English: There, here and over there. Basically, in a sense, to mean restless. A collection of thoughts, musings and ramblings...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Undi M'sia Gameshop

Busy weekends are here to stay, it seems.

The weekend of 24th - 25th March was no exception as I went to not one, but two workshops. It is one of my new interests - to gain more knowledge especially on voter education, upholding democratic principles, blah blah blah.

As an activist (or what I claim myself to be), I am always on the lookout for opportunities to educate myself, and then to spread the awareness to others. Maybe spark an interest in others as well? Hopefully.

The first ever #IdolaDemokrasi in KK, the facilitators - Hasbeemasputra Abu Bakar and Edmund Bon had flown down from KL especially for these two days. The first session on Saturday was conducted at the Youth-PREP Centre, and was attended by very young participants. A contrast to the more seasoned group that came on Sunday, the one I went to.

First thing that was handed to me at the workshop - a questionnaire to fill out in our own time. The Laporan Rakyat.

My thoughts: "Geez! There is like soooooo much I don't know! And why didn't I bother to know before this??" Seriously, I felt like a Barbie. Or dingbat. Seriously failed big time. Can't answer 99% of the questions. And they are important questions!

Questions like who is your ADUN (Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri) and MP (Member of Parliament), how long they have been in their position, description, had me completely stumped.

Ok, so I am new to this whole thing. But I felt dumb.

Check out the full list of questions here http://max-cdn.undimsia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Scorecard2.pdf and test your knowledge.

It is sort of an awakening - if I, who is actively involved in activism, imagine how many other people not in activism who are in that sort of position. Just vote (or not vote) without really knowing who you are voting for, and how your vote can actually impact a society's well-being

I felt that the facilitators were really great and entertaining, which really helped in getting the message across. It sure didn't feel like some boring workshop where the facilitators just try to drum the information into your head. It is all very hands-on and participative. The hours just flew away. Just like they do when you're having fun.

#IDOLADEMOKRASI is a first-of-its-kind 4 hour interactive GameShop that engages citizens to analyse local/national problems, find solutions, and take effective and impactful action to deal with the same.

Why? #IdolaDemokrasi is typically energetic and fun as it challenges citizens to act, and take real and tangible action regarding problems that affect them or those that affect others. For the action to be accesible and effective, we provide guidance through our unique D-I-Y ToolKit and our platform of numerous Youth Action Groups (YAGs) around the country.

The session started with a few ice-breaking games to get participants a feel for what democracy is about, and realise that everyone places a different perspective on issues of today. For example, some may view undocumented migrants as a pressing problem that needs to be resolved immediately, while some may take a more relaxed approach, or not care at all.

But the objective is just to get everyone relaxed around each other.

The first activity we did was called SPACESHIP. If you found out that planet Earth was about to be destroyed, and you have found an inhabitable planet not too far away, what are the 5 things you will bring with you on the spaceship?

At first we each made our own list individually. Then we shared our ideas with a partner and made another list. Then finally into a group of 5 or more.

Then you realise that with more people, it becomes more of a task deciding what is truly important. Some had pretty out-of-the-world ideas, for example the 'Doraemon pocket' which definitely was a source of amusement, especially for me!

The second activity we did was to create a 'Problem Tree'. For every problem that we encounter, there is always a root, and the consequences (branches).

It was pretty interesting to see the process of how you can tackle a problem, by analysing the root causes and the impact of the problem. Criticise the issue, and not the leaders / personal attacks.

Address the problem by referring to the correct measures, rather than being an armchair critic. This is the main message of the activity.

Our pretty tree ;-p on addressing the income gap.

Later on we discussed plans on how to take action as per the problem tree we created. A rally? A strike? and who to target.

I came away feeling a little bit more enlightened. I am still far from being any sort of expert, but taking the initiative to start is way better than not at all. I definitely recommend this GameShop for everyone. It is totally non-partisan, and focuses on overcoming issues.

Fun pic after. Those of us in front had no idea what was going on behind :p

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