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Ryanalysa Lai

Ryanalysa Lai or fondly known by her peers as Lysa, is a third-year accounting student from the Faculty of Economics and Business in UKM. Having been brought up in a relatively well off family from Negeri Sembilan, Lysa is not your stereotypical Gen Z who tends to take things for granted. On the contrary, Lysa is very much aware of her fortunate upbringing and has always been grateful for having loving parents who shower her with love and work hard to provide for the family, thereby allowing her to grow up in a comfortable and carefree environment. 

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Ryanalysa's Story

Ryanalysa Lai or fondly known by her peers as Lysa, is a third-year accounting student from the Faculty of Economics and Business in UKM. Having been brought up in a relatively well off family from Negeri Sembilan, Lysa is not your stereotypical Gen Z who tends to take things for granted. On the contrary, Lysa is very much aware of her fortunate upbringing and has always been grateful for having loving parents who shower her with love and work hard to provide for the family, thereby allowing her to grow up in a comfortable and carefree environment. 

What makes Lysa stand out amongst the sea of students, is her compassion towards others. Lysa understood that not every family in this world is as fortunate as hers and some, if not many struggle to put food on the table, let alone supporting their children until tertiary education. More often than not, their children are forced to forego education on many occasions to support the family. Education is important in the context that it promotes social mobility and provides an opportunity for the underprivileged to climb up the social ladder. However, many are deprived of this opportunity when their financial circumstances do not give them the leeway to pursue higher education. As such, they are stuck in this vicious cycle of poverty and see no escape. Lysa has always found this troubling but like many of us who wish to help, she does not know whence to start.  

In 2018 when Lysa was a fresh-man in UKM, she decided to be the change she hoped to see by throwing herself into volunteerism. She began her journey by participating in one of the Food for Mahasiswa Program organised by Persatuan Kasih Mahasiswa Malaysia (KASISWA) where she helps the organisation to distribute food packets to the underprivileged students in UKM. It was these very experiences of community service that really gave her a glimpse into  the life of students from the B40 group. Although not knowing them in person, Lysa felt a pang in her heart to see the daily struggles of the students  who were unable to afford a proper meal whilst doing their best to pursue their studies in university. 

Lysa’s experiences in KASISWA further strengthen her conviction that there are many people out there who need a helping hand on funding for their daily basic needs. Henceforth, she  dedicates most of her energy in serving the community and looking out for those who are in need. Lysa soon became an important member to the committee as well as a strong pillar to the club with her zealous commitment to reach out to more people. 

Despite being only a third-year student, Lysa was elected as the President of KASISWA in 2020. Her tenure was not an easy journey thus far as Lysa assumed the mantle of President amidst the pandemic. However, she vowed to pour her heart into leading the organization so as to make a greater impact especially in this trying times. With sheer determination and tremendous efforts, Lysa and her team has helped more than 200 UKM students since the imposition of MCO in March 2020. Their rays of kindness have given the poor students a strain of hope as they are arguably one of the  most vulnerable groups of people in this pandemic. 

While most of the charity organizations are having difficulties in generating funds in this unprecedented time, Lysa and KASISWA did not waver but instead doubled down on their effort to help the impoverished community. She is determined not to disappear from the people who have been relying on KASISWA’s assistance as she believes it is her duty to care for them. Despite how difficult the situation has been for the charity organisation, she and her team have quickly adapted to this new norm by coming out with ingenious ways to raise funds and distribute resources. For instance, KASISWA worked in tandem with HEP to collect the data of students and identify those who are in dire need of help. With thinning resources, KASISWA can only narrow down their beneficiaries as Mother Teresa once said, “if you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one”. 
 

When asked about her future planning in volunteerism, Lysa answered fervently that she does not plan to stop and she wishes to continue to leave an impact in this world by joining other volunteering programs such as UNICEF and UNHCR and serve people from all walks of life. Lysa believes that a little kindness can go a long way and we should always look out for each other as that’s what humanity is premised upon. We should not expect anything in return for our favour as charity is not transactional but instead it is born out of love. 
 

When asked to give an advice to her fellow juniors, Lysa said, “if you are encountering hardships at some point of your life, try to engage yourself in volunteering programs, as it will give you a wider perspective on life and help you to  realise that your problems may not be as severe as you think it is.” Lysa also encouraged everyone to partake in some form of community service or volunteerism and one need not to be financially well off in order to look out for the little ones. People often have a misconception that the ability of helping people must come along with the financial ability to make monetary donation, but Lysa begs to differ, “it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in or how willing you are to devote yourself, a small act of kindness is enough to leave a lifelong impact in someone’s life and keep the cycle of happiness ongoing, because small actions brings about big changes.”

Written By

Ong Jia Wei
Saveetra Revathi
Ng Chien Chern

Graphic & Design By

Tey Zhin Chuan
Haniss Haidi