Danni Rais







Dear ONEderful members,

The first quarter of the year is coming to a close, and I hope 2017 has been nothing but great for you. Time is never indispensable to mere mortals, and what we make of what we have, determines the impact of our future. Forgive the pun, but certainly this month ONE has been marching ahead, doing all we can in the name of nation building. By all means, we have been keeping ourselves busy.

While the country has been busy with notions of national transformation, sweeping the competition aside in badminton, gaining rainfall that puts our showers to shame, and questioning the innocence of Disney tales, we’ve been caught up in our whirlwind of action too.

On the 4th of February, in conjunction with Chinese New Year, ONE members and volunteers decided to pay a visit to the Charis Sheep Pen Shelter, and old folks home situated in Pudu. A member of ours had heard of the shelter, and having made contact, we decided to bring some CNY cheer to the members of the shelter. In the morning we found ourselves at the Pudu market, and went about buying the ingredients required to cook lunch. Once we managed ourselves around the busy market, we began imagining ourselves to be like contestants on a cooking show, racing against time to ensure that lunch was served on time and prayed just a little harder to ensure the food was edible! In the end, it was the thought that mattered to the kind folks at Charis Sheep Pen Shelter, who certainly seemed delighted that we had made the effort to visit them. Upon their request, we also had to perform, albeit badly, some songs, just to provide basic entertainment. We certainly had fun, and personally, a chinese new year I will remember for a long time. We do plan to visit again, and so I hope to see some new faces there!

Our showcase recently has been the Pitch for Progress event that took place from the 3rd to 5th of March. 111 students from 27 universities joined us for 3 days, culminating in all 37 teams participating in a pitching competition with the aim of improving the perception of Higher Education in the country. All this stemmed from the fact that we are enjoying unprecedented gains in Higher Education; Malaysian university rankings are improving, researching being internationally recognised, students winning international awards, and much more! However, people were not really aware of these positive stories, and that was when we got together with MOHE to come up with the Pitch for Progress event, in line with their Soaring Upwards campaign, and UniKL stepped in as venue partners.

In short, I am proud to say that it was a great success, and we owe it all to the members of ONE who participated, the great team at MOHE who were dedicated all the way through, and the staff of UniKL who ensured that everything went smoothly. Throughout the 3 days, the students were updated on the progress of Soaring Upwards, they got to make new friends through our unique ice breaking methods, they shared their vision of OurFuture 2057, they learnt design thinking and applying that to real world situations, and they learnt about leadership and the art of persuasion. Finally, they pitched their ideas, and 8 finalists were chosen to pitch directly to the Minister, YB Dato Seri Idris Jusoh, who graced us with his presence as Head Judge on the final day. 3 teams walked away with the prizes and an opportunity to work closely with the Ministry as they try to improve the perception of Higher Education in the country. More over, the Minister was ecstatic that this program became a reality. Stay tuned, because we may have more coming soon!

Personally, I had never been happier in running a program like Pitch for Progress, and I am certain that all those present were able to see the enthusiasm and energy that our students have – this is exactly what we need to showcase to the nation!

We have a very interesting 2017 lined up for you, and we are certainly looking forward to the various programs and engagements that we have planned. As usual, we’re always looking to make the ONE family grow, so keep up with us on social media, and I hope to see you soon!

Danni Rais