Looking To the Interest of Others
Year 11 students’ Character Transformation session with Mr. Steve
The year 11 students were given the opportunity to have Mr. Steve – a member of the Malaysian branch of the humanitarian organization called CREST (Crisis Relief Services & Training) – as a guest speaker during their character transformation session on the 27th of February 2014.
Starting with a simple exercise of what was defined as a disaster, the year 11 students were found to have conflicting ideas or were unsure as to what was defined a disaster. Mr Steve then defined it as, ‘It (A disaster) exceeds the capacity of that particular community to cope and it requires immediate, coordinate and effective response by multiple agencies across multiple jurisdictions’. There may be many types of disaster, all which are either natural or man-made, but they all cause chaos, physical injury; trauma, death, infrastructure and secondary damages to that particular community.
‘How many of us here are ready for disaster work?’Few year 11 students raised up their hands in answer to this question. When further probed and questioned by Mr Steve, answers ranged from inexperience to possible clash of culture in foreign land as to why the students felt unready. ‘You know what?’ he then said, ‘All these are just excuses, it’s all about your heart – the question is, do you care?’
Every single one of us has the capability to help, and most importantly, the ability to care for others. Disaster relief work can range from dispensing medication to nursing and feeding programmes. As each of us have our own talents and ability, there is just so much we can do to help out in a disaster struck area. Even simple things like sparking up a conversation with a victim or spending time playing with the children there we could brighten up their day.
Mr Steve also shared that caring and reaching out for others is not restricted to doing disaster relief work in a foreign land. Instead, it all starts from caring about the others in the community you live in – be it the people around you, at home or in school. As students, we should respect our teachers and be a listening ear to our friends when they have problems; that is already a form of care. With that, Mr Steve concluded the session saying, “You don’t need to go out to change the world, just be where you are and help. There is no end to helping or reaching to others, it all goes back to the question of do you want to”,
When questions were opened to the floor, Kuan Yew of 11B, asked Mr Steve whether he had ever thought about going to the luxurious life he once had when he was a high flier. Mr Steve responded, saying, ‘When I went to help, I thought I was a hero, giving up my time going to a foreign land to help out those who are in need. But when I was there, the lifestyle I see, the way of living which they are contented with, it was them who changed me; my perspective of life was changed’. Brandon Lee of 11L also asked, What is the eligible age to volunteer?’, in which Mr Steve replied, ‘It’s not a question of what age; it’s whether you care. The youngest (volunteer) we had was a 14 year-old boy, it all boils down to your heart’. In the end, it is all about your heart and whether do you care; a message which Mr Steve could not emphasize any.
If anyone is interested and wishes to help out in disaster relief work, you could access their website at www.crestmalaysia.org or just send an email to them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They would be more than happy to reply and make arrangements.