22 September 2016
ROMPIN: Making small changes that result in big differences was the driving force behind a recent weekend event in which a group of young divers did what they love doing for an important cause - education empowerment. Some 21 divers, between 23 to 32 years of age, took part in the charity dive event Bubbles of Hope in Tioman Island, Pahang, which ran from Sept 16 to 18, which coincided with Malaysia Day.
The divers, who are mostly young professionals, participated in the event to raise funds for an annual project called Seeds of deeds, which helps set up high-impact motivational camps for underprivileged high school students in Kelantan, Perak and Kedah, through a non-governmental organisation named Small Changes. Its spokesman, Fazrul Khairy, 25, said these camps are led by Small Changes facilitators, a majority of whom are pursuing their tertiary education in higher learning institutions locally and abroad. “Diving is a popular outdoor activity and through Bubbles of Hope, the divers can change the lives of disadvantaged children by helping them pursue tertiary education through their passion for the underwater world.
“So far this year, we have raised RM100,000 for our education empowerment programme (Seeds of deeds),” he said. The three-day diving event was co-organised by Project Vacation Dive (PVDive) and Bayu Dive Centre (BDC). PVDive is an offshoot of a travel and adventure online hub called Project Vacation, created to inspire travellers and adventure seekers. The startup also organises outdoor and leisure trips locally and internationally, along with other initiatives and engagement events. PVDive is currently most active on the photo-sharing app Instagram, where it has become a place where people share, explore and connect with each other. Its operations lead, Redzuan Hairil Kamil, 23, said the event was also educational for the divers, as some of the activities held included talks regarding underwater photography and scuba diving through experience-sharing sessions.
“Last year, PVDive coordinated a National Day diving event at BDC, and this year, we decided to do a similar event, but with a philanthropy element, specifically with a goal to raise awareness on education inequality between children in urban and rural communities. “At the same time, the divers were able to do good, make new friends and have fun,” he said. BDC manager Daeng Munajat Kamarul Bahrin, 24, said the dive centre, located in Kampung Genting, Tioman, is interested in hosting more charity events such as Bubbles of Hope.
“Education is important, as it gives students the opportunity to do more with what they have at hand. “For example, if you teach scuba diving like me, without education, opening up my own dive centre would be more difficult,” he said. During the event, the divers were taken to four diving sites surrounding Tioman — Pulau Renggis, Tomok, Batu Malang and Teluk Gaduk.