Hi, my name is Tanasha and I am applying for Chevening scholarship for Global Health and Nutrition Masters. Your kind feedback is truly appreciated on my essay :)
Global Health and Nutrition Masters scholarship essay
"Wherever you are planted, bloom with grace" - this was the advise given by my supervisor, Mr. Fendy, during my internship at PT. Nutrifood Indonesia, and it kept me aspired to give back to the underserved communities, wherever I am located. While studying abroad in Malaysia, I get to know about the Rohingya refugees. Rohingya refugees in Malaysia have low access to primary healthcare and jobs, additionally, acculturation has also caused them to have limited knowledge on local healthy foods. The only foods they know, are mamak foods. Although halal, they are also high in calories, therefore, causing abnormal growth status and putting the refugee children at risk of obtaining chronic diseases in adulthood. This will put the family at an additional financial burden. Despite these issues, nutrition education efforts are still low due to lack of research data on their nutritional status and preventive efforts' effectiveness, hence the lack of a sustainable solution.
Currently, I am actively involved as co-founder and president of Kyan-Mar-Yeh project, which was founded in 2016 with an aim to prevent the onset of chronic diseases by providing access to nutrition education to the underserved communities and creating awareness on the refugee issues among the local Malaysian university students. We started off the project by educating 30 refugee children, aged 10-12 years old, who reside near my university, on the importance of hygienic habits and healthy, affordable diets. We were grateful to observe progresses in their hygiene knowledge and ability to differentiate healthy and unhealthy foods. We also distributed hygiene kits to the children to motivate them in maintaining their hygienic habits. As our work progresses, I noticed the need to expand the research data collection efforts to more underserved communities, however, not many student volunteers are equipped with the research skills - some of them do not come from health background as well. I then collaborated with Faculty of Applied Science, UCSI University, to develop a Research Guideline - a low cost and self-sustaining guideline, to provide guidance to the volunteers in producing scientific-sound data and solutions to each of the health issues faced by the underserved communities. Not only did the guideline KMY Project volunteers' to have better understanding and awareness on the refugees' health issues, it also equipped them with the applicable research skills, which are useful for their future Final Year thesis preparation.
Up till now, we have managed to conduct nutrition education classes to up to 200 refugee and Special Needs children in Kuala Lumpur. Some of the education syllabus produced by KMY Project volunteers have also been adapted by Special Needs' school named Sri Eden, as a part of their school curriculum. Looking at the potential of nutrition education among the underserved community in Malaysia has motivated me to further expand this education to the underserved community in my hometown in Bandung, in hope of achieving the same results and hence, preventing the onset of chronic diseases among the children.