KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is set to send a second team of MyCorps volunteers to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey in October to help Syrian refugees in the three countries following the success of the first team of volunteers.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced the plan before presenting 44 volunteers, who were part of the first team, with their “graduation” plaques at the MyCorps Middle East Ignition Night here on Wednesday.
“Our previous volunteer programmes took place nearer to Malaysia, in South-east Asia. This is the first time our volunteers were sent thousands of miles away to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
“To the parents who are here tonight, the children who are with you today are not the same people that we sent on the mission. Now they know how much they can change people’s lives. They’ve also learned that when they commit to something, they can see it through,” he said, adding that the volunteers have exceptional leadership skills.
Khairy, who visited the team in Lebanon last month, also suggested for the MyCorps volunteers to set up an alumni association to keep the network alive.
“The alumni can be a reference point for those who are interested to become volunteers as well as a place for us to find facilitators for future programmes.
“I know it’s hard to say goodbye to the people that have already become your family. Keep that bond, keep that relationship.
“Remember that moment in time when you came together and travelled thousands of miles to change lives. You did it all together,” he said.
The MyCorps Middle East team comprised 16 men and 28 women aged between 18 and 30 from diverse backgrounds. Among them were civil servants, private sector employees, graduates and higher institution students and workers from non-governmental organisations.
They completed 30,000 working hours from Dec 4, last year to Feb 3 helping Syrian refugees in the Middle East with various projects.
Apart from sending a second team for Mission Middle East, Khairy also announced two new missions for 2017 – Mission South and Central Asia (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal to help the Rohingya refugees), and Mission Asean (Laos, Indonesia and the Philippines for local community development).