Mambo! We just held our very first International Youth Exchange, in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) Taiwan, Chang Jung Christian University (CJCU) Taiwan, Taman Tugu Project and our Roots & Shoots Malaysia Award alumni (RASMA 2019)!
In a truly multicultural experience, guests hailed from Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, Swaziland, United Arab Emirates and Italy. What a great mix of people to spend time with especially how similar that is to our Malaysian culture as well – very rojak!
Our exchange students are currently studying a Jane Goodall inspired programme: International Programme for Sustainable Development (IPSD) at CJCU. Its aim is to better understand sustainable development and its impact on the environment something very much aligned to the spirit of Roots & Shoots.
During the exchange, our alumni gave guided and detailed talks of their voluntary work with our Community Partners such as at the Taman Tugu Nursery, in collaboration with the Free Tree Society.
The day started off with a physical activity to get everyone’s muscles pumping and to awaken themselves on a Sunday morning. A forest trail walk was guided by Taman Tugu Project’s team member, Mienal, who explained the forest trails and answered questions.
After the trail walk was completed, an ice breaking session was held for our RASMA alumni and IPSD students to get to know each other better. We paired a RASMA alumni with an IPSD student and proceeded to a Malaysian lunch (nasi lemak or fried mihun with milk tea as the beverage). The ice breaking session continued on as they ate lunch together and continued to share more of themselves with each other.
Alex Lim, Emma Maxim and Veenitha Balachandran,our RASMA alumni, took charge in introducing Taman Tugu’s nursery and what activities are usually held in the nursery.
As this exchange session took place at the start of November, it was fitting to hold a “No Waste November” workshop with our fellow guests. We had one of our RASMA alumni, Charmaine Sze, led the workshop! She is our waste expert as we are thrilled that Charmaine has chosen to continue her voluntary activities with #ZeroWasteMalaysia. The IPSD students provided great feedback and suggestions on how we could make more sustainable choices to inspire the next generation.
Their task ahead of them was to brainstorm ideas for practicing no-waste and the results of this practice in the following 3 to 5 years. The workshop was followed by a series of sharing by some of our RASMA alumni and IPSD students. This sharing session was an eye-opener to both parties as exchanging experiences is often a great way to learn!
To wrap up this workshop, the alumni and students pledged what they would do for “No Waste November”!
Special thanks to Taman Tugu Project for collaborating with Roots & Shoots Malaysia to host this successful exchange session! We look forward to more International Youth Exchange Sessions in the future!