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Interview with Talisman Newsletter

Questions for Mr Anas Alam Faizli

 1.     State which department you work in (Talisman) and job title

Projects department, Project Coordinator

2.     What’s your involvement in Teach For The Needs (TFTN)?

I am one of the five of the organization’s board of trustees and I’m in charge of policy and research. As non-teacher volunteer, I pioneered the formal incorporation and structuring for the startup organization of 120 volunteers. This involves charting of organizational strategy, policies, operating procedures and matters relating to partnerships with related bodies, promotional activities and fund-raising. Specifically, I design and maintain structured evaluation tools to monitor our students’ test results and manage a database of non-teacher volunteers.

3.     On average, how much time do you spend in offering your service to the community?

I define serving the community as a perpetual consciousness over community issues and one’s surroundings, as well as a continuous commitment to causes that you have chosen to pursue. Thus, I don’t consider myself serving a specific number of hours to serve the community, rather as and when there is need and opportunity for me to conduct meetings, discuss, pitch or write on TFTN. These are usually conducted in the evenings or during the weekends.

4.     What inspired you to be part of TFTN?

I have always been personally concerned with two overbearing issues which are; (1) Equal opportunities and Inclusiveness for all and (2) Efficient use of Malaysia’s vast resources (mainly petroleum). I believe Malaysia can be more efficient at managing and ensuring the distribution of its wealth, which can only stem from a fair distribution of opportunities for the population. This is impossible to achieve, if gaps in opportunities exist even at the primary education level. TFTN aims to directly address the issue by providing out-of-school tuition, which is now a “must” for Malaysian school children to succeed in public examinations, to less-fortunate students. Roughly 3.0 percent of the 3.0 million primary school-going pupils in Malaysia fall under this category; with household incomes below the poverty line. Made of a team of benevolent, young, qualified teachers who commit to these tuition classes without monetary compensation, I was inspired to support them administratively and strategically. TFTN is a very nimble modeI, providing a platform for teacher-volunteers across the nation to ride on, and independently contribute in their own local schools and communities. I believe TFTN’S flexibility can be successfully implemented nationwide on a larger basis, once we get funding and direction sorted.

5.     Will you encourage your colleagues to be part of TFTN? How can they contribute if they are interested?

I would encourage fellow colleagues to be part of any cause such as TFTN. Every individual’s involvement or commitment, whether time, monetary or effort, is important in creating further awareness amongst the Malaysian professional circles. If interested, TFTN really welcome contributions to our funds, which mainly finances educational materials for tuition classes, as well as training and development programs as TFTN’s value add for our teacher volunteers. It is also a focus of TFTN now to recruit more qualified public school teachers to volunteer with our cause. Colleagues with family members, relatives or acquaintances, who are teachers, are encouraged to recommend and promote TFTN’s cause.

6.     People rarely do community service on their own and it’s usually with the initiative of an organization or a company that employees get involve. If an individual is keen on doing something for the community, how do they start?

Here are my suggestions: Step one is to consider the cause that you are most interested in and are very concerned with. Interest and suitability of the cause to your personal views and principles, is important in ensuring continued interest and commitment on your part. Step two is to either start, or commit to an existing organization. Working in concert is always better than working alone; they drive you and expand your network indirectly. Step three is to identify close friends, your spouse, or your close relatives to share your cause to allow continuous discussions and consciousness. Lastly, have a Facebook account, if you don’t already have one. Conversations, sharing, information dissemination and event organizing is made much simpler with social networking; it will give you a sense of community-living and part of a meaningful venture.

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