YPS’ Y-HARVEST: Bridging Cultures, Empowering Youth, Building a Sustainable Future

In the midst of the lush landscapes and rich Bidayuh village in Kampung Pichin, Serian, the Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak’s (YPS) Youth for Hope, Action, and Rural Vitality through Empowerment and Sustainability Project (Y-HARVEST) shines, forging unity, empowerment, and sustainability.

GROUP PHOTO: Opening ceremony of Y-HARVEST  with the participants, JKKK of Kampung Pichin and YPS team.

This transformative endeavour in support of the State’s Post-Covid Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 has recently concluded its week-long activities from February 19 to 24, leaving memorable impressions for the 17 participants and local villagers alike.

Bringing together youths from diverse racial backgrounds from Semenanjung, Sabah, and Sarawak who are currently attached with higher learning institutions in the State, these young participants came together with a shared mission, to lift positive transformation and uplift rural communities.

The programme commenced with a series of engaging activities designed to immerse participants in the local culture and way of life, which include sharing on paddy farming, local native cuisine, immersion in traditional dances and songs, and captivating village tours.

The programme highlights, among others, participants experiencing the heart of rural life and personally engaging in the process of paddy harvesting alongside their host parents.

On their daily listing were sharing of the insightful Community Impact Programmes (CIP) which include topics on parental roles, healthy lifestyles, and academic aspirations, with every activity crafted to instill a sense of purpose and empowerment among the participants.Apart from participation in the daily farming activities, the participants also took part in local community events, including friendly badminton matches and learning Bidayuh dances and music.

These activities helped participants of the programme to better understand each other’s cultures while being part of the activities to prepare them for their “graduation” performances at the end of the program.

Residents of Kampung Pichin, Serian, expressed their delight with the programme particularly the opportunities for interaction and exchanging experiences with the young participants, fostering a sense of bonding and understanding in bridging the generation gap.

The closing ceremony, graced by the Chief Executive of YPS Datu Aloysius J. Dris, local community leader, Penghulu Dennis Gamin Anak Antung, and the Ketua Kaum, Rioi Anak Lagit, also marked the culmination of their enriching journey.

GROUP PHOTO: Datu Aloysius (centre), Penghulu Dennis (left), and KK Rioi (right) posed for the closing ceremony with the Y-Harvest participants.

Datu Aloysius (centre) during the souvenir presentation  by KK Rioi (right) while being watched by Penghulu Dennis (left).

In his speech, Datu Aloysius thanked the local villagers for their willingness to share their life-experiences, local cultures, and traditions while empowering the young people to share their knowledge and experiences with the local community.

Tan Yu Xian, representing University Putra Malaysia (Bintulu Campus) from Taiping, Perak, shared his delight in experiencing a traditional Bidayuh ‘kampung’ setting for the first time during the paddy harvesting activities while being immersed in the vibrant culture of Kampung Pichin.

With the newly formed friendship and reflecting on these enriching experiences, Yu Xian hoped the knowledge gained would benefit him in the future.

An interactive session on the fourth night during the “Discovery Pichin” session, provided a platform for meaningful discussions, sharing of insights and reflections on their kampung journey while fostering an envisioned future collaboration, paving the way for positive changes in Kampung Pichin.

As Y-HARVEST draws to a close, its impact echoes far beyond the fields and foot paths of the village.

Emmanuel Savio (left) posed with his host family from Kampung Pichin.

It serves as a tribute and appreciation to the potential of youth in advancing sustainable rural development, nurturing unity, and shaping a promising future for everyone.

Within the embrace of diversity lies our nation’s strength, and initiatives like Y-HARVEST illuminate the path towards a more inclusive and harmonious society.