AT TAYLOR'S: Reuben Cheong (ReubenDeShen.Cheong@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Refer 'Partners' Section
Now in its sixth year, the Hear Us Out conference is organized by the Taylor's CPU World Issues students to raise awareness about social and environmental issues around the world. The aim of Hear Us Out has always been to educate the public, especially the youth, regarding important global issues, particularly those that have local relevance to Malaysian society. An important part of the mandate for this conference is to provide a platform for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and members of the social justice community to promote their cause and engage public interest in changing the world for the better. Past plenary speakers have included the late Irene Fernandez of Tenaganita. In addition students in the World Issues class are required as part of their curriculum to research, prepare, and present a workshop on a global issue of their interest in the breakout sessions following the plenary session. Other students in attendance then sign up for the various workshops and provide both audience and necessary feedback in the form of questions and comments on the topics presented. Admission is charged to those attending and all proceeds from the conference are donated to local charities. To date, the conference has raised over RM45 000 for local charitable organizations.
This year’s conference will highlight two plenary speakers and their projects. The first is John-son Oei, a former student of both Taylor’s College Canadian Pre-University Program and Taylor’s University. Oei was co-founder (along with his wife, Jayne Kennedy) of Epic Cooperative, a social enterprise that seeks to provide housing for the Orang Asli communities of peninsular Malaysia. John-son is an inspiring speaker and his social enterprise, Epic Homes, is making considerable progress in changing communities where they have working. More than just a building project, Epic seeks wide-ranging community change to give impoverished families a hopeful new start. The other plenary speaker, Joanne Yeoh, will speak on behalf of the Soroptimist International Club of Damansara, an NGO working in the area of education helping financially and emotionally challenged youth and children to realize their potential through literacy, and skills training. Their Vocational Resource Center runs work readiness programs for disengaged youth and school drop-pouts providing the necessary skills that will enable them to be gainfully employed. Student-led breakout workshops will include such topics as human trafficking and environmental degradation.
The public is cordially invited to come to the Hear Us Out conference at the Subang Jaya campus of Taylor’s College. Registration for the conference will begin at 10 am with plenary speeches at 11 pm and 3 pm. Breakout student-led workshops will take place between 11:30 and 2:30 and each workshop will last 30 minutes to allow attendees to listen to a variety of issues and presenters. All donations will be used to fund community projects and local NGOs. Those interested are invited to visit the Hear Us Out Facebook page for more information.