YOUTHS from all walks of life are not taking a backseat in the fight against Covid-19. Many are stepping up to do their part to support the country’s efforts to vaccinate the population.
Despite the risk of being exposed to thousands of people every day, youngsters are continuing to serve the community tirelessly at vaccination centres (PPV) with the aim of helping the nation move a step closer to achieving herd immunity.
Among the unsung heroes is Persada Johor International Convention Centre PPV volunteer Muhammad Hariz Abu Bakar, 20, who decided to volunteer to lighten frontliners’ burden and help the country fight an invisible enemy.
“I recently finished my matriculation programme and am waiting to enter university. Since I have a lot of time to spare, I decided to apply to be a volunteer at the PPV in Johor Baru.
“Although we are not able to help our medical frontliners directly because we are not trained in the field, we can at least help in other ways.
“It is at times like this that society needs people who are willing to help,” he said, adding that he hoped more people would register for vaccination.
University student Calvin Dcroix Manicam, 19, spends his weekdays studying and attending online classes while volunteering at Persada PPV on weekends.
“I started volunteering during my semester break in June and spend my days at the PPV, almost daily, from morning to night.
“It is a great experience. I made a lot of new friends through volunteering,” he said.
Calvin said that although being a volunteer was initially exhausting, he had gotten used to it and had adapted well to the routine.
“I had initially planned to cease volunteering in early August as my semester break had come to an end.
“But I later decided to continue helping out on weekends as there is a shortage of manpower at the PPV,” he said, adding that he was glad to be able to continue contributing to the country.
Former administration executive M. Navajothi, 29, was inspired by other Malaysians who went out of their way to help others in need during the pandemic.
“I saw many people donating food, clothes and other stuff to those struggling to cope with the pandemic.
“I was eager to do my part and thought of becoming a volunteer at the PPV,” she said.
Navajothi said that despite the challenges faced by volunteers, the understanding and appreciation from the public made it so much easier to serve them.
“I am touched by the simple and sweet gestures of fellow Malaysians who sometimes give us ‘thank you’ cards to show appreciation to us,” she said, adding that the volunteers were always prepared to help anyone who required assistance during their visit to the PPV.
College student Chin Wei Bin, 23, is glad that he decided to volunteer at the PPV as he has learned invaluable lessons.
“I volunteered because I wanted to challenge myself and try something new.
“I also wanted to contribute my time and effort to help the country get through such difficult times.
“It has been a very meaningful experience for me as not only do I get to meet new people, I also get to improve my communication skills as well as my leadership skills,” he said.
Freelance photographer Ainur Bahirah Ahmad Hafiz, 21, said that her experience as a volunteer allowed her to see the hardship that people were experiencing during the pandemic.
“My mother sent me a link to register as a volunteer and she encouraged me to sign up.
“Although we know that there are risks in volunteering at PPV because we will be exposed to thousands of people every day, we decided to face the risk so that we can help people.
“For me, it is not a stressful job. It is fulfilling as I know that it can help protect the people from Covid-19,” she said.
Flight attendant Tan Yong Yee, 22, who has more time on her hands due to a reduction in flights, has been volunteering since June.
“I started volunteering at the Austin International Convention Centre (AICC) PPV, which is under the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme in June.
“In July, I volunteered with DOC2US where I served at several mobile PPV to help vaccination efforts in the industrial sector.
“So far, I have been involved in the mobile PPV work in Johor Baru and Pontian,” she said.
Tan said that sometimes there were language barriers as some of the vaccine recipients were foreign workers, which was challenging but it was part of the whole experience of volunteering.
“They are also those who give us notes to express their appreciation to us as volunteers,” she said.
She added that she hoped the public would continue adhering to the standard operating procedure and register to be vaccinated.