Panel Discussion report 12: “creating a better society through volunteerism”

1)      Overview of point discuss

Volunteerism has been seen as a key word in the concept of civil society around the world today. Volunteerism is the care of the humanity that comes from the heart of an individual without hoping anything in return. In our panel discussion, we have agreed to talk about:

  1. The importance of volunteerism in civil society,

  2. The benefits of becoming volunteer,

  3. Experience as a volunteer and

  4. Problems faced during volunteering.

  5. Reasons of joining volunteerism

  6. How to make volunteerism more effective

  7. The benefits of volunteerism to the society

  8. How to attract more people to volunteer

2)      Process

Panel discussion has always been seen as one of the most important requirement to university’s students. Hence, to fulfill the requirements we were once again required to arrange ourselves in a group of five persons to have one panel discussion. As my group mates who are Nasir Ahmad from Maldives, Rianti Rozalina from Indonesia, Shahista Shagufa Mahboob and Azrina Johara Bibi from Fiji and me myself Raja Siti Nurfarah from Malaysia, we have all agreed to choose the topic of “Creating a Better Society through Volunteerism”.

During the discussion of choosing the topic and the role, I could say that we have agreed to each other opinions for most of the time. We did not face any problem to decide on the role but somehow choosing a topic was a bit challenge for our team. At first we could not come out with a good topic until we finally came out with the idea of choosing volunteerism as the topic where then we narrow it down to focus on “Creating a better Society through Volunteerism”.

Going through with the panel discussion session, we have agreed to have two rounds to talk for each one of us. After further discussion, the first round has been divided for Azrina and Rianti to talk about the importance of volunteerism in civil society and the benefits of becoming volunteer while, me and Shahista have been given the responsibilities to talk about our experience as a volunteer and problems faced during volunteering with the responsibility as a moderator been given to Nasir.

Continued with the second round, we have specially been assigned to talk on different thing so that variety during the discussion could be seen. As the first panelist, Azrina has talked about the reason she joined volunteerism while Rianti as the second speaker elaborated more on making volunteerism more effective by being open minded and well-observed. Continued with the third speaker where Shahista then highlighted on how the society has benefited by the volunteerism where she mentioned about volunteerism can make a difference to other’s lives and successfully connecting people. Last but not least, I have given my thought on some ideas to attract more people to volunteer such as make a campaign with the presence of top speaker who has great experiences in volunteering and also prepare a poster with motivational and inspiring quotes so that it looks more interesting.

3)      Implementation

I can gladly say that I was very satisfied with the whole process of this panel discussion. I was happily worked and cooperated well with my group mate and we somehow ended up great on the presentation day. I could happily announce that my group mates has gave their full commitment and cooperation from the day we have decided to be in one group until the end of our panel discussion.

Moreover, I have learned a lot of things from this panel discussion as we shared our ideas and opinions. The satisfaction comes when we could deliver our speech as we want to and we succeed on doing that. The strength of the panel discussion comes when we talked about our own experience where I think it was a good point that we could really relate our discussion and our real experience. I was satisfied that we have decided to choose this topic and brought up our own experience so that the audience could feel more real and attracted to our discussion. However, there was still some dissatisfaction where I personally think that we could do better in our discussion like we could be more confidence on our presentation and performed well on that day. I also think that the weakness of our group’s presentation was when the audience could not understand well on what we were trying to deliver on them.

4)      Learning/Reflection

I am gladly to say that this panel discussion has taught me a lot of new things like I become aware on different opinions from my group mates. I have learnt that discussion could teach you a lot of things where you could get new ideas, opinions and arguments from different kind of people and therefore you can discuss on it to get one final decision.

Other than that, I have also learnt that cooperation is very important element to work as a team. Therefore, I have been given my full commitment and I am grateful that the other team mates have shown their full cooperation in this group. The other thing was during the presentation where we had fully supported from our group members and that kind of support has made everything smooth and clear. I personally believe that a support from group members is a crucial thing for the whole team to perform well and I was thankful that my group could perform well with all the supports.

Finally, at the last session of the panel discussion we had a question and answer session where the audience has been given the opportunity to ask question from us as a panelist. During this session, one of the audience has misinterpret our presentation when he mentioned that he does not think Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA) that most of us as a UGP students are part of it as a volunteer work since many of the students does not feel happy with the field work. As to answer that question, Azrina has corrected to him that she does not mention of SLA as a volunteer work so that we could finally clear the misunderstanding. Rianti also then corrected their statement by saying that volunteerism is actually depends on the will of the individuals itself. There might be some of the students who think SLA as volunteer work while the others do not feel so. I was glad that we could manage to answer the question as well as we could defend our statement without hurting anybody else.

5)      Conclusion

As a conclusion, I am very glad that we have successfully done our presentation despite of the circumstances we had faced before, during and after the panel discussion session. Although this was not my first time doing it as we have been exposed of the panel discussion since the foundation studies, but I do still learnt a lot of new things and every time doing a panel discussion given me different useful experienced. Whether it was before, during or after the presentation, this volunteerism topic has really made me become more rigid to join volunteer work so that I can make myself useful to the community. I was fully immersed with this topic and I found it very useful to help me care more of the community as a human being.

6)      References

http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/volunteerism/ as retrieved on July 15, 2013.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteering as retrieved on July 14, 2013.

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