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“Seeds of Hope” Exhibition Raises Environmental Awareness Among IMU Staff and Students

27 Oct 2015

SOF2 13 – 14 August 2015 – A training session for the Seeds of Hope exhibition, a joint initiative between SGM (Soka Gakkai Malaysia) and Earth Charter International, was organised by IMU Eco Friends Club. The ‘Seeds of Hope’ exhibition had the title ‘Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps toward Change’ and aimed to raise awareness so that people will know – all it takes is one person to start a change and to help them overcome the feeling of helplessness. The training session for narrators was carried out by Charmaine Loke and Yoke Ping from SGM, who taught them how to explain the panels to the audience, what were the panels about, the stories behind each amazing picture as well as having a test run to test the ability of the narrators to capture the audience’s attention. Two weeks later, the exhibition was held at International Medical University (IMU)’s atrium from 2 to 4 September 2015. Prof Yeoh Peng Nam, Dean of IMU School of Pharmacy, Ms May Kuan, Head of Student Services Department and Dr Lipika Chatterjee, Club Advisor of IMU Eco Friends Club as well as Mr Chia Kok Peng, Public Relation Representative of Soka Gakkai Malaysia, Mr Au Yong, Region 4 Vice Chief of SGM, Mdm Linda Liew, Chapter 3 Women Division Vice Chief of SGM and Ms Charmaine Loke, Seed of Hope, Co-organizer Representative of SGM were invited to the opening ceremony. SOF3SOF4SOF5 A speech was given by Dr Lipika who is a very passionate environmentalist and Mr Au Yong, the SGM Representative before the guests were escorted to the pledge board to officiate the event. Then, a token of appreciation was presented to Mr Au Yong by Prof Yeoh Peng Nam and followed by another token of appreciation presented to Prof Yeoh by Brian Cheong, the President of IMU Eco Friends Club, on behalf of the club. Lastly, a group photo of the committee members with invited guests were taken on stage. There were a total of 24 panels with three themes – Inspire, Learn and Empower. The panels under the ‘Inspire’ theme were quotes to help inspire people and spark their interest in wanting to know more about the ways they can help, appreciate and change the environment for the better. One of the quotes that resonated with most of the audience was a quote from Audrey Shenandoah, Clan Mother of the Onondaga Nation who said “There is no word for nature in my language. ‘Nature’ in English, seems to refer to that which is separate from human beings. It is a distinction we don’t recognize.” which portrayed a message that they are one with the nature. The audience said they never thought of it that way. SOF12 Next were another row of panels under the theme ‘Learn’. These panels showed what was going on currently all around the world which included pollutions, poverty, statistics. Last but not least, the panels under the ‘Empower’ theme. These panels presented real life testimonies that there were massive changes being achieved because it all started with one person. A few of the examples included a garden in Bosnia-Herzegovina that helped the people harvest food as well as friendship, a man building a johad in India that helped resolve a draught crisis, a woman who showed the better side of Moss Side, UK, just by holding a neighborhood party where everyone and anyone was invited. SOF10SOF14 After seeing all these testimonies, the last few panels showed the audience what they could do to help initiate a change alongside the introduction of Soka Gakkai International and Earth Charter International. After all has been explained, the audience could make a pledge, suggesting what they would do to help make that change. IMU Eco Friends Club also presented a free baby cactus to those who pledged. SOF13SOF 9SOF8 All in all, IMU Eco Friends Club is proud to say that this exhibition was a success in spreading awareness to the IMU community and showing them that all it takes is one person to make a huge difference. “It starts with ONE universe. It starts with ONE Earth. With ONE awakening. With ONE person who cares. With ONE choice, ONE action. With ONE dialogue, ONE collaboration, ONE initiative. With ONE community, with ONE mind. With ONE dream. It starts with ONE.” – Poem from 10th Anniversary of Earth Charter, 2010. SOF6

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