.

In your opinion, is SCI Asia in general different than SCI Europe? If yes, in what aspects?

Our mission and visions are the same and clearly reflected in what we do but in SCI Asia, the approach and communication are slightly different. I hope Asian branches would be more visible and more daring to change!

What are the strengths of SCI as an international movement?

Our long IVS history with strong philosophical viewpoint, which has guided us since 1920. Work camps and IVS are our strength that should be put forward more.

And what are the current challenges?

Volunteers management - either retention or attracting new volunteers - is getting challenging while expectations of work camps have evolved over the years

When did you realize that peace is something important?

Peace to me always starts from within, achieving peace in ourselves first. The reasons I am saying this are because with the right, balanced, peaceful mind, we can achieve many things and exert positivity to our friends, family and community. Without a peaceful mind, everything seems to go wrong.

What does the year 2020 mean to you?

To share the important milestone with other volunteers, community, and organizations and how we can grow stronger together.

How do you personally want to celebrate ‘2020’?

To reflect on my personal journey with SCI Malaysia, what we have done and achieved all these past years - are we staying true to our mission and philosophy? And afterwards, a good drinking session to celebrate it! ☺


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