A safe and inspiring space for youth
Being part of a team of leadership camp facilitators that recently spent 10 days with youth from all over our country, my first thought as campers started dispersing to return home was if they could journey safely through the floods that have hit more and more states in Malaysia.
An important element of the camp was a focus on community, whereby each camper had the opportunity to take the lead in analysing the needs of an existing community project, and to develop as well as execute a sustainable solution.
Observing the teenagers in action was pretty awe-inspiring – so as much as we tried to impart to them, I came away from camp really pumped up to do more!
Even as I fidgeted nervously waiting to hear that everyone had reached home safely, my thoughts shifted to how the campers would transfer their newfound zeal for helping others to friends and family in their respective communities.
One avenue for this is the community drop-in hangout spot in Petaling Jaya, DropZone, which aims to provide an alternative, safe and inspiring place for local teenagers to spend their free time while developing their leadership potential.
As we bid farewell to a year of seemingly more downs than ups, let’s kick-start the year by seeking out new options – for ourselves and the children, cousins, nieces and nephews in our lives.
Specially designed for youth, DropZone is a project of the Youth Leadership Club, a non-profit entity that aims to inspire youths in leadership, learning and exploration of interests and talents.
The vision of DropZone is to be a centre that inspires youth to become leaders of integrity and distinction by instilling the values of civic-mindedness and equipping youth to serve the community.
How is DropZone awesome?
DropZone focuses on three key elements in order to achieve its vision in leadership development. The three pillars are:
- Nurture civic-mindedness
The supervisors at DropZone work to create awareness among youth about the needs of the community.
This is achieved through organised projects and efforts that aim to involve the youth directly or indirectly with the community around them.
DropZone serves the community at large through providing a channel for volunteerism, by connecting youth, the community, and non-profit organisations in Malaysia.
The supervisors positively influence youth through teaching and sharing, as well as by providing resources and outlets for youth to be inspired.
The centre organises regular activities and programmes that help young visitors explore and expand their potential in areas such as education, soft skills, music, art and the development of sound behavioural traits.
- Cultivating relationships
The supervisors at DropZone work to inspire and inculcate a value system in visiting teenagers.
This is done primarily through the establishment of healthy relationships formed and fostered between supervisors and youth to positively influence, guide, and mentor young individuals to strive towards their personal aspirations.
The supervisors also work to encourage the development of relationships between visitors in both formal and informal settings.
The aim of this activity is to promote acceptance of one another regardless of age, ethnicity, religious and social backgrounds.
DropZone takes after the concept of a second-home, running youth-related activities in the hope that it becomes a healthy leisure alternative which focuses on the personal and creative development of youth.
Who can hang out at DropZone?
DropZone welcomes local youth between the ages of 13 and 19. Older youth who are not part of the Youth Leadership Club are not permitted unless to volunteer, teach or intern.
When is DropZone open?
DropZone is open Mondays to Fridays, from 1pm to 6pm, and closed on weekends and public holidays, except on special occasions.
Finally, where can I find DropZone?
DropZone is at 92A, Jalan Othman 1/14, (Old Town), 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor (above King’s Confectionery)
“We believe in creating leaders for tomorrow by investing in the youth of today. We hope to build a better future for Malaysia through love and providing a platform for youths to make a difference,” says Divya Chandy, youth programme executive at Leaderonomics and one of the supervisors at DropZone.
“Join us today and build a better tomorrow for yourself, your family and your community.”
“It takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to build a leader.” – Roshan Thiran
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been affected by the floods in Malaysia, and everyone who has helped in any way to assist them.
Watch a special feature of DropZone on Astro Awani here:
Partner with Leaderonomics to open a DropZone in your neighbourhood today! Ask us how at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 3 January 2015