‘Always do what’s right and worthwhile’


Ellis Suriyati with Lions Club Kuching member Cecil Adenan.

KUCHING: The spirit of volunteerism remains the core of the Lions Club movement.

In this regard, Lions Club International past director Datin Ellis Suriyati Omar is proud to have been involved in humanitarian and volunteer-based programmes under the movement over the past 38 years.

“There is no better feeling than being able to help people physically and ensure that those in need would not be neglected; that they can be part of our society and live better.

“I have done many volunteer works through the Lions Club since 1979 and also with other NGOs (non-governmental organisations); still, that does not mean that if you do not belong to this kind of organisation, you cannot help others especially the needy,” she told The Borneo Post here yesterday.

She said having a base like Lions Club can help one to do volunteerism work more effectively.

“The key is to do what is right and worthwhile, without looking at race, religion and social status.

“In this regard, I remind all, especially the young, that no matter what class or group you belong to, do volunteerism with passion – knowing you have done something right.”

On her years with the Lions Club, Ellis Suriyati said the association had enabled her to spearhead and run nine global missions — one project in China as well as two each in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia — from 2010 until this year.

She attributed her source of inspiration to her parents – both respected teachers at her hometown in Teluk Kemang, Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan.

“My parents always help people in need and they encourage me to do the same. I suppose volunteerism is in my blood.”

Talking about her present role in the Lions Club, Ellis Suriyati said it is more on advisory matters.

“I love to share my experiences with the new generation of Lions. Those who are friendly, have great attitude, caring, enthusiastic, able to see and assess the needs of others, committed in what they do and able to work as a team, can contribute so much to volunteerism — it is a major plus if they have good leadership as well.”

For her immense contribution to and leadership in the Lions Club International, Ellis Suriyati received ‘The Ambassador of Goodwill Award’ — the highest recognition bestowed upon an individual Lion — during a ceremony at Hamburg, Germany in 2010.

At present, she serves as the chairwoman of the Board of Lions Nursing Home Kuching – a position she has been holding for 25 years.