Be A Volunteer

Updated: 23 Feb 2009
Be a volunteer

By Rosheen Fatima

Sometimes, when you don’t have anything to give but your time, it can be more powerful and meaningful than anything else. That personal touch can bring so much more to the issues and lives involved.

With the abundance of human rights atrocities committed on a daily basis around the world (especially of late), at times it can feel like there is nothing that can be done. However, organisations such as Amnesty International are imperative in the fight to stop international human rights abuses and violations of the Geneva convention.

Amnesty International works on human rights topics such as prisoners of conscience, torture, refugees, GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) rights, as well as evaluating situations and human rights practices by the governments around the world.

Volunteers get the chance to organise campaigns, help in the office, run local branches while campaigning for human rights for all. To volunteer, give the office a call or drop them an email stating your interests and schedule.
Amnesty International Malaysia, A-3-3A, 8 Avenue, Jalan Sungai Jernih, 8/1, Section 8, PJ. (03 7955 2680 / website).

Ever dreamt of working with wild animals? Most kids go through aHippo - photo credit to meelin/sxc.hu phase where they want to be a veterinarian or a marine biologist. Now this is your chance to live out your childhood dreams. Well, sort of.

The National Zoo’s volunteer programme is open to anyone above the age of 16, who is willing to help at the zoo in any appropriate capacity. Volunteers will be required to help out in any of the relevant areas such as promotions, research, keeper aid (helping the keeper with great apes, monkeys, big cats, hoofstock and the like), grounds and horticulture, photography, enrichment, education, resource centre and graphic design.

To sign up to be a Zoo Negara volunteer, print out the volunteer form from their website and post it to them, or drop by the zoo and fill up the form on the spot. All those below the age of 18 require parental approval.
Zoo Negara Malaysia, Hulu Kelang, Ampang, KL. (03 4108 2219 / website). Open daily 9am-5pm.

With all the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS, it is imperative that we make an effort to truly understand the disease and help to educate others regarding the facts. In today’s day and age, there are no more excuses for being ignorant of the facts behind HIV and AIDS.

One way of educating yourself would be to volunteer for the MalMalaysian Aids Council volunteers at event in Berjaya Times Squareaysian Aids Council. Volunteers can choose to be a one-off volunteer, or to volunteer on a regular and ongoing basis, they can also choose to volunteer on a project basis, for organisation committees, for education and awareness, publications or creative productions, fund raising, special events, or care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS. These options are given when filling out the volunteer form available on the website.
Malaysian Aids Council, 12, The Boulevard Shop Office, Jalan 13/48A, Off Jalan Sentul, KL. (03 4045 1033 / website).

The All Women’s Action Society Malaysia aims to improve the lives of women in Malaysia, by lobbying for a just, democratic and equitable society with respect and equality for both genders, free from discrimination and violence.

If you are interested in helping out, fill out the online volunteer form on their website. Tick the areas which interest you and you would like to work on. These areas include public education, administration, para counselling, alliance building, fund raising and public events.
All Women’s Action Society, 85, Jalan 21/1, 46300, PJ. (03 7877 4221 / website).

The Kasih Hospice depends a lot on volunteers and their kindness. Prospective volunteers are required to undergo a basic training course, which teaches volunteers the principle of hospice care, skillful means in hospice care, the family as a unit of care and the Buddhist perspective of death and dying.

Being a hospice volunteer is rather different to volunteering at most other places. Here the patient needs care and friendship, with the volunteer providing support and caring for the patient. Other areas for volunteers in Kasih Hospice are administration and fund raising. To volunteer, just email them.
Kasih Hospice, 7 Jalan 14/29, Section 14, PJ. (03 7960 7424 / website).

Love cuddling up to cats and dogs? Then this is the perfect opportunity for you. The Paws Animal Welfare Society needs volunteers Cats playingwho are willing to cuddle, play and pet kittens and puppies, as well as fully grown cats and dogs. This allows them to get used to human contact, making them more friendly, therefore more likely to be adopted.

Other than that, you can also help out by doing one of the many odd-jobs around the compound. These include painting and repairing fences, cage cleaning, feeding, changing dirty newspapers, refilling bowls, bottle feeding, hosing down floors, giving dogs a bath, dog grooming and walking, or even teaching them a trick (which also raises the chances of adoption).

Volunteers are required to fill out an application form, which is available on the Paws website. A form is also available for volunteers under the age of 18, who require parental consent.
PAWS Animal Welfare Society, Pilmoor Estate, Subang Airport Road, Subang. (03 7846 1087 / website). Thur-Tue, 9am-4pm; closed on Wed.

Even if you can’t spare the time to volunteer, you can still donate, whether in cash or kind. Or you can just spread awareness, let those around you know how to get involved, and what there is to be involved in. Because every little bit counts.