One Step Closer To A Better Sabah

We are delighted to share a blog written by student Chittudevi from Institut Sinaran, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2020-21 GSL Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community. 

The exhilarating journey so far has been both captivating and challenging.

Project Overview

Hello! I am part of the Borneo Spirit. A team formed in the city of Kota Kinabalu in the state of Sabah, Malaysia.

We have realised that this pandemic has affected our local community in various aspects ranging from money to food, and since everything is interlinked it accumulates into this massive problem that hangs over people, as they do not have any way to combat the problem. To help our fellow Sabahans we decided to lend a helping hand to raise the burden off their shoulders. Having seen a lot of people suffer from poverty in the past has really empowered me to take on this project, because no one deserves to suffer for what they have a right to which is food, water and a good education. There is a lot of space in this world for everyone to succeed in their own ways but for this to happen more people need to be passionate about what is going on and realise what it would be like to be in their shoes. Being able to be empathetic really helps to kindle the fire inside people to make a change: to lend a helping hand. Having a roof over your head and food on the table is something a lot of people take for granted but it is the thing so many people yearn for but are not lucky enough to have.

This pandemic gave a large number of problems to our local community. Lots of people lost their jobs or weren’t getting paid because there was no overall income. Students had to switch to online school and while this was easy for some people as they had the facilities like laptops or computers, for some people it is extremely hard as they do not have a laptop or computer and they have a lot of siblings at home and since the family does not have a lot of income they cannot accommodate all of the children. This meant the children will not be able to follow their classes and they will not be able to do the work that has been set. This is an impediment in their education. This is a major issue as an education is very important as it will help them succeed in the future and enable them to give a better life for themselves and their family.

Our Journey

Carrying out this project has led to us developing numerous skills of varying aspects. Ranging from time management to perfecting our analytical eye when evaluating a plan or a post. This project has made us more passionate and aware about the struggles of people in our country and on a global level too, because we are researching ways in which we can help people. It has also made us keep a close ear to the news so that we can regurgitate the solutions to the problems that we are able to tackle.

I have learnt that when other people’s voices can’t be heard, it is up to them to either raise their voice even louder to show that they have authority or it is up to the rest of the people in the community to raise their voices for the people who can’t. Though I knew this in the past, right now I can see it clearer than ever. Sometimes, what we are doing may not seem stable or valid to the public eye, because we aren’t old enough or authoritative enough so it can be harder for our voices to be heard. But from experience I have learnt that persistence and determination is key to deliver what needs to be done and what is rightfully a person’s right.

Throughout the journey so far, I have also realised how lucky and blessed I am to be able to lead this project, because I have access to a platform and a multitudinal array of opportunities. Some of which we have created ourselves and some which have been graciously offered to us. What has been hard is spreading the word about what we are doing, as some people dismiss it easily. We are steadily growing on social media and we will keep growing with hard work.

Through this project, we have learnt (and we hope to help others realise) that age can set no limitations on what we can actually contribute to our present society, and how we can all grow as a unit to form the future we truly yearn for.

The Next Chapter

Seeing how far our project has progressed in terms of changing lives for the better, we wish to instill the same passion of giving back within our youth. Through practical means, we are planning on recruiting our younger generation as future members of our organisation, not only to ensure our initial goals are continuously being pursued, but also to spread awareness on a wider scale to our society. We believe it’s time to call out our young people to step in line and take action in the face of today’s world.

I would highly recommend people my age to get involved in projects like this, because “we may only make up 25% of the current population, but we make up 100% of the future” so what we want the world to be like when we are grown ups, lies in our hands. It is up to us to seize the chances we have available to make change and use them. If more projects like this are created and happen the world can evolve into a much better and happier place, it may even fit into the spectrum of a “utopia”. Poverty, inequality and racism can be eradicated and everyone can get a good education: girls and boys all alike.

Personally, coming from a country where sexism exists in the most volatile forms, I really think carrying out projects like this or taking an initiative in activities like this will encourage diverse thinking which will eradicate social issues like sexism and racism. So I think if we all come together this generation is a force to be reckoned with! The future of the world rests in our hands and it is up to us to shape it into what feels like a safe and happy place.

The 2020-21 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2021. If you belong to one of the 500+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.