PR students demonstrate their advocacy for CSR
With actions speaking louder than words, a series of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, organised by a group of 49 Bachelor of Communication (Honours) Public Relations (PR) students, proved impactful, when the participants learnt about matters concerning the economy, environment, and social demands of the local communities. The CSR activities were part of the course requirement of UAMP 3084 Corporate Social Responsibility. The students were divided into smaller sub-groups to conduct the activities online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Having experienced first-hand of the pandemic, the students from Group 7 organised a “Proper Disposal of Used Face Masks Campaign” from 27 July to 23 August 2020, via UTAR PR CSR Project Facebook page and Google Meet. In view of the increasing use of face masks and environmental pollutions, the students organised this campaign to educate the public about the proper disposals of used face masks, as well as the consequences of improper disposal of face masks towards the environment. They even created a challenge #buangbetulbetulchallenge as a way to encourage the public to follow the proposed steps of proper disposal of used face masks.
“Face masks are very important in our current situation, because, as we know, the masks protect us from the virus. While the masks protect us from the virus, we should not forget our responsibility to the environment. This includes proper disposal of the used face masks, so that we can avoid polluting the environment. We must also remember that our actions have consequences, so we should be mindful of how we dispose our wastes,” advised Group 7 Chairperson Teh Siok Chin. The campaign ended successfully, with gratitude to the sponsors, namely Restaurant Jia Kampar and Roti Ayam Kampar, who supported and contributed to the campaign. The sponsors also sponsored five e-vouchers which worth more than RM150 to the winner of #buangbetulbetulchallenge.
Another group that advocated for the environment, was Group 8, with its members organising a “3R Campaign” from 7 to 13 August 2020, via Facebook live. In view of the lacking recycling practice among the public, the group aimed to use the campaign as an educational platform to promote and educate the public about the effective use of recyclable and reusable items to reduce waste. The group also hoped that the campaign would inspire people to start and maintain a recycling habit in their daily lives.
The campaign, which highlighted that the recycling rate had increased from 5% to 17.5% from 2005 to 2018, also emphasised that the amount of general waste generated in Malaysia continues to increase. Therefore, the campaign also brought awareness to the participants on the high usage of plastics and the lack of proper waste management by Malaysians. The group hoped to encourage the public to take responsibility for the environment, do their part and reduce pollution through recycling, reusing, and reducing waste properly. To further educate the participants on reusing items, an online handcraft workshop was also conducted to demonstrate the many uses of waste materials that many thought were trash.
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, Group 5, also advocated for an issue that was on the rise during the pandemic; domestic violence. With their campaign “Say No to Domestic Violence”, the group organised an online awareness talk on 14 August 2020 via Facebook live.
“During the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) by the Malaysian Government, it was reported that the cases of domestic violence were increasing. We understand that those were trying times for many of the families, but ultimately, violence is not the solution to the problems. So we hope to educate the participants and the public about domestic violence, how to recognise the signs and how sharing information and knowledge can help those around them,” said Group 5 Chairperson Chua Jing Yi.
The group also invited Mary Anne Joseph from Perak Women for Women Society to give a talk on domestic violence. She provided participants insights on domestic violence and taught them precaution tips for everyone to keep in mind. She also advised all females to voice out with courage when they are facing any domestic abuse. The speaker also interacted with the participants, and an interactive Q&A session ensued. UTAR student Dennis Ooi was also invited to perform at the mini concert organised.
Meanwhile, in another awareness campaign organised on 9 August 2020, via Facebook live, the “B40: You Know but You Are Not Aware” educated the participants and the community of New Wah Loong Village about the people belonging in the B40 income group. Motivated by the effects of the MCO towards households and individuals of B40 income group, and the financial affliction faced by them, the campaign also aimed to bring to attention the various struggles faced by the B40 income group.
The highlight of the campaign was the exclusive interview session with Chairman of Persatuan Kebajikan Penduduk Kawasan Kampar as well as the former village chief of New Wah Loong Village from 2014 – 2017 Daniel Wa Wai How. He shared his insights regarding the B40 income group, along with a documentary video that showcased an in depth look of the living environment and housing conditions in New Wah Loong Village. Followed after was an interactive Q&A session.
In the quest to promote and inculcate reading among the community, Group 2 organised “Read More, Learn More” campaign on 19 August 2020, via Facebook live. Through this campaign, the students also promoted the relocation of U-Liang Library in Sungai Durian New Village. Moreover, the campaign featured a documentary video of Sungai Durian New Village, U-Liang Library and an interview session with the library personnel to encourage the participants to visit U-Liang Library, especially in the difficult times of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Apart from informing the participants about the relocation of the library, we also want them to learn more about the village and the library. Most importantly, we want the children of the village to inculcate reading habits which will benefit their learning. We also hope to emphasise the importance of reading and lifelong learning, as we too were taught about lifelong learning in UTAR,” said Group 2 Chairperson Ooi Jing Kai.
Group 6, on the other hand, promoted Kampar, through their campaign “Traverse Kampar”, organised from 21 to 22 August 2020, via Facebook live. The aim of the campaign was to share life stories of local businesses affected by the pandemic and the challenges they faced.
“I hail from Malacca and some of my friends come from Kedah and Johor. During the outbreak, we were unable to return to Kampar and we were heartbroken knowing that Kampar was also affected. Although we came from different places, Kampar was the very place where our paths crossed, and being inspired by this, we wanted to promote Kampar, which also became our second home. We want to take this opportunity to inform the public about Kampar’s attractive areas and delicacies to help boosts its local economy,” said Group Chairperson Ti Kai Ming.
He added, “Life stories shared by the local businesses also provided the group data and important insights, including the fact that most of the local business in Kampar relies heavily on students. Therefore, we decided to also use this campaign to provide private sectors and government agencies an insight into the current situation of these local businesses, and hopefully to lend them a helping hand.”
The campaign featured sharing sessions by Deputy Director of the Kinta Tin Mining (Gravel Pump) Museum Jacky Chew. He spoke about the history and culture of Kampar; and I Culture Berhad (I Culture) representatives shared their unique personal views of Kampar.