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Perkasa Remaja Programme

Centre for Youth Empowerment (PERKASA), UKM

Introduction

Centre for Youth Empowerment (PERKASA) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was established on January 5, 2010 by Her Excellency Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, Wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. PERKASA's mission is to be an international centre of excellence that explore issues of youth through various empowerment strategies including the process of research, intervention, and generating a database that helps in the integrated planning for a competitive, dynamic, confident and courageous young generation.

PERKASA's role is to conduct research and interventions for the empowerment of young people in order to build a confident, dynamic and has a strong identity. In achieving its goals, PERKASA is initiating two programmes, i.e. camp intervention programme (Kem PERKASA) and community intervention programme (Komuniti PERKASA).

Kem PERKASA

Kem PERKASA is an intervention programme for the rehabilitation of youths who are involved in illegal racing misconduct (Mat Rempit) and charged under section 42 of the Road Transport Department Act. Through Kem PERKASA, youth emotional, spiritual and intellectual development will be focused on an integrated basis using a holistic approach.

The objectives of PERKASA camp are as follows:

  • To develop emotional, spiritual and intellectual of youth in an integrated holistic approach.
  • To empower participants by improving participants' self-esteem, resilience, assertive behaviour and the alignment of competency and leadership.
  • To enhance excellent human capital and reduce illegal racing activities
  • To instill volunteerism towards the community.


The candidate selected will be placed in certain camps to undergo a series of intervention programmes. They will be exposed to several activities including Psychological and Physiological Screening Profiles, Self Development, Emotional Intelligence, Anger Management and Communication Skills. PERKASA camp participants will also be given the opportunity to interact with successful icons that can be role models. In addition, participants will also be placed at selected companies to undergo industrial training.

Kem PERKASA has so far successfully implemented two programmes involving youth illegal racers or Mat Rempit. The first camp was held on March 1 to May 8, 2010, involving 34 participants. The second camp was conducted on  October 28, 2010 to February 14, 2011 involving a total of 29 participants. The second camp was a collaboration between UKM and FELDA, and was held at FELDA Bukit Rokan, Gemencheh, Negeri Sembilan.

Komuniti PERKASA

Komuniti PERKASA is a programme that is specifically developed to help young people in marginalized communities, to improve their well-being thus enabling the realization of their true potential.  The formation of social capital is the approach to developing youth.

In an effort to develop social capital, the youths will be given the opportunity to be involved in the planning and implementation of activities, by voicing their opinions and making decisions on the activities they are involved in. This approach is changing the paradigm of seeing youth as problems to seeing the youth as members of society having social capitals, i.e. assets, resources and skills. Active participation and dynamic social relationships can enhance the social capital of youth. Youths having high social capital are likely to be successful in life in the future.

The objectives of Komuniti PERKASA are as follows:

  • To develop youth based on the existing asset strength in them.
  • To emphasize the participation, involvement and empowerment of youth in community.
  • To strengthen a positive relationship between youths with those in around them.
  • To highlight the talent inherent in each youth.
  • To strive in creating a change in the youth within a period of time.


Komuniti PERKASA aims to improve 25 important assets in the youths involved. Youths having 25 of these assets is expected to more successfully achieve their ambitions and shall not be easily involved in various social ills.

Several programmes and activities have been undertaken in the research area throughout 2010 and will continue in 2011 and beyond. Among the programmes conducted include photography, cake decorating, and vocal music classes, homework clubs and a few other activities that involve the cooperation of UKM with NCWO and LPPKN, such as Be The Change Programme, Smart Belanja Workshop and I'm In Control Workshop. PERKASA programmes are conducted every week and received good response from youths and the Residents' Association in the area. About 500 young people had participated in activities organized by PERKASA.

Conclusion

Overall, PERKASA programmes aims to empower youth by giving them opportunities to develop positive self-development. Through the implemented programmes, it is anticipated that the participants from both PERKASA camp and community should take full advantage of the facilities and opportunities available to improve themselves so that they acquire a future as an adult with a more secure life. The establishment of Perkasa will highlight UKM as a centre of reference and expertise in research and interventions relating to young people.

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