Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Good Samaritan of the World

When the Special School of Klang put gardening into their programme for the volunteers, I was over excited! Hahaha…. Look how beautifully prepared the volunteers with their tools and attire. They made a beautiful scene at the school for the children who could see them from the classes. Hard work, lots of sweat and stiff joints; all for the school and the children.

This volunteer exchange programme was organised by MOVE (Malaysian Organisation for Volunteer Exchange) in cooperation with NICE (Never-ending International workCamps Exchange) based in Japan. Several times a year, MOVE will organise a work camp in cooperation with NICE and the local volunteers. In Japan, NICE is promoting volunteerism among their youngsters via work camps all over the world from short (1-3 days) to long period (2 weeks). You can read all about it in their official website.

Everyone is welcome to joint at any of the work camps as long as you are able to understand the meaning of volunteerism and understand that work camp is not a vacation camp! It is WORK at its truest of meaning. Volunteers could go to any one of them from a list of affiliated countries.

It does sound boring but it’s not. Apart from work, volunteers will gain lots in terms of social and self development. The work camps enable participants to use English as means of communication, to learn other languages (of the host and the volunteers) and to learn other’s culture. It starts with bringing your own authentic food to be shared with the local and other participants. Hmm… what better way to understand people but from what they eat.

In Malaysia, the most famous word to learn is ‘makan’ which means ‘eat’. We truly take our food seriously. After all, I also believe that you are what you eat. In the work camp, it turned out to be fun. Nobody is in foul mood when it comes to eating, so you get to know each other better. You even get to learn other’s language better when your mind is relaxed and happy. I think that’s the most valuable part of the work camp.

Apart from cooking and eating, volunteer will also perform their cultural dance and the host country will do the same. It’s very interesting, memorable and fun. At the end of the work camp, everyone is like a new person, with a unique experience, treasured memories and new friends of the other side of the world.

Children at the Special School of Klang are used to having these volunteers. In fact each year, they are waiting for them to come back. Their mere presence brings smile to the children’s faces. It gives them motivation and high spirit to go to school everyday. I think that is worth a million because when it comes to the matter of the heart, no amount of money can buy your happiness.

I dedicated this posting to all the volunteers of the 1st Klang Work Camp:
Arata, Bun Bun, Atsuro and Mori; Japanese are so cool, fun and entertaining. Chris and Heena; Korean women are so gorgeous and intelligent. Tim and Laura; Canadian truly is a Good Samaritan.
Thank you all for making the difference to Klang Work Camp, 12th February - 23rd February 2007.

Thank you Low and Siva (from MOVE) for giving me and Kuma the opportunity to be part of the volunteer exchange programme. Good luck to all. Mmuah!!


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