SASS NGO Fair – Open the Eyes of Many

Kelvin had never heard of the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) before, but now, he can not only say what the organisation’s mission is, but he can now tell you that domestic violence was not a private matter, but a crime.
“Nobody deserves to be abused,” the 19-year-old Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems first-year student pronounced.  

Kelvin said WAO also highlighted the importance of not using degrading language on a partner. 

“It is not good to call you partner degrading stuff. And you cannot use words like “stupid” or “ugly”,” he said.  

WAO was one of 16 non-governmental organisations (NGO) participating in the NGO Fair 2012, organised by the School of Arts and Social Sciences. WAO promotes the protection of women and their rights, while working towards the end of discrimination against women.  

Kelvin said that events like the NGO Fair were important for people to understand issues and obtain more information on them. 

“More students should be exposed to (these types of events),” he said.  

The NGO Fair is an effort by the staff of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, providing an alternative to corporate companies who regularly hold fairs and events in universities to recruit students to their fold. The event was co-organised by the Employment and Career Development Unit and the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  

The School’s lecturers took it upon themselves to foster linkages with NGOs for students to have internship or career opportunities.  

“The NGOs were effective in explaining their work in a straightforward and simple manner. Coupled with displays and talks, students were exposed to different issues and the NGOs behind them,” lead organiser Dr Jonathan Driskell said.  

He added that the students had expressed interest in interning with some of the NGOs, and that some of the participating NGOs had expressed interest in taking part in the fair next year.  

Rinisha Devi Vijayen, 20, a Bachelor of Science (Medical Bioscience) first-year, said she had a clearer understanding of brain cancer through explanations by the Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA).  

“They explained very clearly on how to save our lives, even before anything happens,” she said.