SPARK Leadership Programme goes virtual; provides profound impact on B40 youths

THE SPARK Leadership Programme serves to help Malaysian youth discover their leadership potential; provide essential leadership tools and motivate participants to make a difference in their communities; and encourage unity by building a deeper understanding between cultures and a sense of appreciation for the multicultural society in Malaysia.

Now in its sixth year running, the Programme conducted its first-time and one-of-its-kind experience for the first batch of virtual SPARK campers held on Dec 5, 12 and 19-20, the SPARK Leadership Programme saw 60 campers – majority of whom from B40 communities, embarking on a month-long leadership development programme.

This programme is fully sponsored by ECM Libra Foundation with the support by Leaderonomics Community, a social enterprise dedicated to transforming developing nations through leadership development.

The SPARK Leadership Programme redefined the online camp experience by incorporating experienced facilitators, technologies such as Google Meets and WhatsApp, and engaging sessions and simulations.

From virtual group missions, breakout rooms, live sessions, virtual simulations, and even an online superhero-themed SPARK Night, the variety of online activities that comprised SPARK 2020 engaged campers on a range of competencies. With campers representing each state in Malaysia, the camp also served as a melting pot of cultures, and a testament to unity in diversity of Malaysian youth.

“To have campers braving the conditions imposed by weather, pandemic and even limited infrastructure in order to learn and grow is truly inspiring,” said Leaderonomics Community’s head of youth Connie Lee.

“This success really ignites our fire to continue bringing impact to Malaysian youth in 2021, and we hope that others may also feel encouraged to unite under the banner of hope in braving the new year.”

One of the cornerstones of the SPARK Programme in the past has always been the LEAD Project, a community project planned by the campers throughout the programme and executed on the second-last day. This year’s cohort of campers went above and beyond by carrying out virtual community projects for five underprivileged children’s homes across Malaysia.

From showcasing a virtual tour around the world, a virtual global zoo, teaching English through cooking, journaling steps, online sing-a-longs, social media tips, awareness talks on self-love, and even performances, the ideas were each novel in their own right, bringing hope and joy to the residents of homes in a time when those were rare commodities.

Virtual Community Project with Rumah Anak Yatim Salimah, Kelantan. SPARK Campers teaching home residents how to make curry.

 

Despite facing countless hurdles which included poor infrastructure, challenge of planning the project virtually, language barriers and many more, the campers persevered and made an impact in their communities. Campers then went on to record virtual presentations, which were shown to a panel of judges on the last day.

Another unique element of SPARK was the inclusion of a select group of high potential youths who made it through two rounds of intense auditions, fuelled with the heart and drive to journey with the underprivileged campers and guiding them along the way.

At the same time, they also gained new insights to the lives of others, aiding them in their own leadership journeys. – Feb 4, 2021

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