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.
Michelle in her element
The tiny crowd of about 20 students.
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.