Across the globe, COVID-19 has wounded the human race, but it has also brought out the best of our humanity.
We have all heard stories where heroes from all walks of life extended their hands to those suffering in the face of the greatest global challenge in modern times.
And yesterday, QIU shone a spotlight on those stories during the second edition of our Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) Webinar.
Titled “Surviving COVID-19: Being Human, Touching Hearts”, the webinar invited leaders, academic experts and heads of social welfare organisations to share their real-world experiences of helping people during the pandemic.
Through speeches and a special forum, the webinar set out to examine these experiences and identify how they succeeded. The goal is to learn lessons from the work done by the state, NGOs, and ordinary people who stepped forward.
By doing so, the webinar aimed to determine how society can improve its charitable efforts and help more people in the future.
More than 300 participants joined the webinar, which was officiated by the Menteri Besar of Perak Dato’ Seri Saarani Mohamad.
Dato’ Seri Saarani congratulated QIU for organising the webinar, noting that Universities have a duty to be thought-leaders and discourse centres in society.
“Today’s event has narrowed in on a topic that is necessary and timely, as we continue to adapt to life under the COVID-19 pandemic. I am happy that QIU is playing an active role by bringing together stakeholders and front liners to teach and inspire the leaders of the future.“
“I am certain that this webinar will create new avenues for connection and collaboration among the participants. I hope that all participants will take the opportunity to learn from each other. And most of all, I hope that we are all inspired by the stories that we hear.”
We were honoured to welcome expert speakers and forum panellists, including:
- UiTM Sarawak’s Faculty of Accountancy academic Professor Dr Corina Joseph
- Chairperson of Perak Foodbank Datin Seri Dr Nomee Ashikin Dato’ Mohammed Radzi
- My FundAction Chief Operating Officer Ms Siti Aisyah Shahid
- Mr Murali Prasad Vandayar, Country Lead-Malaysia at the US Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science & Technology (GIST) initiative.
What They Said:
Professor Dr Corina Joseph
“The change that the pandemic has caused in society will transform the corporate world. It will generate companies that are more oriented to the common good, and develop practices that address social problems like poverty and inequality.”
“It is important to involve and empower the underprivileged so we can improve community-driven development. Their participation can help them become self-sufficient and financially independent, thus improving their wellbeing.”
Datin Seri Dr Nomee Ashikin Dato’ Mohammed Radzi:
“As a young person, you may have problems with money, logistics and time because you’re either studying or starting a new job.”
“Understand that volunteering doesn’t necessarily need to involve your physical self. Ideas are equally important. There are plenty of organisations out there. We welcome all kinds of help.”
“When you want to give back, follow your passion. If you like the beach, look for a cause that protects our shores. It will be a labour of love and it won’t seem like work.”
Ms Siti Aisyah Shahid:
Even though you may not have the resources, you can still make an impact. We invite all students and youths to come on board if they have good ideas—perhaps we can collaborate and help out.
We tell our students to find a simple project that has a significant impact. Find a village that needs a water well, and maybe we can help you. It’s simple and doable, but it will impact the whole village.
Mr Murali Prasad Vandayar:
“Start small, by spending a few hours a week. That’s how we all started—just by giving with whatever time you have. When you do this work for a while, the definition of giver and receiver fades away. I remember giving our first bottle of sanitiser to a lady, who was shocked and grateful to get it for free.”
“Her simple “thank you” gave me so much joy. That’s the beauty of touching hearts and being human.”
To find out more about the organisations featured in the webinar, head to these links: