Diversity & Inclusion Youth Camp 2017 Widen Students’ Perspective In Meeting Global Challenges

 
The participants of 5th Diversity & Inclusion Youth Camp having their group discussions session. Students collage as part of the introduction session.
  
KDU students – Represent!  
Global encounters and varied cultural experiences will definitely widen students’ perspectives. Hence, beside academic trainings, KDU University College encourages students to appreciate multiple, competing, diverse points of view that eventually allows them to be more effectively meet emerging global challenges with full confidence.  
 
In line with this, KDU had sent eight students to participate in the 5th Diversity & Inclusion Youth Camp held from 24 to 27 March. This year’s event was co-organised by KDU University College (KDU), University Technology Malaysia (UTM), Sampoerna University (SU) and HarmonyWorks Facilitations. KDU’s student-representatives were specially selected according to their active involvement in extracurricular activities.

The theme for this year’s camp was “Sowing the Seeds of Diversity & Inclusion – Developing Global Perspectives”. Students from educational institutions across the ASEAN region got together in Johor to explore and embrace thoughts and topics related to diversity and inclusion. During the 4-day 3-night camp, students gained the chance to discover new ideas and values, and acquire new skills and wound up as ambassadors of this movement.
 
Gan Yi Ling, one of the participants and a Bachelor of Communication (Hons) student at KDU, said, “The first day started with a self-introduction.  The collage of the things that we liked was really useful and helpful for us to introduce our self, hence the session was fun and interesting. In the following days, I got to know more and more people from different races, religion and places, and countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Pakistan and not forgetting my fellow Malaysians from various states.”
 
“Despite the different races, religions, places of origin, we learn, eat and have fun together. From the video that I watched, ‘The Imam and the Pastor’, I learned forgiveness. Even though they (the characters in the movie) have problems between both of them, but they chose to forgive each other. This opened my eyes to being more forgiving in the future,” she continued.
 
Whereas for Aliff Sadiid, a Bachelor of Accounting (Hons) student, “The most valuable thing I have learned from this camp is, more than the major differences in culture, faith, and gender, diversity stretches out to something as small as individual preferences, as ambiguous as personal opinions, and many other aspects. It was during the camp that I discovered how diversified my surroundings have always been. The key to diversity and inclusion is to first and foremost identify and acknowledge the differences and strive to understand.”
 
“During the last day, we had the opportunity to do a group performance on embracing diversity.  For me, I am able to know the dances of different countries such as Indonesia, China and Pakistan. I appreciate the time to practice with my group members even though it was very tiring but I still love it,” said Cheng Sing Ying, another Bachelor of Communication (Hons) student. 
 
To inculcate the values of diversity and inclusion amongst KDU students, a comprehensive and ongoing learning process similar to the camp is required and will be included as part of the various events to be organised under KDU’s Culturation initiative. Hence, for all participants, the end of the camp marks not the end of the journey but the beginning of it.