VIP programme attracts international professional volunteers to Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Overseas professionals will contribute their expertise for the social and economic development of Malaysia through voluntary activities under the Volunteering for International Professionals (VIP) programme.

Secretary-general of the Treasury, Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said for a start, 30 foreign professionals would combine efforts with 20 local professionals for four months to implement 10 projects under nine identified fields.

The nine fields are youths at risk, the homeless, the unemployed, environment and wildlife, educational opportunities, rural transformation, empowerment of women, social equality, and health.

"We've brought in volunteers who are experienced engineers, teachers and so on, and we only provide the flight tickets, food and living expenses which cost less than RM700,000.

"They will provide technical expertise, help children who need education, and empower women to do business. After four months, we will see the results of the programme in the places where they will serve," he told reporters after launching the VIP programme, here, today.

Mohd Irwan said in line with Malaysia's role as the chairman of Asean in 2015, the programme would also be expanded to the other member countries in future.

One of the VIP programme participants, Canadian retiree Robert Sutton, 58, who is in Malaysia for the first time, said he would make use of his experience in engineering and green technology to serve the community in this country.

Le-Marie Thompson, 36, from Trinidad and Tobago, said the idea of combining local and international professionals in volunteerism through the VIP programme was very unique.

"I'm an engineer and I hope to provide my experience in the project that I will be working on," she said. – Bernama