By Farah Radzuan
Walking around the streets of Kuala Lumpur and feeling the scorching sun caressing my skin, as I watch the multiracial pedestrians walk by, sensing the diversity of our culture, engulfing my senses with the smell of our local cuisines permeating through the air, Yong Tau Fu from the Chinese stalls, satay from pak cik at the corner of the road, and roti canai from mamak stalls.
Somehow it makes me ponder how great my life is and how I should be grateful with whatever I have at the moment. The sight of one particular youngster helping out an aunty with her groceries, while crossing the street, somehow hits me with a sense of realisation – there should be more of this kind of people in this world.
Azra Farzana, a dedicated journalist for her campus news portal, despite of her being very occupied with her own work schedules, she is still able to allocate her time getting involved with community services. For her, being able to contribute her energy and time through such services, makes her feel happy, and it indirectly guides her to create good quality of life.
“Getting involved in community services taught me to be humble and gave me the chance to watch people who are at their lowest point of their life. I was closely attached to the orphans,” she said.
About good values
These orphans that Azra was serving has taught her about many good values, that the children inculcated in themselves without having the basic necessity that they should have in life, which is family structure. We grew up with parents to guide us about life and share their past experience with us, but not for the orphans. They have no one to guide them and their teachers are their own life. The life that they are living in teaches them countless lessons.
“It’s a very eye-opening experience as you get to see how wise they are compared to their age, how tolerant they can be because they would share things together with other kids and how accepting they are towards other people that came into their lives such as people like me – the volunteers.”
Besides, doing community services taught her that people do not really have to be tied by blood to have a family relation. It was meant to be felt by hearts and people don’t need anything else to validate that relationship.
Azra shared the most heartbreaking story that never failed to sadden her until today as she remembered what happened during the day she went to an orphanage in 2016. When she was monitoring the kids, suddenly she saw a man in a posh car came to give food to one of the boys who live in the orphanage.
“I asked the guardian about the man, and the guardian said that he was the father of the kid. It saddened me because he still has his own parents but his parents refused to care for him even though they are more than capable of fulfilling his wellbeing,” her eyes were brimming with tears as she told me the story.
Passion to help
Meanwhile, the other student who actively devoted himself in doing community services, Adlee Aiman, told me the reasons behind his involvement with community services.
“My passion to help people was the driving force for me to continue doing what I am currently doing. I just want to help them to improve their own life – be it in terms of social, education or economy. Because as a student, I acknowledge that we are facing a lot of problems such as social and economic problems.” For him, prevention is better than cure.
Adlee regards community services as a responsibility for him instead of thinking that it is a good thing to do to serve the society. The society out there is hoping for the students to help them besides waiting for the government to give them a helping hand.
“I mainly served in education field by teaching Bahasa Melayu and Mathematics to the children from primary to secondary school. At least, they know how does it feel to have intensive classes like their friends who can afford to pay for tuition fees,” Adlee said.
He highlighted the balance between idealism, activism and intellectualism in our student lives because “when we do services for the society, it is related with activism”. If we intend to make the world a better place through our ideology, we need to think how to transmit it into activism because it is the practical aspect of idealism. For sure, intellectualism will come along the way.
Teaching the kids for the first time
Adlee shared the first experience that he had gone through back in 2015 where he joined Chow Kit Kids Project. That was the first time he helped teaching the kids with their subjects in school. He mentioned that he couldn’t imagine how tough life can be for the kids who were staying there, being exposed to criminal activities, and most of the kids need to work to earn for a living. For them, going to school is nothing and just wasting their time because they can’t get any single penny from it.
He then shared his experience joining a programme called The Waqaf Buku Projek, in which they collected some fund to build a library at rural area, tahfiz or orphanage. His team worked on it using their own initiative by setting up a business which sold anything that can make money. Sometimes, they occasionally held crowd fun, which collected money from the student in the campus.
“We believe that the children have their own dreams, and we are hoping that when they read books, it will help to motivate them to achieve what they want in their future undertakings,” Adlee said with a smile.
You too could be inspired
The world should know that doing community services is not only a hobby, but it is our responsibility that we must carry on our shoulders. We should find someone who can inspire us to do community services, perhaps through reading a book, or watching a video of someone in a professional field, such as doctors travelling all around the world, especially a country that needs the services.
Who knows, you might be inspired by this and be a dedicated activist yourself.***