Because living is fighting, we are your friend, always there all the time.

Student Leadership Program

For the past few years, we have been very fortunate to have students from tertiary institutions who volunteered in our cancer screening projects. They proved to be most capable, reliable and passionate about the tasks they had in hand. We recognise several individuals who were capable of achieving a higher level, i.e. becoming leaders and trainers to others who wish to volunteer.

Out of this experience, EMPOWERED is embarking on a Students’ Leadership Program. We identify and select potential leaders to undergo training in the following areas:

  • Communication skills
  • Mentoring skills facilitated by an expert. This is an avenue for participants to learn to debrief, learn to think on their feet, role-play challenging situations and how to react, etc.
  • Providing support and follow-up on patients allocated to them.
  • Planning and execution of medical projects
  • Leadership skills

So far, we have selected a group of students who will be our pioneers for this program.

Stories of Past Student Leaders

Volunteering is often so meaningful to people who try it, that they are inspired to share their experiences with others. Read the personal accounts of these volunteers - we hope it will inspire you to join our Volunteer Groups.

Choon Ching Ju
Pharmacy Student
2nd time Volunteer

I signed up as a volunteer the 2nd time without any hesitation because I had an enjoyable experience the first time. Apart from experiencing a sense of satisfaction and joy in serving the community, I personally gained healthcare-related knowledge and improved my interpersonal skills.

The training we received from Empowered covered effective communication and active listening skills. I chose to be a FIT kit instructor and the role-play activity we went through helped us to rehearse the actual situation of demonstrating the use of FIT kit to a crowd. All the constructive criticisms helped improved our communication skills.

I am glad to be part of the Patient Support Programme and able to contribute in any way I can. We went through a training of effective communication and listening skills. Our role in this programme is to escort the assigned subject to the hospital. It is natural that subjects will be anxious and fearful during their treatment period, and we are there to offer a supportive hand, understanding and empathy.

In my first assignment, I was able to build a good rapport with the subjects and I am glad that their follow-up hospital visits went well. I wish them good health always.

Rachel Loo
Medical Student
1st time volunteer

It is an excellent opportunity for me to be a volunteer with Empowered. I was introduced to a completely new experience, something out of the sheltered school life I am currently in.

The programme started with a communications skills workshop. I learnt how to demonstrate the use of FIT kit by speaking in Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin. It was a personal development for me as it improved my communication skills in speaking other languages beside English.

As part of the Patient Support Programme, we went through a communication and listening skills workshop. Active listening, showing empathy are some of the skills-set which we needed to develop in order to succeed in this programme. This support programme is very crucial as I personally experienced being in the colonoscopy room with the subject who needed comforting during the procedure.

I was assigned two subjects and I enjoyed the good rapport we shared. I had the responsibility of calling the subjects to remind them of hospital appointments and to take their medication on time. It is a personal touch which the beneficiaries are ever so grateful. Subjects did not know about colon cancer until Empowered conducted this project in their community. They are now aware of the importance of medical check-ups.

I wish to express my gratitude and thanks to Empowered for providing me the chance to experience community service and for all the guidance given throughout the project.

Mugilan Suppaya
Medical Student, IMU
2nd time volunteer

“The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely”

My journey with Empowered started in 2011 and I never regret one bit. All the time and effort invested in attending training sessions and volunteering in the community projects have contributed to a personal growth that I have never imagined before.

My first volunteer job as “door-knocker” was challenging. We had to knock on doors to encourage residents to participate. We were treated like some bothersome salesman but it did not break my spirit as I went about spreading awareness of colon cancer and the project. I felt good when some residents actually showed interest and concern about their health.

My second volunteer job as registrar provided a form of training, relevant to my current studies of History Taking. In addition, it improved my communication and listening skills. Initially I was nervous but after interviewing a number of participants, I became more confident of my Bahasa Malaysia language and took note of a style of communication that I can comfortably follow.

My third volunteer job as FIT kit instructor allowed me to practise my instructional skills. The training session, emphasising on role-play activity is crucial in acting out real case scenarios. Any mistakes were corrected on the spot and we learnt from other volunteers’ mistakes as well. This form of training helped us perform our role more effectively during the actual event.

As a FIT kit instructor, I met many people with different levels of understanding. I needed immense patience and empathy and had to use different style of communication to ensure that the elderly folks were able to understand my explanation. I am unable to speak Tamil and I felt it is a major obstacle. I am planning to take Tamil language classes so that I am able to communicate with the Indian community in future.

I am excited to be selected to join the Patient Support Programme as it opens up a new opportunity in experiencing the next phase of the project. At the training workshop, we learnt effective communication and active listening skills, and how we can support the subjects. The role-play session taught us to listen objectively and carefully.

I was assigned two subjects. One of my subjects was rather emotional and anxious during the news breaking session. She was even more worried during the colonoscopy day as she feared the worst. I tried my best to support her and the doctor in attendance was kind and encouraging. It was a huge relief that she was not diagnosed with cancer. This experience taught me not to be too emotionally attached to my subjects. Also, I should stay strong when others are weak as they depended on me for emotional support. And lastly, I need to attend Tamil language classes to overcome the language barrier with the Indian community.

In reflection, I am personally enriched by volunteering in Empowered, as I discover new experiences and learnt new skills, and meet new people. It helps me deal with some of my personal problems. I am thankful and grateful to Empowered for the opportunity.

Josie Lim
Medical Student
1st time volunteer

When I signed up as a volunteer, I knew I was heading into a completely new experience. I volunteered as a FIT kit instructor. The role-play session during training helped us in preparing for the actual event. However, as the day progresses, we realised that the participants needed a listening ear. Some were very chatty and I was more than happy to listen to their conversation. At the end of the event, I was very happy to be able to contribute in creating awareness of colorectal cancer to this community.

I was invited to join the Patient Support Programme. I attended a training workshop on effective communication and listening skills. I was assigned two subjects. I was able to break down the barriers of mistrust and built a good rapport with my assigned subject. I sensed her relief to have someone escort her to the hospital and guide her during the hospital visits. I personally felt a great sense of satisfaction to be able to support her.

The health professional explained the do’s and don’ts for preparation of colonoscopy to my subject but I felt my role as volunteer was to ensure my subject understood the briefing. My subject was indeed very happy to have someone supporting her and showing her a great deal of love and care.

I have no regrets joining Empowered. It provided an opportunity to work in a community. What a great exposure it is for me. I learnt, as a future doctor, it is important for me to let down my pride and reach out to those who need us. I have a very productive experience and my hope is that Empowered will continue to reach out to the community who needs it.

Suhaila Fatima Kamrani
Medical Student
1st time volunteer

I volunteered as a registrar for the colon cancer screening program. We had a training workshop to familiarize ourselves with our roles for the two-day event. As a registrar, I had to interview participants in Bahasa Malaysia and the training workshop aided in addressing potential problems which may cropped up. There were many sections of the registration process which needed to be completed, and a mock interview session provided the feedback on how to improve the phrasing of questions, avoiding jargon and using more suitable vocabulary.

I felt a sense of accomplishment after we completed the 2-day event as the project took off smoothly and I had contributed to making a difference in people’s lives. I was then incredibly honoured to be invited to join the Patient Support Programme. I was nervous, but at the same time excited as well. Together with the other volunteers, I went through a training session of effective listening and communication skills. We also had a role-play session that taught us empathy as we supported the subjects throughout their medical journey.

I was assigned to two subjects and escorted them to their hospital visits. I have communicated frequently with the subjects since their colonoscopy procedures.

Volunteering with Empowered has been an interesting experience. It was also heart-warming to see the personal sacrifices made by other volunteers and we are all looking forward to the next programme.

Shane Ng
Medical Student
3rd time volunteer

I joined Empowered in 2010 as a FIT kit instructor and it was a very satisfying experience. I looked forward to my 2nd time volunteering and I was glad for the experiences in my new role as a leader and overseeing the process of registration and FIT-kit demonstration.

I joined the Patient Support Programme and escorted subjects to their hospital appointments. It provided me an opportunity in personal development as interacting with subjects and providing emotional support is a completely new experience.

Other volunteers inspire me and I look forward to meeting other volunteers and collaborators. All the volunteers’ efforts will contribute to Empowered’s goal of bringing cancer education, early detection screening programs and personalized support to more low-income communities in the years to come.

Choo Hwei Ming
Medical Student
2nd time volunteer

“Volunteering can lead to learning new skills”

I have volunteered twice in Empowered projects and it is one of the most valuable experience in my medical student life. It is being out in the field that I am faced with the harsh realities of life.

As much as we claim to make a difference to the community, in return we improve or learn new skills. Personally, I see improvement in my language skills, especially spoken Bahasa Malaysia. I was able to convey information more effectively. I was able to practise history-taking skill which is essential for the success of the project. Volunteering provided the platform for me to interact with other parties and make new friends from various social backgrounds.

It is a very good approach that Empowered establish the continuous development programme between the subject and volunteer. As this programme is in its infancy, there will be areas that need improvements and our direct involvement with the subjects will provide the opportunity to fine-tune the process and procedures along the way.

I have all praise for the organisers of the screening programme and I hope that Empowered strive for excellence.