Mission ABLE (Aspiring Better Lives Everyday) was initiated by the Scholar Leadership Team to engage the scholars’ community in taking part in service-learning initiatives by carrying out a month-long project. The project was made up of four events: E-Competitions (Twitter & Instagram competiton), Thankful Forever (On-Campus Gifting Service), Move On Hope Charity Bazaar (food fair) and MPA Charity Run (8km competitive run). Unprecedented of its kind in the Scholars@Work Programme, the objective of the event is to allow scholars to have an avenue to plan and execute projects that are related to community service. Run by groups of about 50 self-motivated scholars in four events under ABLE, the project was successful in raising RM40,000 for the beneficiary, a handicapped and disabled children’s association.
Mission ABLE would also be the first large-scale project for that are solely initiated and executed by scholars in the Scholars Development Programme, supervised by the Programme’s advisors. The project aimed to provide an impactful experience for inspiring scholars to be more involved in community service initiatives by engaging the scholars’ community within Taylor’s to organize community service initiatives for a social cause and raising awareness and provide a means of aid to the charity organization.
22 June 2015 was the official launch of Charity Run early-bird registration where sponsor representatives from MPA and beneficiary representative with children from the home were invited. ‘Thankful Forever’, happened from 22 – 25 September 2015 was a gifting service where people can preorder flowers or cookies and send them to people they wanted to appreciate with a personalized message. The gifts were delivered to staff while messages were sent to students to pick up their gifts at the Student Life Centre. Serving as the flagship event at the end of the month, the 8km Charity Run held on 27 September 2015 around Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus and the Sunway area was targeted to get 1,500 participants from categories of school, university and public. On the same day itself, ‘The Charity Bazaar’ was also held in campus, aimed to raise funds through food fair sales handled by scholars for famous desserts and souvenirs on campus for four days.
Besides that, e-competitions were also part of the project. From 17 August – 31 September 2015, Twitter and Instagram competitions were held with the hashtags #InstaABLE2015 and #TweetABLE2015. Twitter entries were to be inspirational quotes that would be printed out and given as bookmarks for the beneficiary residents, while Instagram entries were to be themed ‘ABLE’ and include the hashtags with tagging of 5 friends. The team has also organized a trip to their beneficiary home, Handicapped & Disabled Children’s Association of Klang, Selangor (PPKCKS) on 6 September 2015. The volunteers celebrated the birthdays of some of the residents and did activities with the children. Activities were planned out by volunteers with external relation members.
Estelle Kee Xin Ying, Mission ABLE's Social Media Marketing Director shares, "From the many learnings by being a part of Mission ABLE, the biggest takeaway for me personally is humility. After months of hands-on experience on social media marketing, one learn on ways to manage the queries professionally as well as getting familiarize on techniques to be more engaging with the audience. Despite it not being a merry and bright role to take on, but the valuable lessons gained are definitely relevant yet applicable in many contexts."
The project was an ambitious one as projects managed by scholars were not as large-scaled. Besides successfully raising RM40,00 for the beneficiary through the four events, the team has managed to gain project management skills and leadership skills especially those who had the large responsibility of leading the events and external relations team as well as taking ownership of their roles to plan and execute the events and build relationships between one another.
Written by Melanie Yong Ze Siin