Volunteering in Malaysia
As one of our volunteering projects in Malaysia, we teamed up with Satirical Satin Project for one of their projects, Do Nation Good Drive. Satirical Satin promotes several aims, including upcycling to reduce waste and equal opportunities. The project aims to help those, predominantly from marginalised communities, in becoming more employable and entrepreneurial.
Global Grad helped out at Zomi Education Centre, a school for Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar. As well as helping with the upcycling project, we also upcycled the main classroom itself.
MEETING THE TEAM
A few days before going to Zomi, we met three members of Satirical Satin who visited us at our Malaysian study hub, WeWork. We were assisting in preparations for the event- cutting up fabric to save time on the day.
Alongside helping out, it was also a great time to get to know the team and the aims of Satirical Satin Project. The trio were very gregarious and passionate about their work which made us excited to see how the event would unfold.
ON THE DAY
Upon reaching Zomi, we met the rest of the volunteers (there were plenty of us!) and assigned ourselves into three groups. One to help with the sewing, one to babysit the younger children (the students ranged from toddler age up to preteens) and the final group would be painting. I chose to join the painting group but ended up spending time doing all three activities.
Some of the children were timid about all of us entering their classroom whereas others latched onto us so they could practise their English and make friends. Before we began doing anything, the students got given a filling meal which was donated.
The painting group were recolouring the room to personalise the place into an area for children rather than a generic room. Some were painting the walls and others the cupboards, so we divvied out the paint pots and got started.
THE CHILDREN AND VOLUNTEERS
After the painting was finished, I went and sat with the other Global Grad’s who had congregated around the children. They were very bright and inquisitive kids; most were colouring or playing with the instruments in the corner of the room.
The volunteers were also very chatty and asking about Global Grad and why we were in Kuala Lumpur.
THE UPCYCLING PROJECT
There was still some fabric left so I tried the upcycling project myself! Using two small squares of fabric, we all made little drawstring bags. These were handsewn and there were definitely a few children who had picked up the knack very quickly.
At the end, all of the students got given little bags and we had photographs. As we were planning to leave, Farella, one of the organisers, also gave us all bamboo straws which were greatly appreciated.
Working with Satirical Satin Project was a great time and an amazing way to volunteer. We got to meet new friends and also volunteer for a worthy cause in multiple ways which suited us. Thank you for having us Satirical Satin Project!
About the author
Jasmin Dawling is one of Global Grad’s January 2019 students and is completing a full-time Bachelor’s degree with the Open University in International Studies. While this is her first time formally blogging, she has had plenty of writing experience in the past, from novel writing since the age of six to working on the school newspaper. Apart from seeing the sights of South East Asia and working on her degree, Jasmin spends most of her time either procrastinating or writing down her novel ideas, be it on her travelling-inspired new ideas or the 7-part series she’s been toying with for almost ten years.