Friday, 31 December 2010
The model which the experts have promoted for environmental education is first, we create awareness. With awareness (i.e. knowledge) then a person will change his/her behaviour. Usually, that means you tell the people what is good and what is bad. And tell them we want them to be good.
Well, research has shown that knowledge and awareness often (most of the time) do not lead to any transformation. Life goes on as before.
The new thinking is "transformational learning" - learning which actually leads to a transformation in behaviour. What's the key? You just have to create the opportunities to reach that conclusion on their own steam. It has to be personal. There has to be ownership.
So, will laws and government policies have any effect? Yes, to a very large extent. If the World community did not come to an agreement and imposed restrictions on CFC emissions, we would have large hole in the Ozone layer above the Antartica. Now, the hole is healing and closing up. But we are still at loggerheads about CO2 emissions.
Yes, public policy must take the lead. Even if it is unpopular. Even if the opposing parties tease and challenge the policy. Governments must act for the good of the community at large.
Happy New Year. Stay healthy.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Relay for life, symbol of our heart in supporting our loved one who suffered from cancer. It has been organized annually by National Cancer Society to raise fund for the patient and increase publics' awareness towards cancer.
The 7th Relay for Life, was successfully held on 5th to 6th June at Penang Youth Garden. With 3000 volunteers and supporter, the light of hope is never slake.
No other word to describe it, except awesome! A gathering of cancer survivor, cancer fighter, volunteers, youth and elderly had shown a concrete determination to fight cancer.
Luminal ceremony has been described as the climax of the carnival. The light from the lantern warmed everyone heart here. Light, the symbol of hope, has been a tradition of Relay for Life.
The survivors stepped on the stage, holding microphone with shaking hand, sweating palms to share
their story in fighting cancer. A spark comes in my mind: I’m lucky that
I still healthy, I shouldn’t blame so much, because I have everything. We all should appreciate what we have.
Koay Khang Siean
Monday, 24 May 2010
Saturday, 17 April 2010
It is green and smell a little bit 'pandan'. I (we?) used to have a myth that natural washing liquid produce far more little bubbles than the normal commercial one, and less bubbles mean "not so clean". Apparently, it is just a myth~
36 of us visiting the home-business natural soap manufacturer at Lahat, Perak. The factory situated at the end of a long and narrow lorong in a chinese village. The owner Mr Tan, learn about natural soap during his visit to Minamata, Japan. He is also an environmental activist for the ARE incident more than 16 years back.
We have a brief introduction from Mr Tan outside his factory. For your information, natural soap is made from edible oil (coconut oil and palm oil), which turn acidic to alkaline and degraded in a very short time. It means, we can use the dishwashing liquid to wash vegetables and the leftover to water your plants.
There are total 4 products: shampoo, dishwashing liquid, bar soap and clothes washing powder. They are all made from coconut oil + palm oil + lye (NaOH) + water. We glad to have Mr Tan's daughter-in-law to explain on the manufacturing process after a light meal.
The mixture of coconut oil, palm oil and lye (is only in powder and bar soap) is cooked at about 70C in this machine.
This is the mixture of dishwashing liquid/shampoo after cooked. Waiting to be colded and filtered.
This is the mixture of bar soap. Waiting to be dried and molded.
It is almost same for the washing powder. After dried, put it in "meat chopper" machine to make it smaller pieces before blended it into powder. Of course the humidity must be well controlled so that it doesn't too dry to fly anywhere neither too humid to wet the packaging because they do not use plastic bag to pack the powder.
To be really care about the environmental, they fully utilized the plastic bottle before it goes to recycle. Besides, no nice packaging too. The products are highly supported by the local community. However, it is not certified by SIRIM because there is no such soap making formula in their database. It is only get certified by Japanese Industrial Standards (JIP).
We ended our visit with group photo session. Each of us is giving a lemon grass flavor bar soap as souvenir.
Friday, 2 April 2010
It is over...
There are only around 20 students attended SCC 2010. From the committees feedbacks, we know that people heard about this convention, talk about it and noticed the 'creative' painting banners around DK Foyer (perhaps free coffee and movie vouchers?). Some claim that 2 days convention is too long especially at this timing where people rushing assignments and tests. Some saying that "Student-Community Convention" look boring (students are hard to please nowadays). So we might need to figure it out maybe next time we put it "Volunteerism Party" or move the convention to Langkawi beach resort. :p
We are glad to have 5 speakers to talk about volunteerism.
Dr Prema (top left) and Miss Poh Lerk Shih (bottom left) from WCC (Women Centre for Change), En. Ridzuan (top right) from Consumer Association of Penang, Mr Kevin Kong(middle)a very experienced person in community services and Bernard Hor (bottom right) from Summer Sands Group.
And 4 facilitators for the workshop. Wan Teng (top left) from USM Kanita, Jeannie (top right) from PUCS (they have a new name now: XXT), Yoke Pin from ARTS-ED and Khang Siean from Green Lung.
Community service is always start with an inspection on target community: community background and community profile.The inspection helps us to understand what the community really needs. Community service is not merely services you give to the community but empowerment. "Community empowerment is making the community independance and able to generate income themselves after you leave the community", said Kevin when he talk about his interesting story when staying in Orang Asli village during his 19 years-old.
Of course the first steps to organize a volunteering services/activities, we need volunteers. Fun and unique activities is the key to attract people to join. "If volunteerism is FUN, you might not need to shout so loud" said Bernard Hor.
I am still figuring out how to convert the video file so that i can upload and share the awesome presentations. Kampus Sejahtera is planning for the coming program. Stay tunned...
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Thursday, 4 March 2010
What is AIESEC? What does it stand for? Their website implores you to use it as is, forget the acronym. It's got a little more than 60 years under its belt. Briefly, it is a student-run organisation based in institutions of higher learning with networks in more than 100 countries.
What does it do? Empower young people. It provides a platform for young people to nurture their leadership to bring positive impacts on society. They have a set of values which includes leadership, integrity, diversity, participation, excellence and acting sustainably.
Of course USM has it's own chapter of AIESEC and its president gave a presentation about sustaining projects, the AIESEC way, during lunch. It was a pleasure listening to Michelle. I asked her later whether she was a natural born-speaker or did AIESEC bring that out in her. She said that before AIESEC, she was rather shy or scared of speaking in public.
Their membership is small, around 60. This is by choice because they have a targetted membership drive, aimed to recruit people with certain skills or attributes to undertake certain projects. One of their key project relates to HIV/AIDS where they work with young people (in secondary schools and elsewhere) using various techniques and methods (including World Cafe) to educate them. There's also a lot of cross-cultural and international exposure. Interns from other countries come to work on their projects and they go to other countries too. A local bank is also their partner in the HIV/AIDS project.
So, yes, there are clear benefits from being involved in volunteer work.
This talk by student volunteers is the 4th and final one before the Student Volunteerism Convention to be held on 20th and 21st March 2010 (Sat and Sun) at Dewan Kuliah A (DKA), USM Main Campus in Penang. If you have an interested, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcomed.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Friday, 19 February 2010
And finally, the article is out today. I have no idea what the article says. My daughter and wife read and translated parts to me. Essentially, stop generating the waste. It seems that Penangites generate an additional 70 tonnes of rubbish during the CNY period. Not sure if that is per day. But the key point is ADDITIONAL rubbish.
So, Happy Chinese New Year to all of you. When you go to the big party at the heritage enclave in George Town tomorrow, remember : avoid the disposal containers. Insist on your right as a consumer.
Watch for the next issue of Sustainability : The journal of record (February 2010 issue) : what would you like to see?.
BTW, I am told that my secret blog is too secret - nobody seems able to find it. So here it is nosurplus.blogspot.com - still in gestation.
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Monday, 1 February 2010
Penang Undergraduate Community Service (PUCS), founded on year 1997 with the vision and mission as below:
1. To elevate the consciousness and the standard of education among the community
2. To elevate the mindset and learning ability of the community and our members.
3. To instill and elevate volunteerism and community consciousness, thus contribute to the community.
PUCS members have their own internal training before get into the community. Every year, PUCS liase with the local community to do educational type of volunteering work in their village. PUCS usually stay in the villagers' house by 'Adoption Program'.
They have variety activities such as recycling, gotong-royong, paper DIY, making garbage enzyme, sign language class, health awareness talk and so on...
They do not get sponsorship. Thus, every member have to pay themselves to volunteer.
PUCS members pay from their own pocket to volunteer, how about you?