By: Najihah Harun
HULU LANGAT – The Eleventh Volunteer Club, Secretariat for Student Volunteers of the Eleventh College Undergraduate High Council (K11) 2017/2018, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) had for the very first time organised the Jalinan Kasih@Kampung Orang Asli programme at an Orang Asli village in Hulu Langat, Selangor to inspire the Orang Asli children to get an education as well as to strengthen student ties with the rural community.
Programme Director, Siti Bassyirah Ibrahim, 23, said the programme, which involved 46 K11 students with the full support of the Department for Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) and the Student Affairs Division (BHEP) UPM, received an enthusiastic response from the Orang Asli community.
She also explained that the activity was organised after the organisers realised that many of the Orang Asli children had no birth certificates causing difficulties for their parents to send them to school.
Suganthi Selvadurai, 22, a student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Food Processing Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering, UPM, said that she was interested in voluntary activities and by being directly involved in these activities, she was able to raise awareness among the Orang Asli community on the importance of education either in primary or tertiary level.
"I am proud to have helped improve the lives of the local community through knowledge sharing with the Orang Asli children," she said.
Her friend, Nur Afifah Ngasri, 21, said that university students play a vital role as volunteers to help rural communities especially in education.
She said the programme not only involved children, but was also attended by the Orang Asli adults.
"Looking at the behavior of the Orang Asli children, I could see that initially, they were mostly shy, but eventually they interacted well due to the encouraging overtures of the volunteers," she added.
Also held were talks on hygiene, telematches as well as a gotong-royong with the local community to help clean the village area. - UPM
Updated:: 05/01/2018 [syifarida]
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