By Annie Yap

Antarabudaya Malaysia’s National Office organized a virtual Chapter Presidents (or CP) Meeting recently as the group had not officially met ever since 16 months ago when the global pandemic hit and MCOs were enforced. 

There was representation from every chapter which was quite an achievement. The meeting kick-started with a flurry of hellos crisscrossing the virtual room.  This was followed by an ice breaking session where everyone was to act out funny faces when instructed by the host.  The 5 minutes’ “warm up” segment got everybody laughing and feeling comfortable.  Certainly, there was a sense of happiness and relief to see each other again.  

The main purpose of the meeting was to get feedback on the chapters’ state of readiness about hosting again in 2022. Departments also shared updates with Chapter Presidents. People Organization & Development Department, External Relations Department and Programs Department took turns to present the latest state of affairs, and chapters were then asked to fill up a response form on hosting in 2022.  

National Director, Atty Sulaiman, closed the meeting with a stirring speech where she thanked the volunteers for believing in the mission of AFS despite the many challenges brought about by the pandemic. She expressed hope that all chapters were ready to resume volunteering activities again after the enforced time-off to “recuperate”. She shared how the global pandemic has caused a serious dent to the organization’s finances.  “We now have to stack up the building blocks once again to strengthen our financial heartbeat, and we look forward to working together with everyone to bring the organization back to its former glory,” Atty added.

The night ended on a high note with the usual noisy group photo.  Everybody then bade one another farewell with the mantra of recent times: “Stay safe!”