First-hand ex­po­sure to cultures

New Straits Times - - Higher Ed -

NINE stu­dents from the Univer­sity of Malaya took part in a cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR) pro­gramme as part of a course in tech­niques of pub­lic re­la­tions un­der its me­dia stud­ies depart­ment.

For two days, stu­dents were ex­posed to var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties at the Na­tional Ele­phant Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre (NECC) and with the in­dige­nous com­mu­nity in Pos Be­tau, Kuala Lipis, Pa­hang.

Pro­gramme co­or­di­na­tor As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Datin Dr Has­mah Zanud­din said: “The pub­lic re­la­tions with the com­mu­nity pro­gramme did not only ex­pose stu­dents to the im­por­tance of CSR but also gave them the ex­pe­ri­ence to con­trib­ute through so­cial and ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes in ru­ral ar­eas, es­pe­cially among the in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.”

Among the ac­tiv­i­ties were clean­ing up the ele­phants’ con­ser­va­tion com­pound, min­gling with the Orang Asli Se­mai com­mu­nity and con­duct­ing ac­tiv­i­ties with their chil­dren.

The stu­dents en­joyed a wa­ter raft­ing ac­tiv­ity which was also aimed to get them to re­alise their po­ten­tial and to work to­gether as a team.

Hafizal from the Se­mai com­mu­nity said: “Pro­grammes like this pro­vide a lot of pos­i­tive im­pact on the devel­op­ment of the vil­lage. It can also be a shar­ing ses­sion to ex­pose oth­ers on our cul­ture through our food and tra­di­tions.”

Also at Pos Be­tau for the pro­gramme was Peter Han­son, an Aus­tralian doc­tor who vol­un­tar­ily pro­vided free health screen­ing ser­vices to the lo­cal res­i­dents.

He said: “The health fa­cil­i­ties here has room for im­prove­ment. The lack of hy­giene and health fa­cil­i­ties can lead to more prob­lems in the fu­ture.” He hopes that the health fa­cil­i­ties can be de­vel­oped for the peo­ple of Pos Be­tau.

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