Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Future Is Ours To Make

We are a small team of students from the Faculty of Dentistry in MAHSA University.  As part of our studies, it is a requirement that we spend some time doing volunteer work.  One of our team members was a participant in TrEES’ school programme a few years ago, as a ‘Young Voice for Conservation’, raising awareness on Selangor State Park (Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor).  So he persuaded us to talk to TrEES and take up the Selangor State Park as our volunteer work.   After a few discussions, we chose the Kanching Falls because it is one of the oldest recreational sites within the Selangor State Park. 

Our mission was to raise awareness on the existence of the Park to the communities visiting the Kanching Recreational Park (Kanching).  It is the first time most of us are involved with a project revolving around spreading awareness and most of our teammates were relatively inexperienced.

Our work involved conducting a survey among the visitors, regarding Kanching Recreational Park and Selangor State Park.  With good communication skills and resourcefulness, we pulled through the first section of our project of spreading awareness and conducting surveys among the visitors at Kanching.

We contributed our ideas for the preparation of the questionnaire, and we helped each other when faced with different language barriers during the survey. Every team members not only did their delegated duty, but also helped each other throughout the entire project, with their own different skill sets.

From the project, we managed to collect data about the public’s opinion and awareness — albeit a small sample size — and had an on-site review of the state of Kanching.  It is shocking that the public does not know about Selangor State Park, and saddening that some visitors do not take care of Kanching. Through both the survey and observation, we hope more actions will be taken to improve the public awareness.

After our on-site efforts, we worked together to compile, interpret, and deliver the results of our project for TrEES.  With our results, we hope that we inculcated awareness, and provided data for TrEES to work on for improvement of their activity.  After the project, it disappointed us to see the ugly side of the human nature that leaves the forest in destruction, yet it highlighted the need for action to change the public mindset.

The project was a small step into the world of volunteering with non-governmental organizations, and humbled all of us in knowing that our actions are minuscule in comparison with the larger activities happening.  Never-the-less, it also brought us hope that every small effort helps.
As much as it seems that dentistry and environment are never on the same page, it makes a point for everyone to consider steps in protecting the environment for the future. Without the beauty of nature, what point is there to living in this world other than this materialistic and synthetic world of concrete and plastic? Is the future of plastic trees and concrete forests? The future is ours to make.

The team members are:
Lam Jiunn Liang
Liew Yi Ning
Lyster Edviano Loo
Phang Siew Hang
Raphael Lim Zi Sheng
Wong Hong Zhang

Please read the students’ write up on Kanching Recreational Forest

Please read a summary of the findings from the Students' Survey  

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