Friday, July 5, 2013

An awe-inspiring workshop

As a Famine Advocate, I was glad to have the opportunity to attend two Camp Leaders Workshops to share my experience with World Vision.

 I was a lot of nervous that I looked. :P

At my first workshop at HELP CAT university, I arrived at 8.30am and there were already some camp leaders and committee members who had arrived earlier even though the workshop was scheduled to start at 10am!  All the volunteers and World Vision staff were already busy with their given tasks and I can feel the excitement in the building.

As I chatted with them, I got to know that some of them actually came from hundred miles away to attend the workshop. A big shout out to them!! It was really a feat to come so far especially when the workshop starts so early.

During the workshop, I was awed by the spirit of about 400 attendees comprising camp leaders, committee members and volunteers. Despite the long hours from 10am to 6pm, everyone was so upbeat and sporting throughout.

The fun-loving camp leaders

All the camp leaders and volunteers

My favourite moment was when the groups were competing against each other to attract people to join their respective camps. It was really hilarious as there were so many creative and outrageous proposals and the groups were very competitive.

I was also glad that I got to know some very nice people during the workshop. There was our dear photographer, Kit, who had volunteered for the workshops on both days. For the 2nd workshop, he actually traveled all the way from Singapore and arrived at the venue at 4.30AM! 

And most of the photos here at taken by him!

I also met another volunteer, Jennifer, who was an ex-Camp Leader and she has been involved with 30-Hour Famine for 5 years. They are only some of the amazing individuals that I met during the workshop, not to mention the all the other awesome camp leaders and committee members. Meeting all these inspiring people was really what kept me going.

With the awesome volunteers. Jennifer is the one at the far right

As this was my first time sharing with such a big crowd, I was actually very nervous throughout the day even though my session was scheduled at 3.30pm.  What if my message wasn’t impactful enough? What if I miss out important points? What if I couldn’t hold my tears back?

 My sharing

I was only given a short 5 minutes for sharing during the workshop, though in fact, all the advocates have prepared for this for so long.  We had attended a public speaking course and came up with so many speeches. We also revised them many times and rehearsed together so that we can improvise based on the feedback.

If you were to ask me why bother to do what we do as a famine advocates, my answer would be really simple.  It’s difficult to not put in all your effort in the job when the less fortunate ones are people that you personally know. Poverty is generally sad but it only hit me hard when I met the poor children and families in India. To me, they are not just people plagued by poverty, but they are also sweet-natured, loving parents, and parents who weep when they see their children suffering.

Their children are just like you and I who want to become teachers, footballers and doctors and when they grow up. But will they be able to grow up and go to school like us?

Little Samiran, a very cute boy that I meet during my trip in India.
Samiran almost die a year ago when he suffered from chronic tonsillitis for 20 months and left untreated. :( 
But luckily, he was taken to the hospital for immediate surgery when World Vision came to his village.

As a Buddhist, I believe in giving back to the society. It’s just the law of nature and fortune. With all the good fortune and blessings that we have received, why not give out some of it to the really needy ones?

Please check out my other write-ups about fighting poverty at World Vision Malaysia 30-Hour Famine Facebook page! Click here!

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