Curtin Sarawak engages with rural community in Limbang
MIRI: Twenty volunteers from Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) were at SK Kuala Medalam, the primary school at the remote settlement of Kuala Medalam about an hour’s drive from Limbang town, last weekend to carry out its ‘Reaching Out’ community engagement programme.
The volunteers comprised staff of the university’s Office of Student Affairs (OSA), Health Services section, International Division and Financial Services and Corporate Communications departments.
The volunteers were the first group from a university to visit the school and they were warmly received by the approximately 200 students and staff of the school, as well as parents of the students and local residents.
Several activities were carried out during the visit, including health checks and consultation for the parents; colouring and games for students; lucky draws; and cultural performances by the students. The volunteers were also treated to breakfast and lunch prepared by the school.
The mainly Iban community and the school is accessible only by a rough gravel road. The school, built in the 1960s, houses classrooms for kindergarten children and students aged between 7 to 12, as well as offices, a hall, canteen and staff and student hostels. Most of the students are boarders from nearby longhouses.
The ‘Reaching Out’ programme is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of the OSA to engage with rural communities in Northern Sarawak.
According to the head of the OSA, Dean of Students Dr. Adeline Wong, Curtin Sarawak is committed to engaging communities and changing lives through such CSR initiatives. She added that the volunteers participated in the programme not only as staff of the university, but also out of their personal convictions to give back to society.
“As a university engaging with youth in our local communities, particularly those in the interior, we are strengthening their ambitions. We want to impress on them that with a good education, they can easily achieve their ambitions,” remarked Dr. Wong.
Principal of SK Kuala Medalam Endrick Enjan thanked the volunteers for travelling all the way by road from Miri to engage with the school. He also thanked the parents and staff of the school who assisted in the event preparation.
“I extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone involved, and I hope the university would consider making this a yearly event to help boost the morale of our students and staff,” he said.
Meanwhile, OSA psychologist Fadzillah Jamil, a Limbang native herself, was overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm showed by both the volunteers and the local community, adding that it was an experience she will cherish for a long time.
Senior Corporate Communications Officer Marcella Gider, meanwhile, said she was humbled by the warm hospitality of the community and wishes to be involved in similar activities in the future.
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia), Twitter profile (curtinsarawak), YouTube channel (CurtinUniSarawak) or Instagram (curtinsarawak).