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Written by: Zaid Bashir
The Knights of Nature Sustainability Camp is an annual event organized and hosted by EcoKnights, and this year marked the 2nd Camp sponsored by Tenaga Nasional Berhard (TNB). Major goals of this year’s Camp included building long term relationships with the participants for future events, expanding the network of youth aware of the work done by EcoKnights, to broaden the capacity of EcoKnights to muster volunteerism efforts, to instill the concepts of living sustainably, and to ensure the participants were exposed to a variety of other learning opportunities including developing qualities like teamwork, leadership, time management and problem solving skills. The Knights of Nature Camp is just one of the four programs from EcoKnights that delivers on the overall theme spearheaded by President of EcoKnights Yasmin Rasyid that foresees a future for Malaysia with an informed and caring populace driving the country sustainably forward.
EcoKnights developed an entrance survey that was distributed to each of the participants to be filled out before the start of the Camp. This allowed them to gage the relative understanding of terms and concepts such as sustainable living, environmental protection, and social entrepreneurship.
The Camp began on the morning of Friday, the 14th of November. All participants were requested beforehand to gather themselves at the headquarters of EcoKnights, located at TTDI. After registration and transport to the Camp located at Uluhati, Hulu Langat in Selangor, began the weekend.
Seeds Training for an energy building talk for the participants, Abu Hafiz from SME Greentech for a talk on a green future and his water-based lamp creation, Giorgio Catucci from DHL Malaysia for a talk on what it means to live sustainably, Khairun Nisa from the organization Recovr for a talk about her journey for change and founding her NGO, Tan Jun-E from MESYM for a talk on connecting the green dots, Sheila & Khadija from MyHarapan for a talk and exercise about the 3 T’s, Julian Hyde from Reef Check Malaysia for a talk on the importance of coral reef conservation, Lionel Yap from Solamas Sdn Bhd for a talk on the current state of solar energy in Malaysia, Rashvin & Gurpreet from the Biji-Biji Initiative for a talk on their sustainable product lines, John-son Oei from EPIC Homes for a talk on his journey in building homes for the underprivileged, and a closing talk from our main sponsor representative Anita Perumal from TNB.Media representatives were present on the first morning and through interviews, Yasmin and the crew were able to communicate the concept, role and goals of the Knights of Nature Camp. The weekend included guest speakers from various backgrounds and businesses. They were Eugene Lim from
From a diverse background of universities and colleges from within Malaysia, the participants for this year’s camp arrived with varying degrees of knowledge on the concepts of sustainability and the environment.
There were over 150 applications filled out over the website and from this pool, EcoKnight staff narrowed down the list to 17 final participants. This of course ensured those selected were enthusiastic, willing, and appreciative of the opportunity given.
Over the course of the weekend, they were involved in a range of activities including games, special guest speaker sessions, jungle treks, and yoga sessions. The overall success of the program can best be seen in the work that the participants generated from specifically assigned tasks, which included developing projects that they would like to see brought to fruit in their respective communities or universities, and from some of the comments they made on the final day.
“I learnt about the Knights of Nature Camp through Facebook and from further reading, became very interested in being involved. I hoped to learn the ability to be self-confident in chasing after the changes I would like to see in my hometown of Melaka, such as reducing the pollution being generated from an increase in road traffic.” Referring to the talk from John-son Oei “I was inspired to see a Malaysian involved in helping the community in such a manner”, said Krisna Yap Choon Fung a participant this year.
“Since being young I was very passionate for the environment. Recently I began to feel like I was slacking about my responsibility to the environment. I decided to join the Knights of Nature Camp to be around and learn from people who share my passion about improving our way of life and saving our planet. I was especially inspired by John-son Oei and his EPIC Homes projects and by Abu Hafiz and his water-based lamp innovation. They helped me focus on the ideas that I want to be able to convey to others without fear of judgment or stigma,” said Alia Muhammad Radzi, another participant at this year’s Knights of Nature Camp.
The Knights of Nature Camp is a unique opportunity for young people to be away from the hassles of everyday city lives and to spend time with nature and all its sights and sounds. Along with the fresh air and pure water, it instills a feeling of peace and tranquility. This year’s Camp at Uluhati, Hulu Langat was a fantastic weekend and along with the social media blitz ensures that those inspired be on the lookout for upcoming Camps!