Now, among those whom We created there are people who guide [others] in the way of the truth and act justly in its light”
AL – A’RAF (181)
Yesterday I was gripped by a story on the Oprah show!
Oprah was asking for one million people to join a team of black volunteers who are going to the ground, to enter the schools and work hands on with the black students who have problems academically and socio-culturally.
These volunteers will be mentors and surrogate parents to the black youths to help them out of their domestic and family instabilities and to alleviate their confidence and performance in school and in society.
They are engaged in discussion about their problems as black individuals, as black youths and as part of the bigger black community. They learn how to cope with being called a ‘nigger’ by understanding the history and socio-cultural developments surrounding the now taboo word.
How wonderful, I thought, if Malaysia has individuals like Oprah and Susan Taylor, the Editor of Essence and her team of professionals who are not only committed to the cause but have the clout and machinery to lead this reformation, this educational revolution!
How great for our nation if we can pool together people who have the sensitivity and morality to rise above their own selfish agendas for the common good!
How productive for society if individuals and groups can influence agencies and government to believe in and lend support to their cause!
I must admit that volunteerism in our country hasn’t reached the level of effectiveness shown in the more advanced nations. This particular project for instance has brought immediate results, if not in attitudes at least in the academic performance of the black students.
Can we do the same for our young people, for the deprived students in the urban ghettoes and the rural interiors?
I believe we can!
But we need a well respected and well connected public figure like Oprah to mobilise the volunteers!
How about it Marina Mahathir or Raja Zarith Sofiah?