100 student volunteers will participate in YSS-ASEAN Students Volunteer Mission to Tawau, Sabah from 28th July to 12th August 2016. They will be located in 5 areas in Tawau District; Kampung Serudong Baru, Kampung Bukit Quoin, Kampung Tass Zon Andrassy, Kampung Kuala Nansang, Flat Sri Titingan as well as Kampung Titingan. Throughout the two weeks stay, the student volunteers will organise UPSR drill and Fun-Learning activities for the primary school students, free health screenings for the community as well as community work such as arc building and upgrading public facilities.

YSS Chairman, Dato’ Zuraidah Atan stated that this mission is very important to develop students’ soft skills through volunteerism parallel to the first shift of Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint, to produce holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduates. YSS is also committed in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda by United Nation through volunteering efforts.

In conjunction with this mission, ELS Language Centres donated 250 units of mini solar LED lights for YSS-ASEAN volunteer efforts, valued at RM25,000. As part of the ELS “Light Up! Initiative”, which began in November 2015 to commemorate ELS’ 25th anniversary in Malaysia, the initiative aims to provide sustainable lighting to underprivileged communities in Malaysia. The donation was witnessed by Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching who is also the Member of Parliament of Tawau at the mission “Flag-Off” ceremony held at Ministry of Higher Education today.

The unique lighting devices donated, will be distributed to the five places mentioned above and fire victims who are still placed in the tents for their sustainable lighting needs. It will also be used by the student volunteers throughout the mission. Each LED light will come with a handwritten card from an ELS student, who are currently learning English, and applying their newly learnt skills to compose messages of hope and love along with the light.

Chairman of the Board of Governors of ELS, Puan Sri Datin Aishah Shamsuddin said in her speech that “This Initiative aims at making a positive impact on environmental conservation by introducing the solar LED light as a safe and environmental-friendly alternative source of lighting especially compared to dangerous and flammable kerosene lamps.”

Previously, in February and April this year, ELS has donated the mini solar LED lights to YSS volunteers during their missions in Sarawak and Laos respectively and now they will be donating via YSS for communities without access to electricity in Tawau and the interior of Sabah.

Prior to this mission, the ‘Pre Departure Training’ session will be conducted at Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia Kampus Tawau, Sabah for three days as part of the capacity building training as well as to prepare them for their volunteer work.