Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam was recently chosen as the first recipient of a public donation drive launched by AFS Malaysia in conjunction with the UN’s International Day of Living in Peace.
Board members of AFS Malaysia sponsored Ain Husniza to take part in its interactive AFS Global You Changemaker program as recognition and appreciation of her courage, bravery and tenacity in encouraging not only her peers but also students around Malaysia to voice out problems they face in school through her #makeschoolasaferplace initiative, which has since gone viral.
“AFS Malaysia promotes Active Global Citizens and Ain Husniza fits the bill,” said Puan Khalilah Dato’ Mohd Talha, chairperson of AFS Malaysia. “We have a unique opportunity and obligation to make global skills more accessible to young people. AFS is fortunate to have a virtual learning program that we can adapt and offer to teens around the globe.”
Global You Changemaker is a 12-week online education program which focuses on Active Global Citizenship and creating social impact. Teens aged 15-17 years old will develop their identities as Active Global Citizens, connect with peers around the world, and learn strategies from experts to begin social impact projects in their communities. Upon successfully completing the online modules, live sessions and project prototype, they will receive an Advanced Certificate on Global Citizenship for Social Impact issued by AFS and the Center for Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania.
AFS Malaysia’s donation campaign, launched on Instagram on May 17, aims to raise funds to allow students to become Active Global Citizens through its interactive virtual programs like Global You Changemaker and AFS Global You Adventurer. The latter is for 14-17 year old students who will join fellow teens from different countries online to explore current issues through the eyes of their peers over the course of 5 weeks.
Both programs are among two innovative digital products produced by AFS to ensure that despite the Covid-19 pandemic effect on international student mobility, Active Global Citizenship must continue.
AFS has combined its 75 years of expertise running educationally-proven exchange programs in more than 60 countries with its recent expansion into digital learning for adult learners to create the AFS Global You programs.
“AFS Malaysia has suspended our physical exchange programs since March 2020 because of the pandemic. We are however, poised to restart the in-person exchanges and are optimistic that this can happen by the end of the year. In the meantime, we hope that Malaysian parents and students will consider taking the Global You Changemaker and Global You Adventurer, which still give the opportunity for students to meet with their peers from other countries,” added Puan Khalilah.
Ain Husniza is a 17 year-old schoolgirl who recently created waves when she took a male teacher to task on Tik Tok for trivializing rape in a classroom discussion. Her video went viral overnight, sparking a nationwide debate on sex education, misogyny and sexual violence in Malaysia, subjects which are often considered taboo. She created the hashtag #MakeSchoolaSaferPlace to encourage other teenagers to come forward about problems they face at school, including other issues such as racism.
Her courage in continuing to highlight the issue despite the backlash she received, which includes a rape threat from a schoolmate and lewd remarks about her appearance from some social media users, has emboldened some female school teachers to come forward and speak about the sexual harassment and discrimination they face at work.