by Anna Cho
Anna hails from KSCF had spent 3 months with an NGO, Youth for Change, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as part of her internship with the Women’s Programme Internship. Below is a short account of her experiential time in Kuala Lumpur.
I have been doing the internship with Youth for Change (Y4C) for two months already.
At first, I did not have much confidence because I was not familiar with Malaysia. I was worried about the things I could do to contribute in Y4C, and especially with my poor English, I was afraid I would have many communication problems. However, my worries were gone when I met Khai Loon and Yee Ling (the staff at Y4C). Their smiles and kind attitude made me comfortable and confident. During the past 2 months, I have several valuable and life-changing experiences. Sometimes, I would lose confidence when things I intended to do did not turn out well or when I did not do the things as were expected. But Khai Loon and Yee Ling would say to me every time: “Anna you can do it,” I was really encouraged by these motivating words. Importantly, these encouragements inspired me to transfer my concerns into action.
I started to participate in many demonstrations, rallies and discussion groups during the internship period. Before I came here, I was not particularly interested in politics and demonstrations. I used to think, “if I were to participate in all these, will real changes be made?” Thus, I was not interested to participate in the events organised by the social and civil movements. But, as I participated in the Y4C programmes, they transformed me. I still remember, in the first time I participated in a demonstration, I had just wanted to be an onlooker or observer. However, from that experience, I recognised little by little, the importance of demonstrations and rallies. These represent the voice of the people who often are not heard, and their concerns not considered important and are brushed aside by the authorities. Even though their voices may be small but they are there to make themselves heard, and for other people who are not aware of their concerns, understand their struggles.
One of the reasons why many people are not interested in participating social politics and civil society is probably because of their attitude which says about defeat even without trying. However, what do we expect for any changes if we only sit and do nothing! I always think we cannot make any changes, but I did not think what I could do to make the changes. The internship with Y4C is a good experience for me, it teaches me that it is possible to change when we start to be interested in the experience and struggles of the people. It is possible for me to make a difference because I am young and have the energy, passion and courage! Speaking from my experience, I encourage all students and youth to step forward and participate in the social ad civil movements in their own countries, and join in the struggles for a world of peace, justice, equality and freedom!