28 November 2014 – An International Medical University (IMU) student, Elaine Chai, who is also a Student Ambassador for the University, had the opportunity to be one of the participant of the Global Peace Volunteer Camp at Janda Baik, Pahang, Malaysia. Here, Elaine relates her experience at the camp. “I am truly grateful to be one of the 29 participants from around the world at the fifth Global Peace Volunteer (GPV) Camp. The Camp was at Janda Baik, Pahang and was organised under the Global Peace Foundation Malaysia. Besides Malaysians, there are participants from Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Guinea, Saudi Arabia and China. Embracing this diversity, we all came together for one reason, to be the change!
The Global Peace Volunteers Camp inspires and empowers young minds of today to positively impact the society. This is where youths from around the globe come in alliance. The Camp challenges one’s mental and physique to walk the extra 100 miles for the greater good. This 3-Days and 2-Nights leadership camp will thrust you forward and above out of your comfort zone to cultivate a better world. This was the only description I had regarding the camp from the website before I started my journey. What had I expected? A leadership camp where participants learn about teamwork, communication skills and social awareness. However, it was beyond what I had expected!
First day of the camp, we had some ice-breaking games before several sharing sessions about personality, 3 steps to be the change and global challenges. Despite all these being indoor activities, the presenters were able to lift up the spirits in the room and it was all warmth and welcoming that we felt throughout the day. We all got along well the next day and especially after some outdoor challenges. Water rafting is one of the highlight of the day where all teams showed teamwork to complete the tasks. The connection with each other just clicked and everyone felt awesome to be there for one another. Although it rained heavily that day, we were not defeated; we gained trust from our teammates and had so much fun. One very unique experience I had from this camp is the one-to-one heart stories session. Never had I thought myself sharing my life stories and very personal thoughts with another stranger. It requires mutual trusting and I got inspired by his will to achieve his dreams, by his responsibility to provide better with all he could do as well as his willingness to care and share. So, I actually gained more than what I have shared. By the end of the camp, we were given the opportunity to connect with the community with which we gained and got inspired the most: Helping the community at Janda Baik. My group explored Kampung Sum Sum and approached the people randomly. To my surprise, we were very much welcomed with smiles on their faces instead of them chasing us away. We offered to help as volunteers, be it washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, cutting tree branches and peeling the gingers, some of us even did them for the first time. Volunteering is not just getting the job done, but the act of leaving positive impacts on the person you have helped, showing them care and giving them the hope of humanity. In return, helping people actually helped us more than we help others because it makes us realise the importance of giving and appreciation. Before we left, we could feel their happiness and am glad one of them even regarded us as her children and urged us to go back again when we said our goodbyes. I could only cover some parts of the amazing experience I had, others are just too difficult to describe in words. You just have to go and experience it for yourself! Thank you Global Peace Volunteer Camp for this awesome experience.” Read about another student’s experience at https://imunews.imu.edu.my/students/student-global-peace-volunteer-camp/.