Merdeka Highlight : Small Changes, Big DifferenceBy Nur Azre | Last modified 06 Sep 2019
Recently, our ambassador, Farz from UUM, had the chance to interview the President of Small Changes, Vimalan V Thangarajah. Small changes is a non - profit organization that stands to empower youth in a global way that they do not just serve the youth of tomorrow, but also the youth of today. Small Changes focuses on the underprivileged kids and they work not only with beneficiaries but also any volunteers who are willing to spare time and energy.
Small Changes was inspired by two humble Malaysians, sitting in a Mamak restaurant, thinking about they can do for the community, and they wanted to start small. Their approach is to take small actions which make a big difference in society. The movement started around 9 years ago but officially it started in 2014.
One of the major projects they are working on is the Seeds of Deeds which is a camp to empower underprivileged kids by running English program, SPM modules and modules to prep them for life after SPM. The first engagement will always be with 16 years olds and when they are sitting for SPM next year, Small Changes would revisit them and reinforce some of the modules.
In 2019, they are starting something refreshing and new: Exalted - taking it to the next level. Small Changes are bringing modules which are not taught in schools like IT Literacy (Microsoft Package), Media Literacy (Social Media), Practicality of Sciences in Daily Lives as well as career development modules (Interview sessions).
They also have a long-term project - Aspire to Inspire. The last three years, they worked with the Orang Asli community in Johor and the project had positive results. In this project, they do not just focus on the youth but also the elders. They set up sewing workshops and help them set up small businesses for them, as well. Today, they are bringing the project to the group of refugees in Gombak. In this module, they are focusing on education and cultural assimilation.
How Can We Support Small Changes?
Volunteer as a facilitator
The first step is to connect with them via social media. They will post up a social media post when the time comes for recruitment. Anyone can apply (18 to 35 years old - local and international) or you can refer friends to apply as well. You will then fill up a Google Form and submit your CV. The committee then will filter all of the applications, and if you are shortlisted, you will be called for an interview. Some of the main criteria that they are looking for in future facilitators are good communication skills and how you are able to communicate and how well can you manage a crisis in different situations.
One of Small Changes biggest challenges is funding. They rely heavily on crowdfunding where they would sell their merchandise. They would love to get more corporate sponsorship but it has not always been sunshine and rainbows. So if you have the means, come and support them!
Small Changes is a group of passionate and selfless community which can be described as The Big Difference. To date, Small Changes had strongly impacted around 1000 students in almost every state in Malaysia except Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu, Perlis, Sabah, and Sarawak, with limited resources. With your support, they can definitely do more!