Seventeen year old Esther from Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, discusses making home awareness videos to help stop the spread of COVID-19, as part of the Voluntary Service section for her Gold Award.

Tell us about your Award journey – why did you decide to start your Award?

Throughout my Award journey, l have learnt and experienced a lot of new things which helped me to face challenges in life. I have also gained self-confidence, and at the same time I have learnt the very essence of leadership and realized that not all learning happens in classroom.

I got to know about the Award programme through my school. I started the Award to become a better person in life and to gain the benefits from it.

What do you like about the Award?

The components are really challenging and interesting as well. It has really brought me to a new world that is full of ups and downs and I’ve also had so many new opportunities  to help people  and to be involved in Voluntary Service and to be able to learn living skills.

What sort of challenges are you facing in your day-to-day life, as a result of COVID-19? How has this impacted you?

Challenges that I face during  Covid-19 are doing school homework online , not being able in be involved in programmes , not being able to go to school and having  a lot of time alone.

Is the Award helping you to deal with any of these challenges? If so, how?

Yes. The Award has helped me to spend my time in a useful way such as, completing my Gold diary, doing Voluntary Service from home by making videos regarding covid-19 and ways to prevent it. Furthermore, I have also helped out people with financial needs by giving out their details to the person in charge of our volunteering programme due to COVID-19. By being part of the Award, I now have access to a lot of information regarding free education and free books through the social media of my Award group which really helped me out.

Have you had to adapt your Award activities as a result of COVID-19? If so, how?

Yes. For my Skills, I have searched and learned a lot of new techniques and have practised them at home. I learned those techniques by watching YouTube videos which really helped me lot.

Have you found any interesting solutions to help you continue with your Award during COVID-19?

Interesting solutions to carry on doing the Award from home include face time with my fellow Award participants, collecting pictures for my gold report and completing our diaries. Not only that, we have also posted a lot of awareness videos on social media as a part of our Voluntary Service. It’s been really fun!

Are you using your Award (and particularly your Voluntary Service section) to help your community deal with the challenges of COVID-19? If so, how?

Yes. By using social media as a platform to upload video’s regarding COVID-19 as an awareness to the community as many people do not have access to the most up to date briefings or safety checks.

Do you think being involved with the Award helps you and your community at this time? If so, how?

Yes. because by being involved I have been able to spend my time in a good, useful way so I feel less lonely and at the same time I am able to help out people in need by alerting them to latest COVID news.