Odoo • A picture with a caption Participants and facilitators on Day 3 of Kem Belia.

Empowering Orang Asli Youth – A Hope for the Future

As the saying goes, young people are the leaders of tomorrow. The next generation possesses a crucial role in nation-building and all of us have a part to play. 

In March 2022, staff based in Pusat CARE Kampar ran their annual Kem Belia - a 3D2N camp specially designed for Orang Asli(OA) youth, after a 2-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. Kem Belia is open to Orang Asli youth aged between 13 to 18 years old. This leadership camp aims to instill leadership skills and values while addressing issues faced by the community. 

Through Kem Belia, we aim to build their self-confidence, technical skills as well as soft skills. We facilitated several activities such as team-building session - Sesi Bergandingan Tangan whereas Sesi Hak Asasi Manusia and Sesi Jati Diri focus on OA rights and self-identity. Kem Belia also serves as a platform for OA youths from various communities to gather together and further promote unity amongst different villages.

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Photo: Sesi Jati Diri highlights the importance of self-identity and how it plays a role in building leadership skills and self-confidence.

We reached out to several Kem Belia participants and facilitators to find out how Kem Belia made an impact on them (full video at the end). They were posed with questions; to which they had shared responses and some takeaways.

Suzantey, participant, 19
Through Sesi Bergandingan Tangan, I’ve learned to cooperate with my teammates. Even though there were challenges, we managed to complete tasks and learned how to communicate well. I learned a lot about OA herbs in this session too. 

Rina, participant, 16
I was required to act (in a skit) and perform in Sesi Hak Asasi Manusia. It was something new for me but I tried my best to do it well. I also learned new things about our OA rights such as rights to education, land rights and freedom of speech. 
Photo:  Participants performing a skit depicting their ancestral land being encroached by intruders.

Endrique, participant, 17 
As I am the eldest son in the family, I am more empowered to take up the responsibility to take care of my siblings and become a better person. 

Rosshapissa, participant, 16 
I’d like to take care of my parents better. When I was younger, my parents were my leaders. But now it is my turn to be their leader and take care of them.

Yes, intern and facilitator
I want to help empower the youth in two areas - physically and spiritually. When I see youth from different villages come together and accomplish tasks, it reminds me of the importance of teamwork. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Fazila, volunteer and facilitator
I attended Kem Belia for 3 years (as a participant) and I am very happy to be here to give back to the community through volunteering and connecting with the youth. 
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Photo: Team building session in progress. 

We believe a programme like Kem Belia is important as it gives the youth the needed exposure and opportunity for experiential learning. Through various support, we can empower them to take ownership and be good leaders to alleviate their own community, now and for the future.