10 HACM volunteers visit Ho Chi Minh City

Group photo of HACM and Project SUGAR volunteers at District 8 Home for Boys.

MIRI: Student volunteers of the Humanitarian Affairs Curtin Malaysia Student Chapter (HACM) continue to champion student volunteerism among students of Curtin Malaysia through projects in Malaysia and regionally.

Earlier this year, ten HACM volunteers went to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to carry out their ‘Valuing Vietnam Abroad Programme’ aimed at teaching English, developing fine motor skills in orphans and underprivileged children with autism, and building cultural awareness among the volunteers and children involved.

HACM has carried out similar ‘abroad programmes’ in Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines and Cambodia and this latest programme in Vietnam was made possible through the support of the Entrepreneurship Centre (LEC), the student and community development arm of Curtin Malaysia’s University Life Department.

It also collaborated with Project SUGAR, a community outreach programme run by high school students from Singapore and Vietnam who help children with special needs achieve their full potential.

The HACM and Project SUGAR volunteers visited the Tuoi Ngoc Specialist School for Autistic Children, District 8 Home for Boys and Hoa Mai School in Ho Chi Minh City where they taught the children English through interactive games and arts and crafts sessions designed to improve their fine motor skills.

Chairperson of the Valuing Vietnam Abroad Programme and second-year chemical engineering student Mark Lee said the HACM volunteers worked very well as a team whilst in Vietnam and built very strong bonds with the children. He added that they ended up learning as much from the children as the children did from them.

Meanwhile, in another event, four HACM volunteers were chosen to be facilitators and mentors at the 5th Inspire Southeast Asia (Inspire SEA) Camp held at SM Sains Shah Alam, Selangor recently.

70 students from various secondary schools in the region took part in the camp organised by the Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia (MASCA).

With the aims of providing underprivileged children with quality education and essential soft skills and nurturing them into become future leaders, Inspire SEA ignites their potential by strengthening their knowledge in the areas of science, mathematics, arts and languages, as well as their understanding of the links between theory and applications in real life.

In addition to an icebreaking session and a visit to Petrosains, the science discovery centre at KLCC in Kuala Lumpur, the participants were involved in activities that focused on developing their talents, discovering career options and financial planning.

The camp was conducted entirely in English to improve their grasp of the language and give them confidence in conversing in English.

Student mentor and fourth-year petroleum engineering student HazwaniJamaluddin commented that it was heartening to see the participants’ improving their communication skills considerably and being able to connect theories learned in the classroom with real-life scenarios.

Established in 2014, HACM is part of Humanitarian Affairs, United Kingdom – a London-based social enterprise that initiates and supports humanitarian relief efforts and development programmes in countries that are poverty-stricken and disaster-prone.

Through such activities, HACS provides its members various opportunities to engage in humanitarian service, strengthen their awareness of diverse cultures, and develop a lifelong commitment to helping others. For more information on HACM and its projects within Malaysia and abroad, email humanitarianaffairs.curtin@gmail.com.

Group photo of HACM and Project SUGAR volunteers at District 8 Home for Boys.
Mentors and student participants of Inspire SEA in group photo at the end of the event.