| Danial Norjidi |
A LEADERSHIP dialogue session with YB Iswandy bin Ahmad, a member of the Legislative Council, took place yesterday as part of the ‘Strayholders Workshop’ organised by the second cohort of the Young Executive Programme.
Held at the Civil Service Institute, the session was attended by 25 youths participating in the workshop.
The three-day Strayholders Workshop is a programme aimed at educating and raising awareness among youths about issues of stray animals apart from developing leadership skills.
According to a press release, the dialogue is expected to enhance leadership skills, especially for organising community activities that will be conducted by participants of the programme.
During the dialogue session, YB Iswandy shared his experience as well as various tips for those who want to start a non-government organisation or a positive movement.
The first tip he shared to the attendees was to identify what cause to focus on. “Start small. When I started my movement, I started at my old school where I knew the teachers,” he said. “Start at your schools, your colleges and raise awareness there.”
Secondly, “Do your homework. Make sure you read a lot about the matter,” he said, highlighting the importance of attaining knowledge on the cause one wishes to focus on. “Read a lot. There is so much you can learn by reading.”
Thirdly, “Map your environment. What is the situation, what is the society and what is the environment that you want to work in and that you want to work for?”
On his fourth point, he shared, “Plan, and then act immediately. If it doesn’t work, change the plan accordingly.” He highlighted that it is important to not spend too much time planning without doing anything.
“Choose your allies,” he said on his fifth point, highlighting that the people you work with “can help you to boost your credibility”. He noted that working with professionals and experts can help with boosting credibility.
He then touched on cost. “Doing voluntary work like this costs money, but I can assure that it’s worth it,” he said. “So you need to plan your way on where you will get the funding.”
Seventh, he highlighted the importance of having a communication and media plan, explaining how social media and news media platforms can help raise public awareness.
The eighth point he shared underlined the importance of conducting face-to-face meetings. “If you have a matter to discuss, sometimes you have to meet the person, unless you have already established a relationship.”
Ninth was monitoring and evaluation. As he explained, “Monitoring and evaluation are basically keeping track of what’s working and how you can make amendments.”
On his 10th and final point, he high-lighted, “Stick to the rules. Whatever activities you are going to do that will affect people or the surroundings, make sure to respect laws and regulations. Don’t do anything that is illegal.”
Attendees were given the opportunity to put forward their queries in a question-and-answer session.