I VOLUNTEER my services at a soup kitchen. From time to time, undergraduates join us to help pack the food and distribute it. All soup kitchens welcome such extra help.
The initiative by some private universities in the Klang Valley to have a programme to encourage their students to engage in community work is commendable. The undergraduates are given an opportunity to interact with certain deprived segments of the community and create special bonds with the population being served. In addition, they become more aware of how blessed they are compared to the homeless and urban poor.
For the community services rendered, the universities reward these students with credit hours in the computation of the total credit hours earned for the completion of their degree requirements. It is a win-win-win situation for the students, universities and the community.
I have seen many batches of students come and go. I always emphasise to them that they should continue their volunteer service after the completion of their course work or degree programme and that it should not be a one-off thing.
The truth is that only a minute fraction of these youngsters ever come back to contribute their services in helping out in the soup kitchen. Hopefully, the youngsters and students reading this letter will make it a priority to do voluntary community service whenever time permits without expecting anything in return.