Malaysia’s Top Social Changemakers Train ISKL Students To Create An Impact
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” - Mahatma Gandhi
Our Grade 5 recently took part in the annual Social Change Makers Conference (SCMC), a program that was developed to introduce students to activists and NGOs in our local community, who volunteer their time to help others. The conference was funded by ISKL’s Inspiration Fund that was established to allow all members of our community to collaboratively give back to ISKL - giving our students every chance to succeed. With an aim to further improve the educational experience, the fund brings both local and international speakers from around the world to enhance our academic and co-curricular activities.
The lucky students were given the autonomy to decide from an amazing portfolio of presenters whose causes they felt most passionate about. The chosen presenters represented a broad range of social issues including the environment, endangered animals, refugee schools, recycling and human rights. The presenters were:-
Suan Tan - Senior Manager, Brand Activation of the World Wildlife Fund Malaysia (WWF). In Malaysia, WWF focuses on tackling issues such as the conservation of the environment and the protection against animals like the Malayan Tiger and Orangutan.
Janine Williams - volunteers at the 'Chin Women's Organization of Kuala Lumpur.' (CWO), a Myanmar Refugee School. CWO is an association for Chin refugee women who create fairtrade products with the aim to be sold. All the proceeds are then raised to benefit the education of Chin refugee children. Janine was also assisted in her presentation by two Chin refugee students, Augustine and Esther.
Mareena Yahya Kerschot - Co-founder of 'Tak Nak Straw' - an organization dedicated to protecting the environment by reducing the use of single-use plastic straws.
Siti Kasim - Malaysian Bar human rights lawyer and volunteer legal advocate for the Orang Asli community, the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia who are fighting to protect their land against mining and logging activities.
Amy Poppovitch and daughter Ana - Amy is an ISKL HS Maths Teacher and also the co-founder of Trash Hero Kuala Lumpur. Ana is a Grade 8 student at ISKL. Founded in 2017, Trash Hero is an organization that brings together local communities to clean and reduce waste.
Each speaker gave a brief presentation of their respective causes, the social issues they are facing and personal stories of their experiences. Students were supported in making action plans on the steps they can take themselves to support the causes, before being asked to reflect on the experience in a written account which will be used as a guideline for the rest of the semester.
After the presentations, the morning ended with a heart-warming thank you ceremony where students presented donations and tokens of appreciation to the speakers.
With this experience, our Grade 5 students have gained an understanding that "ordinary" people can make a positive difference in the world. Affecting positive change and becoming socially responsible global citizens is a fundamental component of ISKL’s commitment to providing students with a well rounded holistic education, and inspiring them to be future changemakers.
- Teaching & Learning