my-heart1Now, 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?


5 Responses to “”

  1. 1 ocho-onda
    February 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    “How about it Marina Mahathir or Raja Zarith Sofiah?”

    I share your sentiments on this but in Boleh land, people who can make the difference, will gertak only when powerful hands move,depending on how much political mileage can be gained and on which way the political wind is blowing ! 🙂

    Oprah is answering President Obama’s call to all Americans to pick themselves up ,dust their dirt off and to do their best to help each other !
    But why wait for political leaders or famous dignitaries to start the ball rolling. What about all our popular artistes cum celebrities and hordes of community leaders and NGO’s ?

  2. February 4, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    A Good piece, nini. Social activists should lead the way and get something done to our country. We can no longer on the present crop of leaders in power to get things. They can’t think beyond themselves. —Din Merican

  3. 3 ninitalk
    February 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Yes – we can all do our bit in our own little way but if we are to make an impact and achieve outstanding results, we need a big group of people moving concertedly in one organised direction.

    One million people helped along by Oprah’s huge monetary and media resources is powerful!

    Artistes cum celebrities would need professionals to help with the structure of the work involved. Popular dignitaries or activists have a ready support base and media access.

    ninitalk and ocha-onda will continue to pen our thoughts on this n that!

  4. February 5, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    In this time and age…money talks, where people ‘walk’ the miles to acquire this ‘asset’.

    Most people have their own agenda and self interest and when their pockets are full…they will be happy to act on ‘call for actions’. Unfortunately, some stoop very low to gain publicity even in their charity work….roping in innocent volunteers to gain credit and get into the limelight…perhaps securing a Datukship or two…

    I am not saying that ‘volunteerism’ is dead but the ‘spirit’ is weak in Malaysia. Sorry to say this….but if we have international calling…we do see the ususl faces of voluteers and organisations that do come forth..I applaud their sincere move..as for myself..I am a volunteer too with Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia

  5. 5 ninitalk
    February 6, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Hi F.Abdullah – thanks for visiting and your comments.
    Yes – Malaysians must get it right when they volunteer their services. They must believe in the cause not the VIPs or Patrons behind them!

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