On April 19, 2008, a lecture entitled “Climate Change, Disasters and Wars: How will the next generation solve these challenges?” was held at the Wisma Kebudayaan SGM. The talk shed light on how climate changes, disasters and wars have adversely affected the livelihood of common people, particularly women and children.
On hand to deliver the lecture was the President of MERCY Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Jemilah Mahmood, a consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, ex-lecturer at the National University of Malaysia and recipient of the “Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award” by Morehouse College, USA.
Sensing the severity of such challenges, Dr Jemilah spoke in length on Total Disaster Rick Management (TDRM) which includes risk education, risk reduction and disaster preparedness and stressed on the importance of compassion as part of the collective consciousness in society and the urgent need to promote a caring culture through moral obligation. Frequently citing examples of how preparedness on the part of common people could even save a whole village from a tsunami and drawing from her experiences in war-torn and disaster-struck areas, the lecture made a poignant and enlightening experience for the audience.
Dato’ Dr Jemilah was the first Malaysian to be deployed with the United Nations Disaster Assessment & Coordination Team (UNDAC). Her contributions to civil society and marginalised communities are recognised globally. MERCY Malaysia or Malaysian Medical Relief Society was formed in 1999 and has grown into a reputable international relief organisation delivering aid in emergencies as well as post-emergency work. In July 2007, it became the only Malaysian-born NGO receiving Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC). It is also the only Asian NGO appointed to the board of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International in Geneva.