Empowering others

IN 2009, Nadia Rahmat was one of the youngest pilgrims to perform the Hajj. As most of the pilgrims were senior citizens, she helped those in need and that was the starting point of her giving back to the world.

Next, she went to Phnom Penh, Cambodia with her school teachers for charity and voluntary work. She said volunteering helps her improve herself – to do self-reflection, to feel grateful for living and to always remember there are less fortunate people who need our help to draw a smile on them.

Nadia came across Khairy Jamaluddin’s Facebook post in September about a new mission from MyCorps, a launchpad for Malaysian youth to develop into empowered individuals with extraordinary abilities and character resilience through an intensive training and life-changing international volunteer programme.

Out of 1,110 applicants, 435 were called for interviews and Nadia was one of the 45 volunteers who was selected for the MyCorps: Middle East mission.

“Currently, I am in charge for media; to cover all activities, report and update social media in all camps in Jordan. My team of four will be deployed there and are made up of a doctor, engineer, videographer and pharmacist,” she said.

Nadia has 15,000 followers on Facebook due to her travel story which went viral on social media last year. With the rapid increase of followers, she wants to use this opportunity to create more awareness of her voluntary work. She usually posts on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, while YouTube and Vimeo are her channels to post videos.

At the time of the interview, Nadia is doing the pre-departure training which has a tight schedule with classes and practicals on the field.

“During pre-registration, I faced a few difficulties especially handing my work over to another colleague because I decided to resign just for this mission. But I am grateful I have helpful colleagues who ease that challenge.

“During training, the tight schedule leads to time constraints to buy things in preparation to depart. But I am grateful to have a good circle who helped me buy my needs such as socks, heat packs and tights,” Nadia said.

One joyful moment is during Urgent Deployment where they need to go to seven checkpoints. They travel by hitchhiking which is what makes it enjoyable. They managed to get rides from lorries, trailers, four-wheel drives and many more.

“It shows that Malaysians are generous and helpful citizens regardless of race and religion. Some even buy us food and contribute money. We started at Cheras and then to Gombak, Bentong, Benta, Gua Musang, Lojing and ending at Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands,” Nadia said.

For a good cause, Nadia bid her favourite and highest sentimental value item she had – The Beatles Monopoly. It was hard for her to let it go but she said what’s the point in keeping it in the cupboard when on the other side of the world there are kids starving?

“In the name of humanity, I decided to let go my collection without any regret. I am actually surprised by the responses from the bidders. I bought it for AUD$99 in Perth, Australia in 2009 and the highest bid was RM1,100. I am glad I decided to let it go and give smiles to Syrian kids,” she said.

Nadia hopes to send the message from the song Living for Tomorrow by the Scorpions which says “stop to take, start to give”. Her favourite quote is “If not now, then when? If not you, then who?”

“In whatever you do, do it with all your heart. Never feel comfortable when you are the top, always keep your heart low and always look for those who are at the bottom. I have a dream to reach my arms around the globe regardless of religion, race or country,” she said.

Her goal for the mission is to help the refugees with their emotions and needs. Once she is back she wants to refine a proper structure for her team so she can go further in achieving her dreams to help the world.