When I first signed up as a volunteer for the Global Peace Convention, I definitely didn’t know what to expect, but it easily became one of my most invaluable experiences ever.
Arriving at the Shangri-La Hotel for my first day on the job was nerve-wrecking, though the tension was eased when I was warmly greeted by the coordinators. I recall Hanako-san, one of the social media coordinators saying “Welcome to Malaysia!” to people who were streaming in, and she wasn’t even from Malaysia!
The day continued with carrying out my duties as an usher under James, a fellow staff of Global Peace Foundation – USA, and Aizad from Malaysia. Both were very efficient and fun leaders to work with; they definitely led the staff and volunteers to perform our best in whatever we were doing. In the process of getting work done, I also got to make friends with people from many different countries, such as Indonesia, Sudan, U.S., etc. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long before I warmed up to everyone and their enthusiastic nature. It’s safe to say I felt at home.
Volunteering at the Global Peace Convention also had another perk – we had the opportunity to listen to the concurrent sessions. I personally got the chance to attend the Women In Leadership session where Her Excellency, Amina Sambo, the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria gave many valuable insights. She displayed wisdom and illustrated that women’s role in community building. Due to our ability in making decisions rationally with just the right amount of emotion our role is vital. I recall a joke one of the speakers cracked about the Lehman brothers. Highlighting the strength and ethical compass of women the speaker said, “Imagine if Lehman brothers were Lehman sisters…” The room roared with laughter. It was a very interesting session indeed.
At the end of my time as a volunteer, I found myself already so attached to the people I met at GPC. Without even realizing it, these strangers at the convention became my good friends, friends whom I now dare to call family. I can easily call everyone in the Global Peace Foundation team my family, because that’s what they honestly are to me. This once in a lifetime experience has definitely made me grow as an individual.
After volunteering at the convention, my passion to contribute has been fueled with more energy. Besides the power created by coming together for a common cause – global peace, I sincerely believe that GPF’s vision of “One Family Under God” was achieved too; and I’m honored to be a part of this movement.
Xueh Wei was an usher and a proud member of the social media team during Global Peace Convention 2013.