My love for humanitarianism and volunteering comes from my family background. From a young age, my grandfather – a postman – told me stories of the people he met throughout his life which instilled a community-minded sense in me. At the age of 10, I was already helping out at my local temple, distributing food and water to devotees. As a student, I never stopped volunteering, and this inspired me to study social work after my STPM and then work at Institut Onn Ja’afar.
When the pandemic hit and the Movement Control Order (MCO) instated, my first thought went to people who were struggling to put food on their tables. From serving food once a week, we started serving daily. Our team went into overdrive, where we would be at our offices by 6 a.m. in order to start delivering food to the needy. I enjoyed serving breakfast the most as the mornings were quieter and more peaceful.
I had to wear two hats – one as a management executive in charge of social media and the other as a volunteer. In both these circumstances I had to deal with different types of people. It can be frustrating at times, but I took this as a learning opportunity to be more polite, calm, and composed.
It is tough work but at the end of the day, it was well worth it to see the smile on their faces. It reminds me that we are all in this together. It is after all humanity’s battle against a virus and only when we are there for each other, can we be successful.