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SOAP: Mabuhay! Manila is held under new normal

By: Najwa Zamahuri

SERDANG, May 5 – The Putra Leadership Club (KEPUTRA), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), successfully organised the Society Awareness Programme (SOAP): Mabuhay! Manila recently, with a slight adjustment of implementing it online after an almost one-year delay.

In its sixth series, the SOAP volunteer programme focuses on the aspects of awareness in community life, after heading to Cambodia in 2018 and Thailand in 2019.

Director of SOAP: Mabuhay! Manila, Muhammad Shahmi Sari, said the programme was supposed to be held in the Philippines in July 2020. However, since the COVID-19 situation is yet to recover, the secretariat felt the need to conduct the programme under the new normal.

“Adapting to the current situation, we have collaborated with Global Peace Mission (GPM), Malaysia, to implement a new online edition of SOAP: Mabuhay! Manila,” he added.

GPM Head of Department, Ahmad Hamizan, gave a talk entitled ‘Post COVID-19: Volunteering at the International Level’ and shared his views on SOAP and his experiences in managing the volunteer projects in 23 countries, including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Thailand.

“We should always be encouraging when students want to work together to implement volunteer programmes as such. Supposedly, this SOAP should have already reached the Philippines, but unfortunately, it did not happen,” he said.

Also a driving force behind GPM, he added that each year his organisation would donate to the Philippines; however, due to the COVID-19, they could not travel there this year and could only send donations via a representative there.

Chief Executive Officer of the Student Volunteers Foundation (YSS), Wong Kin Lun, at the closing ceremony of SOAP: Mabuhay! Manila hoped the enforcers would continue with the positive values and spirit of volunteerism in helping the needy in the community, such as those stricken by disasters, particularly those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Well done, and congratulations to the SOAP enforcers for being diligent in realising and ensuring that this programme runs successfully, even if it is done virtually," he said.

At the event, the creative efforts of the committee from the initial planning of the programme until the implementation of this new edition were also showcased, including the handing over of donations to communities in the Philippines through GPM.

Also shared was the video titled ‘Greetings from the Philippines’ by a GPM representative who resides in the Philippines during the delivery mission of the SOAP: Mabuhay! Manila donations to the Muslim communities in the Philippines. He also shared about the community life in the Philippines and the COVID-19 situation there.

SOAP: Mabuhay! Manila Advisory Officer, Siti Mahsuri Talib, said the SOAP team was grateful to have completed the programme successfully.

“Despite not being able to travel to the Philippines, we believe the main goal of the programme, which is to give exposure and awareness to students and the community about the diversity in life, has been achieved. Students also gained new knowledge such as learning the Tagalog language and knowing places in the Philippines and their communities.” - UPM

Date of Input: 28/07/2021 | Updated: 28/07/2021 | hairul_nizam


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