Ler Wei Rong

RongFrom a zoologist to an environment activist. This is a truly unforeseen journey.

Hi, my name is Wei Rong, a fresh zoology graduate from USM Penang. My ambition was to join a marine animal conservation group in order to further enhance my research skills and thinking, while getting ready for a mastership enrolment.

However, life doesn’t always work as one wish…

Most of the marine animal conservation groups in Malaysia are NGOs, thus they either don’t have the vacancy or the budget to hire a new researcher. I was offered to join them as a participant or volunteer, and there even was a time I was invited to be a fundraiser.

This is when I got to know about EcoKnights. They were having MHB Knights of Nature Sustainability Camp 2018 not that far from my hometown. Having experienced and witnessing the charismatic leadership of their president Yasmin in another event, I decided to join the camp to spend my free time meaningfully, and here I am, joining EcoKnights as an intern after the camp.

Three months with EcoKnights wasn’t that long, but you will feel like it has been a really long time because EcoKnights usually has a tight schedule towards the end of the year. I came in right after they completed their annual event, the Bunus Walk For River 2018, but I was just in time to participate in their biggest annual event, The Kuala Lumpur International Eco Film Festival (KLEFF). The layout and the coordination of this mega project is really astonishing, and I am so proud to be one of the committees in executing this running decade-long project. Other major events that I was involved in this period included, but not limited to, Bursa Green Carnival, Gamuda Park’s H2Ours@Rhythm Fiesta, upcycling workshop to 120 students concurrently, and Nissan Nurtures Nature monthly roadshow.

The things I like about EcoKnights are how they fight for a greener Malaysia, how the team members bond with each other and get their work done, how they have each other’s back when something doesn’t go well, how EcoKnights encourages the interns to join self-development workshops, how Yasmin and EcoKnights Program Director, Fadly, share their thoughts and inspire all the team members to excel in their jobs. This is really a heart-warming place to work, despite all the extreme multitasking, time flexibility, problem solving, OT, and weekend duties that the whole team has to tackle from time to time, especially towards the end of the year.

As of this testimonial, I have graduated from being an EcoKnights intern, but my journey didn’t end there. I have joined the team as an officer to continue learning about sustainability, but more from a communication perspective. I believe Yasmin and the team are professional enough to show me how can I measure our communication efforts, which would be very useful for my master research later. Animal conservation in this era isn’t just about understanding the animals, it is more about managing human behaviour.

Rong Photos

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