On January 15, 2024, Cohort 36 of the Master of Science in Human Resource Development, under the leadership of Dr. Mark Kasa, embarked on a commendable one-day initiative. Their primary undertaking centered around a targeted training program titled “Effective Communication is the Key,” meticulously crafted to equip employees at Rumah Seri Kenangan (RSK) with enhanced communication skills. Concurrently, demonstrating a robust commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), the cohort also organized the distribution of packed dry foods to RSK residents, ensuring tangible support for their well-being.

Aligned with the requirements for completing the Master of Science in Human Resource Development, the training program represented a pivotal component of the students’ post-graduate studies. Tasked with developing and conducting a training program at an approved venue, the cohort meticulously designed three engaging modules: Communication and its process, Key elements in communication, and Handling conflict with effective communication. These modules, spearheaded by Dexter Janting, Debbie Bohan, Elvis Fernandez, Audria Denada, Noryatimah Saait, Nur Farrahana Suradi, Liliana James, and Josephine Seliman, were adeptly executed, incorporating interactive activities and role-play to enhance participant engagement.

The corporate social responsibility strategy integrates nutritional assistance with a social component. In addition to distributing food, the team actively engaged with residents in meaningful conversations, fostering a deeper sense of connection. This mini-CSR activity not only addressed the residents’ nutritional needs but also provided valuable emotional support through personal interactions. Building relationships with the residents encourages genuine connections, thereby enhancing the overall sense of community within RSK.
Further initiatives are planned, including health and wellness screenings and inter-generational programs involving secondary school students. These endeavors aim to cultivate a stronger community spirit and promote social interaction by facilitating connections between younger generations and senior citizens. Ultimately, these initiatives seek to alleviate feelings of social isolation among residents at Rumah Seri Kenangan, Kuching.

The dual program activities were successfully completed, effectively addressing the needs of both RSK employees and residents. Despite encountering challenges, the program notably bolstered communication skills for RSK employees and offered vital emotional support, thereby nurturing a tighter-knit community bond among RSK residents. We extend our sincere gratitude to Puan Sharifah Ranimah, the Person-in-charge at RSK, and the entire RSK team for placing their trust in us to carry out the dual program. Looking ahead, our forthcoming initiatives will focus on advancing holistic well-being and enhancing the community experience for RSK residents.

By Dr Mark Kasa, Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development

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