By: Noorazzalea bt. Gazali (YP’16 to Argentina)
Damansara Chapter committee

Rumah Bonda hosted a volunteering event that was held on 13th and 14th June, 2020. This event was to pack 1,200 care packages filled with daily essentials such as rice, cooking oil, biscuits, tea and coffee. Face masks were also included in these packages which were to be air-flown to Sabah and Sarawak to aid communities that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several AFS volunteers volunteered on the second day of the event. Although it was the final day, many people still showed up to help make it a success. The event began at 10AM with a briefing by the organizers. We were informed of the program and were then segregated into multiple teams to make sure that the event of the day would flow smoothly. We were instructed to follow the SOP which was to wear face masks and we were provided with bottled hand sanitizers throughout the event. After a quick breakfast provided by the organizers, all volunteers got ready at their stations. Some of us were in charge of packing the essentials into the care packages whereas the rest were assigned to wheel these boxes to each station and stack them in an orderly manner. 

Thanks to the extensive amount of manpower that we had, we were able to pack the care packages efficiently. Before 12PM, we had finished most of the boxes to be packed. We took a short break while the supply of rice was being replenished. Once the organizers replenished the packets of rice, we resumed our work. We managed to finish packing the remaining care packages without a hitch.  After labelling the completed care packages, our male volunteers helped to load them into the waiting trucks. According to the organizers, at least 400 care packages were packed on that day. We ended the event with a group photo and everyone parted ways, feeling fulfilled and satisfied. 

We would like to express our gratitude to Rumah Bonda and AFS Malaysia for coordinating this volunteering opportunity. Due to the restricted Movement Control Order, physical volunteering opportunities were rare and many expressed their happiness to be able to come down to the field and volunteer again.  Should another opportunity arise, we, AFS volunteers, would like to help in any way we can. Through this event, all of us managed to rediscover the beauty of volunteering once again after a few months in confinement. We are glad to have been given the chance to give back to the community during these very difficult times.  Indeed, volunteering truly is good for the heart and soul.