03 November 2016
Kuala Lumpur: CIMB Foundation, in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), recently brought together 50 undergraduates from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam for a three-day workshop on understanding and preparing for disasters. With the theme ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ (DRR), this workshop is part of CIMB Foundation’s Young ASEAN Leaders (“CIMB YAL”) programme, which is now in its fourth series.
The CIMB YAL programme, which features different themes every year, is aimed at training young ASEAN leaders on social responsibility and inspiring them to initiate programmes to benefit their respective home communities. It is also a platform for these ASEAN youths to exchange ideas, broaden their perspectives, learn from cross cultural experiences and build a network among their ASEAN peers. The themes and activities for the programmes are specially curated to help these youths cultivate a better understanding of current issues, and foster a sense of shared responsibility towards sustainable development and the principle of inclusiveness among ASEAN citizens.
This year’s theme – Disaster Risk Reduction – focuses on mitigating the risks of a disaster through systematic analysis and proper management of the potential causes of disasters. These efforts include finding ways to reduce exposure to hazards, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events to lessen the vulnerability of people and property to such disasters.
Hamidah Naziadin, Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Foundation said, “DRR is a very timely and significant topic given how the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was recently endorsed by the UN General Assembly. ASEAN is exposed to various disasters, both natural as well as human-caused, given its still-developing status. We believe that one can never be over-prepared for disasters, and YAL’s 2016 theme of reducing risks of disasters is important towards preparing ASEAN youths both physically and mentally on managing such adverse events.”
The three-day workshop emphasised on topics such as Disaster Risk Reduction 101, Cross-cutting Issues in Disaster Risk Reduction and Youth Volunteerism through Community-based Disaster Risk Management. There was also a special panel session on topics such as ‘The Roles of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships in DRR Implementation in ASEAN’, which discussed the duties and responsibilities of the government, NGOs, industry and academia on disaster risk reduction at the ASEAN level.
Key speakers that led the panel session include Gil Francis G. Arevalo, Humanitarian Affairs Analyst of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), Ong Ai Lin, Senior Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC Malaysia), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sarah Aziz, Chair, Southeast Asia Disaster Prevention Research Initiative (SEADPRI), Institute for Environment & Development, UKM, Vidiana Xareal, Youth Coordinator, Timor-Leste Red Cross Society, Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Southeast Asia Youth Network and Mohd Ariff Baharom, Deputy Director General (Planning & Policy Division) and National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).
Since the launch of CIMB YAL Programme in 2012, it has quickly taken shape as a valuable platform not only for bright young minds of ASEAN to collaborate on purposeful projects, but also for CIMB to help develop their leadership qualities and better understand their aspirations as future ASEAN leaders.