“To educate a child, is to turn walls into doors.”
– Author unknown
I have a soft spot for charity events and programs – I jolt up whenever I get the chance to coordinate one.
My current job has given me the opportunity to work closely with the established for-purpose organization MyKasih Foundation in organizing Caltex Fuel Your School, a campaign that aims to fund creative and innovative classroom projects for public schools in pre-selected states. This year, the team decided to go with Malacca and Negeri Sembilan.
I personally was super psyched up as we received twice the number of project submissions compared to last year. As much as we wanted to award all the teachers that sent in their proposals, we could only award 25 projects per state.
Starting from last two weeks, we had the preliminary rounds of prize-giving events at the winning schools in Malacca and Negeri Sembilan.
With the adorable students of SJK(C) Pay Chee, MyKasih Foundation team and the happy teacher whose classroom project was selected to receive a myriad of learning materials to further enhance the learning experience of her students.
It’s an indescribable euphoric feeling to see how happy the teachers and students were when we arrived with their items. Some of the winning schools that we went to were categorized as high need schools – in need of funding and financial aid.
We were given the classroom tour. Both Karina (MyKasih Foundation) and I were a bit (OK, maybe overly) on the ecstatic side when they demonstrated how to use the SmartBoard. Something people who grew up in the 80s and 90s could only dream of having.
Some of the schools were fortunate to have donations from their Parent and Teachers Association (PIBG), others were not quite. With the existence of a myriad of Corporate Social Responsibility programs from various corporate companies, this will definitely alleviate the financial burden off these schools, and elevate the learning experience for their high spirited students.
What corporate companies might not be aware of is that they don’t always have to channel their CSR funds by bringing orphans to the zoo or throwing them a ‘makan-makan’ session. Don’t get me wrong. There is certainly nothing wrong with a visit to the zoo, or a kenduri for that matter. But wouldn’t it also be more meaningful if companies could directly contribute and impact these future leaders from an educational platform?
Did you know that some schools in the rural areas even have as low as 5 students per classroom? On the flipside, the students will get an abundance of attention from their subject teachers, compared to high density schools in the city. However, the downside is they do not have the luxury of the latest technology. One of the schools we awarded didn’t have internet access in their school. The teachers had to rely on the WiFi from the community hall across the street.
Our hopes were high. With the latest (attractive) gadgets and materials to help the students learn better, we were positive that the truancy rate would spiral downwards, and students would be excited to come to school. Well, I would!
Here’s one of the many photos we took at Sekolah Kebangsaan Air Molek.
Upon our arrival at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampong Parit, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, we were greeted with joyful kompang music and ‘bunga manggar’, just like the ones you experience at weddings!
We wrapped up the prize giving events in Malacca and Negeri Sembilan with a warm fuzzy feeling. Apart from the great hospitality from the rural schools – being well fed by the teachers (think authentic ‘daging salai masak lemak cili api’ with ‘ulam raja’ and ‘sambal belacan’), we brought back home with us fond memories and invaluable money-can’t-buy experiences. I would do this over and over again, in a heart beat.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not by any means a paid advertorial by Caltex or MyKasih Foundation. It is genuinely the sharing of my thoughts, appreciation and passion towards Corporate Social Responsibility programs, in particular education-related.