DiverseCity in Community 2019: Building Character
DiverseCity has been working tirelessly to bring arts experiences to the residents of low cost public housing (PPR or Projek Perumahan Kos Rendah) areas.
One of the team members behind such activities is an intern by the name of Allia Binti Huzir. She started working with DiverseCity as an intern in May 2019 and has been involved with the activities in the PPR Flats since the beginning of her internship, with multiple programmes such as dance classes, executed for the children within the PPR Flats in two locations, Seri Tioman and Batu Muda.
The Festival Director comments that despite her youth and inexperience, white waiting for admission into university, Allia has demonstrated strong leadership skills and is capable enough to run many of the programs single-handedly, including anticipating and resolving problems.
Allia’s motivation for being involved in this work comes for her own desire to learn; better herself and also her love for working on events. She says it is a great opportunity to be able to learn and improve her social skills and self-confidence. “What actually motivates me is when I wake up, I know that I am going to learn or experience something new everyday and I love the challenge.”
The biggest challenge she faced during her time there was with the communication between her and the PPR Flats committee members. She recalls instance where communication issues within the residents’ committee affected the finalisation of plans. “I needed a date for this program we were doing for the Tulips Movement. To get that date, it was so hard because the residents were newly appointed and not used to working with each other”.
Through this process, Allia felt that she has learnt several new things, especially communication skills. Working with the community, there is a need for constant and meaningful communication between her and the residents of the PPR flats which was challenging at first. She recalls having to adapt to communicating in Bahasa Malaysia, “I’m not so good in Bahasa, and it was quite hard for me to interact with them actually. It was really awkward. They spoke so fast and most of them had their own slang”.
Another major skill learnt was planning and organising her work especially across multiple events. There were often challenges to keep track of plans and being in constant contact with residents as well as the volunteers who would come to contribute, “I’m much more organised now!” she says.