As eye-catching colourful mascots pranced and swirled on stage, the crowd cheered in united support of the UTAR Public Relations (PR) Campaign, themed Volunteerism 3.0, during its grand launching ceremony at Student Pavilion I at UTAR Perak Campus on 19 March 2014.
The VIPs in attendance comprised Perak Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) Bureau Chief of National Service programme Chan Kwai Hoong, who represented Chenderiang State Assemblyman cum MCA Perak State Chairman Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik, Environmental Health Officer of Kampar District Council Goh Seng Chee, UTAR Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FAS) Dean Dr Cheah Phaik Kin, PR Department head Ng Eng Kiat, campaign director Tang Chin Ling and advisors Lee Lai Meng, Pong Kok Shiong and Yeow Jian Hui.
In her opening address, Tang welcomed the audience and enthused, “I would like to acknowledge our seniors who pioneered the first and second PR campaigns, themed Volunteerism 1.0 and 2.0, which were held in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Volunteerism 3.0 is an evolution of the previous campaigns, and indicates that the spirit of volunteerism will continue to grow and proliferate.” She thanked UTAR for giving the volunteers an opportunity to showcase the campaign, the volunteers for devoting their time and effort to organise it, and the lecturers and tutors for offering invaluable advice and guidance to the volunteers.
Prof Chuah in his speech evoked memories of his university days where he helped built a motorcyclist pathway which is still in use until today. He advised, “Volunteerism is not just donation but the small things we do that will add up to make the world a better place for all, irrespective of age, gender, creed and religion. It is not what stage in life you become a volunteer that matters, but how willing you are to contribute to the betterment of society and the world.” He expressed hope that the seeds of volunteerism implanted through the campaign will continue to be cultivated after the students leave UTAR.
Representing Dato’ Mah, Chan said, “Dato’ Mah conveyed his heartfelt appreciation on being invited to officiate this meaningful event. Unfortunately, he is away on an official trip to Kajang.” He added, “Volunteering is probably the most beneficial way to help your community. It is often the glue that binds a community together and allows us to connect to our community to help make it a better place.” Recounting his repertoire of community service which includes Lion Club, Rela and Rukun Tetangga, Chan hoped that the students will continue to embrace volunteerism by joining non-governmental organisations after graduation.
Volunteerism 3.0 is part of a compulsory final-year project for all year three PR students. It aims to inculcate awareness of the importance of lending a hand to the needy and necessary, and identify the needs of underprivileged groups and subsequently translate ideas of helping these identified groups into action. Besides, it also aims to improve knowledge, attitude and behaviour of the target audience about volunteerism and raise funds for chosen charity in line with the sub-theme assigned to each group, namely, Environment, Animal Welfare, Education and Culture and Heritage.