Dayini shares “volunteerism empowers women”

By Wan Nurul Atiqah

GOMBAK, 27 December 2021: Volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together which allows oneself to connect with the community as proven when several states in Malaysia have been hit by the worst floods in years last week.

IIUM students are not excluded from participating in volunteerism in helping the unfortunate society as well as taking the opportunity to practice and develop social skills through participation in the volunteering programmes.

The volunteering works are mostly organised by the student’s societies, clubs such as Congress IIUM, Centre for Community Engagement and Services (CENSERVE) IIUM and also other non-governmental organisations (NGO), Projek Bantu Banjir by Kelab Relawan Ummah (KRU).

IIUMToday spoke to Siti Nurdayini Izzati Bt. Shaik or better known as Dayini Shaik to share her experience as a female volunteer for a deeper insight on how volunteerism work has benefited the students.

Dayini Shaik, a third-year Political Science student who had joined in multiple volunteering programmes assisted flood victims in the flood-affected areas in Hulu Langat in the last few days.

She said: “Each day has definitely given me something to ponder upon; I learned to be grateful a lot, even on the little things and the people there are so optimistic even though they are tested greatly with their losses.”

“Their patience and positivism are truly admirable,” she shared.

Acknowledging that she had participated in several volunteering programmes, Dayini considered the opportunities that she received to be a volunteer as a moral conscience that made her feel like she wanted to help people in need.

She said the proactive student’s activism and volunteerism environment that is promoted by IIUM community had definitely motivated her to do volunteering work.

“A positive attitude and energy from every volunteer is very important to make the process more efficient and enjoyable,” she added.

Dayini Shaik (standing in the middle) with other female volunteers
(Source: Dayini Shaik)

Asked about perspective of a female volunteer, Dayini stated: “There should not be much difference in volunteers as a whole, but we cannot escape from gender stereotype where female volunteers should only be doing light works such as cleaning and washing whereas male volunteers are the ones lifting furniture and driving four by four (4×4) wheels.”

Dayini highlighted the challenges faced by female volunteers including the need to find a clean and proper place and to dress in proper attire to pray, the time constraints, and more concerning the struggle of those who are on their periods. 

However, she emphasised gender should not determine the workload as female volunteers these days are physically strong to do male work as proven by herself who was involved in the picking up and dropping off the furniture.

Dayini complimented the organiser’s work allocation saying “I also like how they are open to give the female volunteers the opportunity to experience the work of male volunteers and give space for us to join if we wanted to.”

She also invited all students especially female students to discover their hidden potentials and not to feel afraid to try something new.

“Never ever feel like your gender is limiting your capabilities in any sort of way as you are what you think and it is always mind over matter, never really about gender,” she remarked.***

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