10 Questions With Syed Azmi, Head Of Volunteer And Community Engagement At NGOHub
1/10 What were your career highlights in the past two years?
"I managed to highlight to a national scale the plight to save children with all other child activists and agencies together. My medium has always been Facebook, and I am glad that I have used the medium responsibly and managed to have a dialogue and space for all to voice concerns as well as share network and information. This is truly mine and I am proud of it. I am also very happy that I managed to do, albeit on a small scale, inclusion activities with the deaf and the blind groups."
2/10 What were the challenges you faced in the past two years and how did you overcome them?
"Getting criticism is a normal affair, but to step back and look from different angles and perspectives to untangle the misunderstanding can always be challenging. After all these years, the main problem has been the choice of words to educate. It can be solved by re-explanation, which is what I always do.
"People still think of me as the Dog Boy from my previous “I Want To Touch A Dog” issue, and it has not blown over no matter what the cause is now. I guess they want to see me in remorse, but I am not. So I just smile, say “okay” nonchalantly and go back to the cause."
3/10 What changes would you like to see or help drive in our country?
"To have an open dialogue platform where all opinions are respected and heard, and people can change minds as knowledge and options are made clearly. For me, I have tried to work with all agencies including religious affairs and education. The one part that I have not tried is political links."
4/10 What economic or social impact have you or your company made over the past two years?
"Under the Umieaktif initiative (Facebook: Umieaktif), mothers are now earning income that enables them to pay rent and provide shelter for their families. One mother finally bought a car after 1 year with us. This is one of our programmes with our volunteers that donate their time and skills to improve the socioeconomic situation of the Chow Kit mothers. We are now working with the Ministry in helping them to get financial aid for a startup business.
"We are not an NGO and we at this moment do not want to change so that it will empower others to emulate us."
5/10 What is the source of your willpower and why?
"My family. Everything I do is for the benefit of all loved ones. That means not only my family, but other people’s families as well. I also see Malaysia as a land of opportunity so as long as the message is clear, this gives me encouragement to try new stuff."
6/10 What legacy would you like to leave behind?
"That normal civilians like us can make a difference."
7/10 What’s the one thing you’re most proud of achieving?
"Overcoming challenges in a calm manner. Raise the issue and not your voice."
8/10 If you could choose a superhuman power, what would it be and how would you use it?
"Patience, because a dash of patience in a small amount of time can gut the worse in human actions, can stop the tongue from saying something cruel, can stop limbs from hurting others and prevent heartache."
9/10 Why did you get into the field you’re in right now?
"Because I am done listening to complaints, and now it is time to try to make a difference with what we have, and what we can do."
What’s next for you?
"I would like to focus on skills and education based on local settings. I also want to do more inclusion activities with the disabled groups."