First published on The Kalsom Movement (TKM) website on 23rd August 2021.
After 12 years and 11 months, I will finally be leaving The Kalsom Movement (TKM). Prior to joining the committee, I had volunteered for TKM for two years in 2009 and 2010. Aside from being a Director of Projek Kalsom Motivational Camp (a predecessor to TKM and now a project of TKM) in 2011, I have been supporting and empowering the student committee for 6 years and 11 months in my role as an Advisor of Projek Kalsom Motivational Camp, the Founding President of Kelab Belia Kalsom and then Member and Chair of the Board of Trustees of TKM. As the Founding President of Kelab Belia Kalsom, I introduced the Commonwealth Cultural Programme (CCP) in collaboration with the Bristol Student Commonwealth Society, a programme to encourage the bilateral relationship between the Malaysian and UK youth where 10 non-Malaysian students at British universities are fully sponsored to participate in community work and cultural exploration in Malaysia. Currently, in its 8th year, the 2020 and 2021 CCP were held virtually with volunteers from different Commonwealth nations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, we welcomed our first Kalsom-Oxford Leadership Programme in collaboration with Youthfuel Global, at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.
I never envisioned being enamoured with a project for this long. All I know is that in 2009, as a second-year medical student at the University of Bristol, something must be done about the inequalities in the Malaysian education system. At least, if we do not have the financial resources, we can share our experience in navigating the education system with our younger brothers and sisters. That idea inspired me to join Projek Kalsom Motivational Camp (PKMC) in 2009. Since then, I have been a witness to the transformation of TKM from when it was a 15-year-old volunteering project in 2009, to its registration as a Malaysian youth-led education charity in 2012, to being one of the top 50 youth-led organisations worldwide and the only Malaysian youth-led organisation which was featured in the 2020 Youth Solutions Report by the United Nations SDSN Youth, with PKMC as one of its flagship programmes. It has been a wonderful transformation; all of which cannot be done without the dedication and passion of our Malaysian university students from all over the world and from all walks of life. When I was the Director of the 17th edition of PKMC in 2011, I was supported by a team of 14 Malaysian university students who were mostly based in the UK. Today, the 2020/2021 TKM Executive Committee is led by outgoing President Nazihah Zamri, an MPharm student at University College London and a team of 47 Malaysian university students globally. Importantly, as TKM grew, we have impacted more than 4000 Malaysian youths from disadvantaged backgrounds where we are proud to call doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs among our alumni.
Being part of TKM had a profound impact on my life. As TKM grew to be what it is today, I too had undergone my own transformation inspired by the many amazing people I have met throughout my years with TKM. Involvement in TKM is voluntary, and to have these Malaysian university students devoting their spare time to organise TKM programmes for the benefit of our younger Malaysian students from disadvantaged backgrounds, alongside with getting First Class and Second Upper Class honours in their university exams is an incredible act of selflessness and excellence. I am proud to have worked with them. Therefore, for me to be a mentor to our student committee and beneficiaries, I cannot be mediocre. I must be the best because they deserve the best. I give credit to the TKM family for continuously encouraging me to be better; to achieve academic and career success throughout these years. Thank you for all your hard work. Thank you for inspiring me.
But today, it is important for me to leave TKM. It is important that I leave to make way for younger, fresher talents. After all, that is what TKM is all about – to inspire and to develop the best of Malaysian youth talents.
Therefore, I am proud to announce the appointment of Dr Syed Hadi Arief, a general practitioner specialty trainee doctor in UK’s National Health Service, as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Kalsom Movement. Dr Syed Hadi first joined The Kalsom Movement in 2014 as a medical student at the University of Manchester, where he received the Marcus Ng Award for the best facilitator. He then became the Module Director for the 21st edition of Projek Kalsom Motivational Camp in Sabah in 2015 before being appointed as the President of the Kalsom Movement in 2016, where he had organised the largest Projek Kalsom Motivational Camp to date. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2018.
He will be working along with our newer trustees:
- Nur Iwani Farzana binti Mohd Rosszi, a BA in law and sociology graduate from the University of Warwick and a management trainee at Permodalan Nasional Berhad Malaysia. Iwani was the 2019/2020 President of TKM and Local Committee President of AIESEC UK which celebrates cultural diversity, delivering volunteering and internship exchanges abroad.
- Nurul Husna binti Mohd Yusoff, a master’s in chemical engineering with oil and gas technology graduate from Heriot-Watt University. Husna first joined TKM in 2018 as the ambassador and facilitator for Kalsom Harapan, a follow-up programme of PKMC. She then became 2018/2019 Strategic Officer of TKM before stepping up as 2019/2020 Vice President of Strategic Development, where she had established partnerships with other non-profit organisations and government bodies and ensuring the sustainability of TKM. Outside of TKM, as the CEO of Bio-sekitar Enterprise and founding CTO of NH Proskill Resources, her passion for entrepreneurship and environment saw her awarded as a Leader in Leader in Innovation Fellowship (LIF) of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2019.
- Kuhan Pillai Ankabalan, a law graduate of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and an entrepreneur. Kuhan joined the executive committee of TKM as the 2017/2018 Director of Kalsom Academy, a project of Kalsom Harapan. He was then appointed as the 2018/2019 Vice President of Strategic Development before becoming the 2019/2020 Vice President of Financial Planning.
I cannot tell you how difficult it is to leave TKM after these years. But, I am confident that TKM will continue to flourish under the leadership of our new Chair and members of the Board of Trustees. May the TKM community continue to be a source of inspiration for many Malaysian students for many years to come.
About Dr Hannah Nazri
Former Chair of the Board of Trustee of The Kalsom Movement
Dr Hannah Nazri is a specialty trainee doctor in obstetrics & gynaecology with experience in internal medicine at NHS England, and a DPhil candidate in Obstetrics & Gynaecology with a focus on endometriosis at the University of Oxford. As a finalist of the 2020 UK Women of the Future Award for the Commonwealth Category and the Equality Lead for Europe of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Hannah is committed to combining her obstetrics and gynaecology career with non-profit work, not limited to youth education and women’s rights advocacy. Website: https://hannah.nazri.org
Related articles written by Dr Hannah Nazri about TKM:
- Not Too Young to Make a Difference (Royal Commonwealth Society)
- The Kalsom Movement: Transforming Education