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YSEALI Bootcamp: Turtle Conservation Society

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YSEALI Bootcamp: Turtle Conservation Society

What compelled you to participate in the Bootcamp?

Jey called one evening to explain everything in a phone call. Sounded too good to be true. Let’s just go ahead with it. Bootamp in  UMT, so wasn’t a scam. Surprised to see so many participants. The whole experience was a learning curve or me. Design thinking wasn’t something I new before. Nice to see students learn critical thinking skills.We’re a small NGO. We do turtle research and conversation programs with kids. Awareness in malls. We do a lot of work. Small meaning we’re not popular. Any help that comes our way we appreciate it. If we’re to do it, it’ll take a lot of effort time money. Here is a bunch of students.

Looking at the winning team's solution, how do you think this approach will help you address the problem at hand? (How would it be different from other solutions you have tried?)

Apart from the winner we’re also going to implement 2 other projects. We see the vaue in the program.Winner proposed already had back of our heads. So it was nice to see someone else see it as a viable solution. Run for wildlife. Virtual run. Usual run takes  a lot of effort. But virtual run can be anywhere. But still need a team to do this.Hashtag campaign on instagram. Can do on the side.

What was your experience like in the Bootcamp?

First time. Find it very interesting. Not just the students learn. But we as the organisation also learned. Creating value for others to get involved. Learn to speak in that manner, so people feel we’re pulling at their heartstrings. Some humanitarian efforts get more donations because people have kids, can relate more. The challenge is finding relevance with everyday people. Positive exposure for me and my education officer. Learn about critical thinking and putting customers first

What do you hope to see more from your community?

We’re already gaining traction in Kemaman. Started the project in Jamoung in 2011. We consistently show up, whole kampung know about us. Even the folks in Kemaman town. Accidentally catch soft shell turtle, send to chinese restaurant. In the last 3-4 years we’ve had restaurant owners buy and call us and we go and pick up from them and release the turtles. More and more people surrender these turtles to us. Thanks also to newspaper reporters.But we can’t be everywhere.

Sometimes we get invited to events. We’re also on boost. The shake rewards please donate. We are the first turtle conservation NGO in Malaysia.Learn about turtles. Fb, ig, twtr. Keep talking about turtles. Got extra money, pls donate, symbolically adopt. We are a tax exempt organisation. Families and school teachers, we have trips. Mangrove planting activity. Minimum 20 pax. Ater raya, will be traditional tganu food.

Any advice for people hoping to get into community/social work?

Volunteer as frequently as you can, as many NGOs as you can. From there you can decide what you want to do or don’t want to do. A lot of people get into conservation thinking that can do it. Students, school holidays, go volunteer. Get an idea this is something you want to do. What you’re doing now is ground work.

To do conservation, you don’t just come to the ground. We need policy advisers. Lawyers, speak on behalf of our wildlife. Vets. It’s a big field. Scientist, teacher. Don’t think about conservation as going to the zoo and cleaning out. I do my own accounts and I am not an accountant. Cant find a volunteer accountant. Operating expenses per year is 150k a year only. 50 for myself. We need any help we can, more than just money.

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