Shaping the world

15 Dec 2015 / 10:18 H.

THEY say charity begins at home. In Rebekah Yeoh's case, her family members have certainly instilled into her to always give back to society.
Coming from a tight-knit family who does everything together, Yeoh shares that they have different ways of giving back to the community and constantly encourage each other in that sense.
Having that constant support and motivation was what inspired Yeoh to join Global Shapers Community Kuala Lumpur, an arm of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The NGO has a hub in every country and each comes up with its own community projects.
Being a part of Global Shapers allows Yeoh to craft projects, pledge her own charity models, and learn how to keep them sustainable.
"If I were to just donate money, I wouldn't be happy about that," emphasised the 23-year-old.
How did you first find out about Global Shapers?
Two years ago, I was nominated by a good friend from Japan, who's the CEO of a health group. He had just gone to the WEF and a family business conference in Monaco. He said that he could see the drive in me and wanted to nominate me to be in Global Shapers. It came at the right time because I had just returned home from university overseas and I felt like I needed to do something. I thought that Malaysia needed a lot of change, but at the same time I didn't want to get into politics. I just wanted to give back in the little ways that I could, so I decided to apply for Global Shapers in 2013.
What was your first assignment with Global Shapers?
After I was interviewed and accepted, I was allocated to a project called 'Better Streets'. I'm an economist and I read numbers, and they assigned me to an urban rejuvenation project which I know nothing about. But I realise now that the curator had assigned me to that project because he wanted to teach me about teamwork before I was able to craft my own project. He put me on the funding side, and that taught me a lot about discernment, and to be more careful with my words when I'm selling an idea to corporate sponsors, as well as what they are interested in.
Have you since been able to curate your own community project?
Yes, it's called 'Food For All'. It's not a big project – what we do is similar to the dynamics of 'Stop Hunger Now'. We pack food and deliver it to children's homes, orphanages, and the poor. We also spend time with them, educate them, and run games and activities. You have no idea how happy it makes them. The smiles on their faces are priceless.
We get corporate sponsors to come in and fund the meals and support by manpower. The difference between 'Food For All' and 'Stop Hunger Now' is that we deliver fresh meals and spend time with the people we deliver to.
How can one sign up to be a Global Shaper?
You will have to apply for it via our website. If you're shortlisted, you will be called in for an interview. After passing the interview, comes the immersion process, the last stage of recruitment. At this point, you are assigned to a project for three months and during this period, you are assessed based on how you work, how much time you can commit, how you solve problems, and how determined you are. It's to tell whether or not you have the passion and if it's genuine. We want active members so that we're able to reflect well on the WEF. That is why we're quite stringent on the application process.

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