By Nurin Syahmina binti Sharif (YES18) 

A good friend once told me about this saying: “the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do”.

I attended a YES Changemaker workshop in Virginia, US in November 2021 precisely for this reason. That week inspired me enough to believe that I can change the world or maybe a community. After all, it is more realistic to start small and let the ripple effect take over. 

Developing an action plan for implementing an impactful changemaking project in a community is an extensive task. Thankfully, this workshop provided comprehensive guidelines and tools for it. One of the things that caught my attention was the concept of “Finding your sweet spot”. In order to have an impactful changemaking project, we need to combine our skills and passions and identify the problems we need to tackle. The midpoint of these three is the sweet spot. It is what keeps us going in helping others. It makes us feel excited and satisfied in doing our project. When the skills and passions we have hit the sweet spot, we are determining to solve the problem in our community. Moreover, when it comes to brainstorming ideas, I learned that it is best at the initial stage to use the divergent thinking method. One should expand the thoughts because the sky’s the limit in brainstorming. Then, the SMART goals come in to rationalize the ideas. 

One of the best things from the workshop is the chance to meet YES alumni from other countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Mozambique, Kenya, Turkey, South Africa, and USA. They helped me a lot in giving the confidence I needed to pursue my idea which initially I had not much faith in. I am lucky to have them as such good friends. I also love the fact that the trainers always made us share our thoughts and suggestions about each other’s ideas so that we could make improvements. I was always in awe listening to their perspectives and plans. 

Through this workshop, I gained knowledge from the trainers and was much inspired by other YES Alumni on their hopes and future plans as changemakers. The experience I had gained with street law and the knowledge from this workshop will be great tools for me to continue my dream of promoting legal literacy to the people. Especially to those young enthusiastic underprivileged children who are eager to learn about the law and their rights. Now, I am ready to call myself a changemaker!