HO CHI MINH CITY: The call for volunteerism was so strong in 30 Malaysian undergraduates that they did not mind spending their Hari Raya holidays away from their families and friends.
These students are participating in the programme “Green Summer Volunteer 2014 Vietnam” which requires them to be here for one month.
Sponsored by Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa (YSS), they would help local communities in gotong-royong activities, besides cleaning up farms, repairing bridges and giving free tuition.
Dailami Daniel Mat Nor, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering (architecture and ship construction) at Universiti Kuala Lumpur, said this was a chance for him to know more about Vietnamese custom and culture.
The Kuala Terengganu-born undergraduate said he also wanted to promote Malaysia’s name in the international arena.
“In fact, we are also providing exposure to Vietnamese volunteers so that they too can better understand Malaysia as we are all in the Asean community,” he told Bernama.
Nurlina Arappe, a communcations major at Universiti Malaysia Sabah, said the Malaysians would prepare lemang, rendang and serunding (meat floss) to mark Hari Raya here.
To overcome homesickness, she said they would actively serve to promote Malaysian culture.
As “ambassadors” for Malaysia, Abdul Rahim Rahman, who is majoring in strategic studies at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, said the local community was considerate towards the Malaysians.
“They would even ensure we do not carry out any heavy workload after they found out that we were fasting,” said Abdul Rahim.
The volunteer campaign Vietnam mission, which began on July 13 and would go on until Aug 10, is an annual event organised by the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union.
It involves students from the Foreign Trade University and University of Economics in the country.
Malaysia is the only country that has been invited for two consecutive years to participate in the mission.