Overseas Immersion Programme by Northbrooks Secondary School Red Cross Youth 2017
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By Nuraida Ajmaain, Senior Youth Officer, Northbrooks RCY

Eight Red Cross Youth (RCY) cadets, RCY Secretariat Mr Vincent Toh, two Youth Officers from Northbrooks Secondary School (NBrSS) Mr Sanjay S/O Radakrishna and I participated in an Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on 9 and 10 November 2017.

The objectives of the OIP were to enable NBrSS RCY cadets to gain exposure as Brooksian Champions in an unfamiliar yet real-world setting while putting their leadership skills and humanitarian knowledge to practical use, to create an impact on the community. The OIP also provided a platform for our cadets to share and exchange ideas with their international counterparts from Malaysia.

In collaboration with the Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia (Red Crescent Malaysia), Johor Bahru Chapter, our cadets had an enriching experience. Our team taught bandaging skills and personal hygiene to primary school students at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Ladang Pendas, about 40 minutes away from the city.

Optimized OIP 5

(The group photo was taken at the end of the day as the students were dismissed from the session conducted by the cadets.)

The school had its own success story in increasing their students’ attendance from 50 percent to about 93 percent at present. This was attributed to the dedication of their staff, the support of the Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia (Red Crescent Malaysia), JB Chapter, through breakfast programmes and the upgrading of school facilities.

It was the cadets’ first engagement with the Orang Asli (aboriginal people) community. The school was idyllically nestled, set against a pristine backdrop of lush greenery amidst the forest and plantations. Our cadets shared the various types of bandaging while the children learnt and practised them on their friends.

Optimized OIP 3

(The Northbrooks Sec RCY unit cadets and the Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia (Red Crescent Malaysia) Johor Bahru Chapter cadets demonstrated teamwork in conducting the lessons on bandaging skills and hygiene to the students of the Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Landang Pendas located in Gelang Patah, Johor.)


(The cadets proudly stood by the 4 best-looking models that were bandaged by their peers during the hands-on session.)

We were inspired by the positive learning attitudes and enthusiasm of the children during the hands-on session; the children were literally beaming with pure happiness. The cadets enjoyed being outdoors with the Orang Asli children. It was a unique experience taking in the fresh air and the breathtaking view of the surrounding foliage as they witnessed the traditional way of life of the Orang Asli community.

Optimized OIP 6

(The cadets visited the children in their village who showed their skills in doing backflips off the boat in the background. Their favourite past time was swimming and playing in the river.)

Optimized OIP 7

(The Orang Asli children went with the cadets to visit the houses which revealed the tradition lifestyle of the community.)

Besides meeting the needs of the communities they served, our cadets also developed their character and leadership skills through the OIP. Our cadets demonstrated graciousness in their speech and action, integrity in upholding their responsibilities, fortitude in accomplishing their tasks in an unfamiliar setting, and discipline in following through with the common objectives of the programme. The cadets also showcased teamwork and empathy in their interaction with fellow teammates, Red Crescent cadets and the children.

The cultural immersion component was achieved through the collaboration with the cadets from the Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia (Red Crescent Malaysia) JB chapter, during their sharing sessions and interaction at the JB Headquarters and the Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Landang Pendas, as well as cultural visits to the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, the Johor Gu Miao or Ancient, and the magnificent Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman glass temple.

With the RCY motto ‘Humanity in Our Hands’, Northbrooks’ OIP 2017 cadets ventured off the beaten track in their effort to make the world a better place. They truly lived out their school mission, “Empowering Brooksians to develop a passion for learning, strong moral values and a keen sense of duty and community”.

Most importantly, we are thankful for the assistance rendered by the Red Cross Youth HQ and the Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia (Red Crescent Malaysia) JB chapter and we value this partnership to enrich the cadets’ experience while touching the lives of others.


(The staff and cadets of Northbrooks Secondary School RCY unit and Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia (Red Crescent Malaysia) Johor Bahru Chapter took a photographic memento to commemorate the Overseas Immersion Programme 2017 between the two HQs.)


Students’ Reflections:

Corporal Kristalinia: “Seeing the simple lifestyle of the Orang Asli community made me feel grateful with what I have and the children inspired me with their contentment and happiness. It has taught me to be more appreciative of what I have and the people around me.”

Lance Corporal Nur Liyana: “I am impressed and thankful for the hospitality and warmth offered by the Red Crescent cadets. We conversed a lot in sharing about our units’ activities and they helped to close the language barrier when we faced communication difficulties during the teaching of bandaging and personal hygiene to the Orang Asli children. They made me feel grateful for the friendship that we have made during this trip.”