Curtin Sarawak international students participate in youth engagement programme

Curtin Sarawak students heading to JUST IYEP4

Curtin Sarawak students heading to JUST IYEP4: (L-R) Eze Oriekwo, Zhang Wen Qiong and Syed Jamal Kazni.

Miri – 2 December 2010 – Three international students of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) – Syed Jamal Kazni, Zhang Wen Qiong and Eze Oriekwo – were recently selected to represent Curtin Sarawak in the 4th Inter-Civilizational Youth Engagement Program (JUST IYEP4) held in Malacca.

The three are student ambassadors of Curtin Sarawak’s elite John Curtin Leadership Academy (JCLA).

This 5-day JUST IYEP programme is an annual event organised by the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) for about 50 specially selected youths of various nationalities and religious backgrounds aged between 21 and 25 years.

The wide variety of demographics among the participants reflects the inter-civilizational relations in today’s world and the sessions and debates during the event address challenges to cultures in today’s society. This year’s event was themed ‘Youth: Towards a Global Culture’.

“Curtin Sarawak is committed to growing leadership and entrepreneurship among our students. Forums such as JUST IYEP4 provide a platform for our youth leaders to engage with other like-minded youths in discussing global issues. We hope that our JCLA ambassadors will gain a lot from this experience and will advocate some form of change, big or small, among their peers and the larger youth community in Miri,” commented University Life Manager Haslina Malek, whose department oversees the activities of the JCLA.

Syed Jamal is a final year student from Pakistan pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration; Chinese national Wen Qiong is a second-year student undergoing Curtin’s Bachelor of Commerce programme with double majors in Banking and Finance; while Eze Oriekwo from Nigeria is a third-year Bachelor of Engineering student majoring in chemical engineering.

According to them, the JUST IYEP4 offered a great opportunity for them to share their views and experiences with their peers from Malaysia and other countries and they eager to meet and learn from the other participants.

All three strongly believe that global peace is possible once there is an understanding between cultures and an acceptance of the differences in the world and that the JUST IYEP4 is one channel to bring the world one step closer to this goal.

They added that being JCLA ambassadors and being active in social awareness campaigns and community service projects has helped broaden their perspectives of life and social issues, and this would serve them well at the event.

The JCLA was developed in honour of John Curtin, the fourteenth Prime Minister of Australia and after whom Curtin University is named, with the objectives of instilling in student leaders his three core values of Vision, Leadership and Community Service.

The programme aims to produce student leaders who can help ensure the sustainability of campus clubs and societies and improve campus life for students, and at the same time, give them the opportunity to get a head start in their careers.

The JUST IYEP’s principal objectives are to initiate and foster closer relationship and rapport among youths from different backgrounds while developing a deeper understanding of global challenges and how the youth can help resolve them. The programme identifies and examines universal spiritual and moral values that can contribute towards justice, peace, and harmony among different communities around the globe.

It was also designed to inspire youths to learn and practice values and attitudes which will help them become the drivers of change by linking different demographics, as well as create a core group of youth who will spread the findings from the programme to their own communities, thus realising the cause of a just and compassionate universal civilization.

The first JUST IYEP was held in Kajang in June 2007 with the theme ‘Building a Universal Civilization of Peace’. In the following year, JUST IYEP2 was held in Kuala Selangor with the theme ‘Green versus Greed: Youths Reflect on the Environmental Challenge’, which was followed by JUST IYEP3 last November with the theme ‘Ethics and the Global Economic Crisis: Pointers for the Future’.

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