Volunteer Malaysia brings do-gooders from all across the country together
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
Out of all the days of the week, Saturday is usually well spent either sleeping in late or maybe just chilling with family and friends.
But for Unimas student Awg Azlihisham, he had no problem being up as early as 6am on a Saturday to join the Volunteer Malaysia 2015 programme as one of the 300 volunteers at Gambier Street, Waterfront Kuching on September 12.
Along with his fellow university mates, Awg Azlihisham decided to make use of his Saturday volunteering as he felt that through the programme, he was doing his part as a citizen in contributing to the community.
With the gathering at the Waterfront Esplanade around 8 am, some of the volunteers were also seen distributing brooms, litter pickers and garbage bags among themselves before starting to clean up the rubbish along the Waterfront while others could also be seen cleaning the bus stop.
But, the main attraction of the programme was mural painting along three different walls at Gambier Street which seemed to attract a lot of attention from passers-by who couldn’t help but be curious about the final result.
Also participating in the programme was UCSI University student Sammi Phang who was engrossed in painting the wall mural on a Gambier Street building.
“I think it is a meaningful activity and it can help make our city look more beautiful,” said Sammi.
Also thinking that the programme could help in beautifying the city was another public volunteer, Julian Sim.
“It’s hot day, but everyone is having fun, and the reason why I joined the programme is because I think it is something that should be done. We all should care more about how our city looks, and this program does that and it is good to see such a big turnout today,” said Julian.
First introduced in 2014, Volunteer Malaysia is a movement organised by iM4U supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to get Malaysians to take part in volunteerism to make a difference in the community.
The programme which took place nationwide September 12 saw more than 20, 000 volunteers participating in four main activities which are Public Art Movement, a platform for local artists to contribute towards the beautification of public spaces; Green Team Activities, to promote sustainable living practices, care of environment and health; War on Dengue, to curb dengue and Beach and Underwater Clean Up which is a collaborative effort to protect the country’s waterway and ocean from pollution.
According to programme coordinator Ting Nyok Eing from UCSI, in Sarawak volunteers were split into five groups over five different locations during the one-day event.
“So the students from UCSI volunteered under the Public Art Movement at Gambier Street along with some members of the public as well,” said Ting.
Other groups who participated were Universiti Putra Malaysia at Taman Negara Simalinjau under Green Team, Kem PLKN Juara Sieran at Tasik Danu, Serian under both Public Art Movement and Green Team, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Kota Samarahan at Pantai Pandan Lundu, Lundu for the Public Art Movement and Beach Clean Up and Politekenik Kuching at Pantai Pasir Panjang, Santubong under Beach Clean Up.
Coinciding with DBKU’s Clean, Beautiful and Safe City initiative, the objective of the programme organised by UCSI University, funded by iM4U and supported by DBKU is to contribute towards the beautification of public places as well as to instill ethical responsibility in its volunteers.
Also present during the programme was DBKU Commission Member Datuk Maznah Dasmi.
To know more about Volunteer Malaysia, check out their website at www.im4u.my