Making a positive impact

Hairul (centre) together with other recipients (from left)Teffanie Arputheraj (Personal Growth Award), Alina Amir representing Arus Academy (Most Supportive Community Partner), Afzaa Aziz representing TRCRC (Most Supportive Work Placement Provider) and Duwan Abdullah (Perseverance Award). — MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star

DESPITE the challenges of being laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic, Hairul Mafahir Abdullah refused to be deterred and emerged stronger than ever.

Hairul was honoured with the 2022 Prince’s Trust Sustainability Award for Asia by Prince’s Trust International (PTI), a global organisation established by King Charles III.

The award was introduced to recognise the involvement and development of outstanding youth in PTI programmes around the world.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Hairul was an engineering technician but was laid off.

He turned the setback into a new opportunity by joining Team, a collaborative programme between PTI and Selangor Youth Community (SAY).

The nine-week Team programme serves as a platform for personal and professional growth, offering at-risk youths in Malaysia a second chance and new opportunities.

Hairul, 26, said that what he learned from the Team programme set him on his way to a new career path and provided him with the necessary boost to continue his professional journey.

“The Team programme sparked remarkable personal growth and motivation in me, equipping me with enhanced abilities in communication, team building and leadership.

“I secured an internship at the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC) through the programme and eventually received a job offer as a researcher, reflecting the positive impact it had on my career progression,” he said.

Hairul, who is now a biodiversity and restoration coordinator, expressed gratitude for the support he received from TRCRC, enabling him to successfully adapt to the job without prior experience in the field.

“TRCRC provided me with an opportunity in the area of forest observation.

“Through various programmes, I had the opportunity to deepen my interest and enhance my skills in biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration and collaborate with indigenous forest communities.

“All of this would not have been possible if I had not involved myself in the Team programme,” Hairul said during the award ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

Team programme manager Aiman Nazri said the 2022 Prince’s Trust Sustainability Award for Asia was granted through a nomination process spanning the Asian region.

He highlighted that Hairul’s achievement was not a stroke of luck, but the result of his consistent outstanding performance, which had made a positive impact not only on himself but also to others.

The award was presented by Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

Also present were British High Commissioner Charles Hay and PTI head of delivery for Asia Wasim Malik.

Other awards presented during the ceremony were the Personal Growth Award, Perseverance Award, Most Supportive Employment Partner and the Most Supportive Community Partner.

The 2022 Prince’s Trust Sustainability Award for Asia and others are part of the Team programme award, which is a collaborative programme between SAY and Princes Trust International.

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