16 Mar 2021 Chariofare 2020 : Innovative and Creative Fund-Rising Projects and Activities During a Pandemic

Chariofare typically consists of an annual run, a fund-raising carnival and lots of exciting performances organised by the IMU students under the guidance of the IMU Community Engagement Office. With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting movement and the uncertainties of SOPs for the rest of the year, the Organising Committee of Chariofare 2020 had to rack their brains for alternate ways to conduct the Chariofare. As adversity breeds innovation, they found new ways around this pandemic, drawing on their innovative and creative brain juices. They had successfully organised 9 fund-raising projects, and with the additional activities by staff and students, raised over RM78,000 to help vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic. What an amazing achievement!

Chariofare 2020 officially closed on 18 December 2020 and the Organising Committee of Chariofare 2020 are currently recruiting the next batch of students for 2021. We manage to catch up with some of them as they looked back at their experience in planning for Chariofare 2020.

First of all, thank you for your time to sit down with us for this interview.

To start this session off, in 5 words, could you briefly tell us your roles in organising Chariofare?
Cheong Pei E (CPE) Director of Operations & Secretary For me it will be ‘Managing Operations, Dealing With Relationships’, because as a Secretary, I had to negotiate a lot with people and organisations that we were working with.
Oon Guo Rong (OGR) Head of Logistics For me it would be ‘Car, Driving, Petrol, Pos Laju, E-Sports’, because I was Head of Logistics.
Prof Khoo Suan Phaik (KSP) Advisor I advise so I guess my role would be ‘Advising, Mentoring And Totally Enjoying!’
Caitlin Lean (CL) Project Director for “Your Atuk’s Closet” ‘There Were So Many Clothes!’
Brigitta Hew (BH) Project Director for “Timeless Tales” & “For Dearest You For me, ‘I Delivered a Lot of Stuff’.
Syifa Torisz (ST) Project Director of “Quizzine Royale” ‘We Did A-Lot Of Videos’.
Sarah Suresh (SS) President For me I think, it would be ‘Doing A-Little Bit Of Everything’. Oh, wait that’s more than five words. Hahaha!
Given your answers, I’m sure there are many stories that went on behind the scenes. Could you share with us what surprised you the most during this whole process?
CPE For me, it’s the support that came to us when we needed it. It was not expected at all, because we didn’t think our event will start off with so much attention in the beginning. People lent us a hand throughout the whole process, and I felt that was very surprising to me.
OGR I didn’t expect the turnout of viewers for our E-Sports Tournament to be that great. The feedback has been positive, so it really motivated me to improve the (live)stream in terms of quality and gameplay. Even though we’re in the midst of the pandemic, we managed to pull through in the end, and I feel like it’s all worth it.
CL (I was surprised at) The fact that there was a lot of micro-transactions with the projects.
BH True, because my project is quite similar to Caitlyn’s, so I realised that we practically started an online business.
ST For me, it’s how much people are willing to step up when they’re needed. I felt that the community really supported us in that way.
SS Whenever we felt that this may not be possible, the causes that we’re working towards really pushed us to make it through. And that was something that surprised me, the way my team, the faculty, all of us came together and just supported us so much.
KSP  It’s just amazing to know the human potential. We knew that somebody needed us, so whenever we felt that we want to give up, we’d say ‘What’s going to happen to them if I give up now?’ So yes, perhaps we need a motivation, something to believe in.

That’s great to hear, and I’m glad that all turned out well. Which leads me to my next question: what is your fondest memory during this whole process?
CL Honestly, it’s the friendships that I’ve made.
ST It’s probably that we get to tell a lot of really good stories to a lot of people.
BH For me, it was working with the vendors that I was dealing with. They were more supportive than I thought they would be, so that really clicked with me.
CPE When we had our ice-breaking (session) when we were all not familiar with each other. Us getting to know each other much better was really fun!
OGR It’s really a great experience to work with so many individuals from different walks of life. Especially when you’re online, we had to discuss through (Microsoft) Teams and Zoom. And it all paid off.
SS I think it would be our weekly updates and meetings (with Prof Khoo), which we had at the elevator…
KSP Oh my God, tell me about it! People must be wondering what we were doing there…
SS I just enjoyed that. It was a time to speak with Prof Khoo, to get her support and mentoring. Also, another one would be having more hands on with the projects because it was all so uncertain. It’s always interesting to develop more ideas all the time, that one idea may not work so we had to think of something else.
KSP We really started with a clean slate; we couldn’t use the previous (event ideas). But looking back, I’m personally glad we did that. Because it was totally innovative, and we were thinking out of the box.
This last question is for you, Sarah. Any closing thoughts to share as the president of Chariofare 2020?
SS I think there has been a lot of human values throughout this project. The thing is, we don’t realise it until we’ve been through the whole process. To look back at the entire journey, from when I was first elected president to the closing, I can now see the growth, how I am able to recognise, manage and solve issues better. There’s also the importance of communication, how we can manage and convey our message properly. It was challenging in the beginning; I remembered when we had our meetings, it was so hard because we didn’t have that connection. I hope at this point, we can happily say that we are much closer as a team. I also hope that Chariofare will be kind to the next team, just like it was for us.
KSP I think it was well done! All of you were wonderful and did a great job. I’d say this is probably the best that we have done so far, seeing how we had to throw everything we knew about Chariofare out of the window and just thinking out of the box to come up with these fundraising projects in the midst of the pandemic. I’m so proud of this Chariofare 2020.

Despite the challenges that the pandemic posed, we are glad that the Organizing Committee of Chariofare 2020 has not only pulled through but has set a new benchmark in this unprecedented moment of time. They made a video (https://fb.watch/4eELhCr8li/) to recapture what Chariofare means to them: a beautiful family.

We wish them all the best in their future undertakings, and we hope that the new Chariofare committee will step up to the plate and reach even greater heights.

16 Mar 2021|IMU Cares|0 Comments

Leave A Comment