Project Malaysia 2010

Executive Summary

The Orang Asli, the indigenous people of Malaysia, live predominantly in rural areas and face challenges with managing waste effectively. Many villages, such as Kampung Simpang Arang, have resorted to open burning of waste as a means of waste disposal. This project will aim mainly to provide additional composting and recycling methods, as a way of helping to sustainably manage waste. Moreover, we plan to organize gotong-royongs (village-wide cleanups), together with the high school students of Kampung Simpang Arang. It is our hope that we will encourage environmental friendliness amongst both the volunteers and the local participants.

Objectives

Our two core aims are:

  • To organize gotong-royongs (village-wide cleanups), together with the high school students of Kampung Simpang Arang,and;
  • To provide additional composting and recycling methods, as a way of helping to sustainably manage waste.

Approaches

In order to implement a better waste management system, we plan to set up small and basic composting bins in the village. We will contribute towards providing the materials needed to construct the composting systems and will encourage the youths of the village to utilize the systems and the importance of it. It is our hope that they will set an example for the rest of the village in using the composting systems. Along these lines, it would be important to first remove the non-biodegradable waste from the village. We will organize a community-wide cleanups to help start off the process towards sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of waste management.

Local Partner

Our on-ground NGO partner will be Save Our Seahorses (SOS), an environmental and marine conservation organization that has expanded their focus to addressing the issues pertaining to the Orang Asli population in Kampong Simpang Arang. During project-planning, they will act as our main liaison with the local community and authorities as well as contribute ideas and suggestions in catering our project to the needs of the community. For the duration of the project, they will mainly be helping us with the logistics.

Team Member Responsibilities

  • Be involved in the development of the program curriculum before going on the ground
  • Serve as mentors to the youths during the project, and maintain this relationship after the conclusion of the project
  • Plan and facilitate leadership lessons for the students
  • Collaborate with the youths and SOS in cleaning up the village and setting up sustainable ways of waste management.
  • Assist the youths in planning and conducting a community outreach event (i.e. waste management fair)
  • Inspire the students in becoming advocates for a more sustainable environment and better sanitary practices.
  • Keep an eye out for the safety and health of other team members
  • Be a source of inspiration for others in the team by giving support and taking initiatives.

Skills Required

  • Passion for social action and change through empowerment.
  • An open mind (extremely important!)
  • A strong interest in one or more of the following: inspiring youths, Orang Asli, sustainable waste management, public health, and/or working with students with low
  • English proficiency.
  • Ability to interact and communicate despite language barriers and cultural differences.
  • Knowledge and/or experience with public health and setting up sustainable ways of waste management a plus.
  • Knowledge in Malay/Indonesian (recommended, but not necessary) or be willing to learn some basic Malay.

Project Leaders

Min Sern Teh mteh1 [at] swarthmore.edu
Han Hsien Liew hliew [at] wesleyan.edu