“My Experience in Desa Sejahtera”

By Hemaa A/P Vikneswaran

Salam Sejahtera. 

I am Hemaa a/p Vikneswaran and I am currently pursuing my degree in International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

In this article I am going to share my experience of attending the DESA SEJAHTERA programme. Firstly, I would like to thank my lecturer, Prof. Dr. Zainal Abidin Bin Sanusi, for inviting me for the DESA SEJAHTERA (Raya Programme) which was conducted on 9 May recently. It was a great experience for me to attend this programme. 

After attending it, I have come to realisation that there are still people living in poverty without proper living place, food, water system, clothes and education, even to say they are living in the middle of Kuala Lumpur city with huge development. It is sad to see people living in these kinds of condition in our country.

As I was walking into the kampung, I saw small children playing around and the first thought which came into my mind was the future of these kids. At that moment, so many questions were going around in my mind.  How are these kids going to get a proper education? How can they study in this environment? And so many more questions were bothering me.

Another incident which really made me concerned on their health was that there were so many mosquitoes. When we knocked on one of the house doors, a mother carrying her baby (should be around 2 to 3 months old) came out to get the Raya goodies. I was thinking what will happen if the baby was bitten by the mosquitoes and ended up with dengue fever. I feel no one should live in this kind of situation where everyone deserves to live in a good environment.

I am very happy to hear that IIUM is helping the people in this village and I am looking forward to be part of this kind of programmes in the future. Until I came to IIUM, I really did not even know what Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was about.

Currently I am taking the subject UNGS 1201. I would like to thank IIUM for introducing this subject as it taught me so much about the United Nations and the SDGs. By learning about SDGs, l always share this information with my friends, family and none of them knew about the SDGs. Learning about the SDGs has given me new ideas and I tried my level best as an individual to help them achieve the targets of the SDGs.

I would also like to share my experience of being an IIUM student and what was people’s reaction of me being in IIUM. There were positive and negative opinions given by several people whenever I say that I am studying in IIUM.

As for me, I am really honoured to be in IIUM. I feel that most of the non-Muslims do not have enough information about IIUM. Even some have asked me, how I managed to become an IIUM student as they thought that non-Muslims are not allowed in IIUM.

Since the day I became an IIUM student, I have been trying my level best to spread and teach people about what I am learning in IIUM and the efforts of IIUM to the society. I am also learning the teachings of Islam. In my opinion, I felt that everyone in Malaysia should learn about each other’s religion. By understanding each other’s religion we can avoid racism in Malaysia, and we can live in harmony. 

Finally, I would also like to thank the Dean of Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS), Prof. Dr. Shukran Abd Rahman for giving me this opportunity to share my experience. I am looking forward to attend more programmes such as this in IIUM and to share my experience with everyone. 

At this moment I would also like to say that I am really happy and proud to be an IIUM student. With God’s grace I will make IIUM proud one day.

Thank you. 

With kind regards, 


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