Monday, July 23, 2012

13th of June, Workshop at SMK catholic

SMK catholic is a mostly chinese-malay school with around 3000
students. When we signed in at the guard-house and were led to the
presentation room by a member of the schools AIDS-club, Elaine. I was
impressed by the school and the attitude of the students, who were
really engaged and creative. They made our presentation much richer by
their input! We demonstrated how AIDS works, how to use condoms and
discussed the modes of transmission of the virus. After our
presentation the students invited us to their canteen and spoiled us
with Malaysias various fruits. Then we received a personlised tour of
the school. For me it was an unforgettable experience, thank you SMK

It was my first day in Malaysia, so it was also my first workshop. I was very curious, because I don't really know what I had to expect. When we started the workshop at the SMK catholic, I could feel the excitement of the students. The students put a lot of energy during the workshop in the discussions and the games. It was really fun! After the workshop the students showed us their school. That was very interesting. We could see how their schools are compared to our schools. You can say that I also learned a lot from them. It was a wonderful first day. Thank you, SMK catholic!

Monday, June 18, 2012

SMK Maxwell Workshop

           June15, 2012
The principal of the school was very very welcoming to the 3 of us who went to perform a workshop in their school. The students were all so cooperative and responsive which made the whole workshop flow well.

 Adjustments and being flexible is, i think, one of the important things in doing a workshop. The audience and how they respond vary. Therefore, the presenters must adjust themselves accordingly as to how they can make their presentation more alive so as to generate cooperation and response from their audience. A lot of impromptus are needed to make the whole workshop interactive too - really! 

And oh! Don't forget about bringing in some yummy prizes like candies! Especially from your own country! They really like them. Like in this picture below, the students were going after Inhye's korean candies! :)

In the end, it's really about how much the students were able to learn from the workshop. And they did score well in the post-test of the presentation. Students from SMK Maxwell are really smart kids! :)

Picture below is taken with the principal of the school.

- Nelson, Natalie and Inhye

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Streetbooth Challenge

Just been around KL, Malaysia for just 5 days and now we have the first challenge -  StreetBooth! :D

Reading from previous intern's blogs somehow gave me a view of what to expect in this challenge but, like what they say, it's really different when you are already on the spot. I was really nervous to approach people waiting at the bus station under Universiti Stesen.

My first encounter was a rejection. But I didn't back down. I braced myself once more and approach another person. This time, I was happy because the next few people I approached were responsive. I opened saying, "Hi! I'm a volunteer from Universiti of Malaya (UM) under AIESEC and I would like to share to you information about HIV/AIDS. Are you ok with that?". And of course, approach them with a SMILE! :D

When they have given their permission already that I can share with them, I made it more interactive. How? Example, if they know what's the difference between HIV and AIDS; if they know how HIV is transmitted to them; how can one prevent oneself from acquiring, etc. This method was helpful in gauging if they are able to remember and comprehend the information. I am surprised by the open reception most people had about this topic and their patience when listening even if it means missing their bus.

So, after approaching more people, I find that this experience was more pleasant and fun than expected. The people were really kind and it was very interesting listening to their stories also. The advantage of conducting StreetBooth near the Universiti is the familiarity people have with UM and the credibility it brings. To our surprise some people were quite knowledgeable of the subject but there is still a significant population that are lacking the basic knowledge about HIV and AIDS. It was a rewarding experience as we able to promote such an important message to the public. Even though it's a small part of the population but it is a start! :D

- Nelson (intern from Canada) and Natalie (intern from the Philippines)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mystery Shopping in Sangria Island Gay Club (4th May, 2012)

Last time when I had gone for mystery shopping to Blue Boy gay bar, there were no volunteers and hence my assessments were based on the general views on PTF, safe sex and things related to these lines. I was very excited for my trip this time to Sangria Island gay club since I had two friends with me- a Chinese girl called Sabrina Zhou and the new Korean intern Inhye Park. We had reached by 1am since we found it a little hard to get the taxi. Sadly, by the time we entered, we realised that the PTF volunteers were leaving. Nevertheless, we talked to so many people and found out so many things.
 On asking around about the volunteers, many of them replied “No, I don’t know what you are talking about” or “OMG! Do they do such things here in KL bars?” All three of us separated and went in different direction to ask around more questions and find out surprising opinions. We all managed to ask some more people, some of the common responses by the people who had seen the volunteers were “Oh ya, they just stand there and give out the condoms, never talk to us”, “We never bother to read what they write, such a waste of time reading so much. Wish they write just a few sentences”, “I think they need to be more friendly and look a lot more approachable”, “they should do more work inside the club and not stand outside most of the time”, “oh, they do surveys, I thought they just give condoms”, “they should find other places instead of clubs, we are here for having fun and not to fill surveys”. There were also some positive responses where people really appreciated the effort made by them and some of them wished to volunteer themselves.
On asking questions of improving the services from Pink Triangle volunteers, the responses I got are summarised in the following passage:
-          Personality matters when you want to approach people easily.
-          Please don’t put so much information; no one will bother to read. Not more than five to six lines.
-          Try and come inside the club to find more clients.
It was a great experience. We spent a total of 104 RM including entry for two people and cab charges.
Hope to visit more such clubs before I leave and train the future foreign interns to continue this tradition. I thank Raymond and Ivan for giving me such an amazing experience and opportunity.
Prithvi Raj

Intern from India.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Report for workshop on 4th May, 2012

Venue: PJ Catholic High school
Number of attendance: 36
Number of badges sold: sold postcards instead
Taking a class for school kids of different age groups was very interesting and amazing time, on the other hands, impressive and nervous time to me personally. Some kids already knew about HIV/AIDS. So it was easy to do workshop. But most of them didn’t know about some words (oral sex, full name of AIDS etc). Overall, the kids’ knowledge about HIV/AIDS was very good so it was no trouble to conduct the workshop. The kids were little bit shy at the first time. But they showed a lot of interest in the games and activities. The videos shown and participated in games helped in drawing their attention to us. Prithvi’s presentation and experience about discrimination to HIV/AIDS patients were incredibly awesome and enough to attract attention. To be honest, I was also touched by his presentation and I felt very nervous because I think I’m not ready to do workshop in front of many people in English.

On the analysis of the feedback form (which only 36 students had filled), the results state that:
30 students were very happy and liked the session, 5 students felt it was average and 1 student was not very happy with it. 34 students felt that they learnt a lot about HIV/AIDS and 2 students felt that their learning was average. 24 students felt that the games were a lot of fun and 12 students felt they were average. 35 students felt that the presenter (Prithvi) knew a lot about HIV/AIDS, while only 1 student felt that the presenter knew average information. 32 students felt that Prithvi responded very well to their question and 4 students felt that his answer was fine even though the kids asked him just one question. Finally, 26 students stated that they would like to attend another session, while 10 of them were not sure. But no one answered that don’t want to attend another session.
The favorite things for the students in the session were the videos, games, the presenter (and presentation) and they also enjoyed taking picture together. Most of students were satisfied workshop but some of them complained about serious of topics and video that was little bit short. Some of suggestions received were to show how to use condom (The teacher didn’t allow to show how to use condom), to show more video and playing more games.


EP from AIESEC EWHA, Korea

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Report for workshop on 20th April, 2012

Venue: SMK R1 Wangsa Maju
Number of attendance: 38
Number of badges sold: sold postcards instead
Taking a class for school kids of the age group of 13 was very stressful this time. The kids were too young and did not even know what condoms were, so the teacher asked me to finish it off in a very light manner without talking about anything. It was very hard for and I felt it was an injustice to the children and me. The kids were energetic and very co-operative about the games and activities. I want to thank Sook Ying, Eu Gine and Alzahari for accompanying me this time. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. They danced and played local AIESEC games which made it fun. The children gave interesting feedback although it was pretty much similar in some ways to last time.
The greatest challenge was actually trying to make them understand the concepts in the simplest way possible. On the analysis of the feedback form (which only 38 students had filled), the results state that :
24 students were very happy and liked the session, 14 students felt it was average. 28 students felt that they learnt a lot about HIV/AIDS and 10 students felt that their learning was average and one student felt that it was just average. 26 students felt that the games were a lot of fun and 10 students felt they were average and only 2 students were not quite happy with it. 29 students felt that the presenter (Prithvi, myself) knew a lot about HIV/AIDS, while only 11 people felt that I knew average information. Again, most of the students felt that I responded very well to their questions while 13 students felt that I answered fine and only 1 student was not satisfied. Most of the students wanted another session from AIESEC except 3 J
The favourite things for the students in the session were the videos, activities, games and AIESEC dance. The complaints from the students side was that I didn’t know Malay, some didn’t like the games and the dance.
Some of the suggestions received were to add more games and always smile J
Prithvi Raj M

EP from AIESEC Bangalore, India.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Report for training on MSM cruising and knowing the clients better (29th April, 2012)

Venue: PT foundation
Time: 2:30-5:00pm
Number of attendance: 5 volunteers, 2 trainers (Ivan and Prithvi) and one intern (Inhye Park).

The seminar for volunteers in PTF about cruising was interesting and helpful me to understand difficulties that could happen when volunteers conduct their survey during the outreach session. Most volunteers knew about cruising except one. At first, the volunteers shared sites (cruising spots) for finding potential partner based on their experience. Some of volunteers had problem to talk about the names directly because they were a little embarrassed and shy. But those feelings are the reasons why the clients found it hard to talk easily, so sharing difficulties were really helpful for their outreach work. Some of the cruising sites as expressed by the volunteers were conferences, airport, bus stop, book stores, saunas, swimming pools, internet bar, parks, public toilets, university campus, using internet apps etc. Then, the volunteers talked and shared their experiences about definition of cruising, techniques of finding partners, precautions, useful tips, being rejected, and rejecting.

Cruising is when a person (MSM in this context) looks for a potential partner for physical relationship, non-physical relationship or both. The techniques of finding partners were quite interesting to me since I had no idea about MSM. The processes of finding partner written in Singapore cruising information introduce four steps; The Man Scan (working on your gaydar), Brush Pass (making body contact), Double Take (make eye contact and re confirming it) and finally making the kill (final move on the person). But all volunteers thought it happened naturally and automatically. Some of them used mimicking body languages which was really interesting and informative for me. The volunteers thought that some precautions were really important. Some of the precautions and useful tips were; Self-hygiene/ regular shower, Watch out for cuts and sores, Mint (not brushing or mouth wash), don’t do things in an open space (parks), avoid too much cash, bring ID, always have condoms, lubes and most important thing was “take it slow (physical and mental)”. Talking about being rejected and rejecting was quite sensitive issues. We discussed issues regarding feelings, emotions and empathy which are universal, and hence there is an importance for being polite when rejecting and not taking it too personally when rejected.

The most important thing in this seminar was that volunteers are just helpers not problem solvers. Thus the idea of judging others based on personal morality should be the last thing one should be doing (drugs, sexual acts etc.). Finally, we ended it with a role play where people had to enact certain situations in the cruising spots as clients and volunteers. This gave scope for improving their inter/intra personal skills and ask for further clarifications on betterment of their performance.
All the volunteers were very happy and liked this seminar and felt that they had learnt something useful from this session. One of the things they had mentioned as not very satisfactory was about not being provided with handout materials. None the less, it was an amazing experience for all and the activities were quite fun. It was a forum for sharing and learning where everyone got their space to communicate their views and feelings without being neglected by others. I look forward to attend more such workshops and enhance my knowledge about MSM.


EP from AIESEC EWHA, Korea.
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