Community & U: Leadership and Volunteerism Challenge Project by Soroptopmist International, Malaysia.

 
Group photo of this event. Part of the activities. 
 
Students hanging up the plants. One for the memory.
Six students from KDU University College, Glenmarie succeeded in securing runners up at the recently concluded Community Social Responsibility project by Soroptomist International , Malaysia was held on the 8th of December 2018. Soroptomist International is a global volunteer movement with 75,000 members in 132 countries with the objective of encouraging education, empowerment and opportunities for women and girls.

Soroptomist International , Malaysia the first approached various universities with an awareness campaign for the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals;  these goals were the blueprint to achieve a better sustainable future for all. The campaign progressed to a project challenge where participating universities were required to kick-start a project with a financial grant of RM2000 to integrate the 17 UN Sustainable Goals.

The aptly KDU team name, “Lettuce Feed You” is led by Isis Lo Tze Yen who promptly encouraged her previous classmates from Foundation Studies to join the team. They came up with the sustainable idea of a vertical farm that would reuse waste from food, offices and nature to create compost; this would then feed the vertical garden as natural fertiliser for growth. The idea was included in an organic farming to cater for students and staff of the university and eventually to the University restaurants. With the original grant of RM2000, the team designed a structure that would house the vertical garden and outsourced the design for construction.

The construction of the vertical garden relied on the collection of used mineral water bottles that would house the leafy greens; the team split the responsibilities and ensured all items properly were procured through means of recycling.

Soroptomist International Malaysia visited the site on 16th November 2018, they were impressed with the progression of the team, gave them ideas how to move forward. Fuelled with new ideas and feedbacks, the team continued to work on the garden simultaneously preparing themselves for their academic examinations. As the results have shown, they were duly awarded the runners up prize or RM2000 with certificates alongside Sunway University who took home the first prize.
 
On the future expansion of the vertical garden, the team intends to propose the structural design to secondary schools in the Klang Valley for awareness of sustainable farming in Malaysia. The team is also increasing the structure growth area with the leftover funds from the Soroptomist project to accommodate more vegetables to cater for the University restaurants and the possibility of aquaponics in the near future. The insight gained from the leadership course provided for, was extremely beneficial to the team as they look forward to the next project together.

Lettuce Feed You (KDU Team) comprises of students from Bachelor of Mass Communication (Hons), Bachelor of Business (Hons) and Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons). These courses are home grown and offered at KDU University College, Glenmarie Campus where KDU holistic education focuses on application of life projects into the syllabus for overall graduate capability readiness.