Vol­un­teer­ing for good

How two vol­un­teers are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence by par­tic­i­pat­ing in in­spi­ra­tional work­shops.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRATS - By JONATHAN DASON

WHEN I was young, I dreamt that I would help peo­ple when I grew up,” said Shayne Foo, 21 as he shared his life story at a home for un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren in Pe­tal­ing Jaya.

Un­for­tu­nately, Foo said he would end up get­ting bul­lied a few years on.

“How do you think I felt?” he asked the chil­dren sit­ting around him.

“Sad!” ex­claimed a child from the group with her hand raised. Foo then went on to de­scribe, with a fair bit of ac­tion, how he over­came that early chal­lenge in his life, much to the de­light of the kids.

Foo was shar­ing at an in­spi­ra­tional workshop which was part of the In­spir­ing Tomorrow cam­paign or­gan­ised by Dutch Lady Malaysia in con­junc­tion with its 50th an­niver­sary.

The cam­paign aims to in­spire young Malaysians to pur­sue their dreams and am­bi­tions through ed­u­ca­tion, sports and cre­ative arts.

In line with the gov­ern­ment’s call to drive youth vol­un­teerism and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment, Dutch Lady Malaysia part­nered with youth NGO Per­tubuhan Gen­erasi Cer­gas Malaysia to hold th­ese work­shops which are tai­lor-made for chil­dren aged nine to 12, with the in­ten­tion of ig­nit­ing the pas­sion and un­tapped po­ten­tial of un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren by equip­ping them with the tools they need for a brighter fu­ture.

The BRATs re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend a day of th­ese work­shops. We ar­rived early so we could talk to the two youth vol­un­teers who were there to help fa­cil­i­tate the work­shops.

Foo, who is tak­ing a oneyear break from his stud­ies, said he re­ally en­joyed get­ting out there no only be­cause he could help build the chil­dren’s char­ac­ters, but his own as well.

The other vol­un­teer, fresh grad­u­ate Ng Wai Yee, 22, added: “I’ve learnt there’s a story be­hind ev­ery child liv­ing in an or­phan­age. The ex­pe­ri­ence has re­ally changed my per­spec­tive on things.”

Ng felt the el­e­ment of fun in all the work­shops was also im­por­tant, but equally im­por­tant is help­ing the chil­dren achieve their full po­ten­tial.

“In any ac­tiv­ity we do, we’ll al­ways chal­lenge the kids a lit­tle. If we think they can do bet­ter, we’ll chal­lenge them. We’ll bring them to another level where they can ac­tu­ally do their tasks on their own.”

The first workshop of the day was on the “good­ness of milk”, which saw the chil­dren be­ing brought on a jour­ney on how the milk they drink is pro­duced.

The workshop also in­cluded an ac­tiv­ity called the Re­cy­cletron Chal­lenge where the chil­dren are given a task to trans­form the used Te­tra Pak milk car­tons into use­ful items.

The in­spi­ra­tional talk by Foo was con­ducted on the sec­ond day of the workshop, the last.

The goal of the talk was to in­spire the chil­dren to dream, and to work hard to achieve it.

Foo asked the chil­dren to vi­su­alise their dreams, and then to draw them out on a piece of pa­per.

Be­fore con­clud­ing the ses­sion, Foo said: “If you put your pas­sion and hard work into your dreams, some­day it might come true.”

brats@thes­tar.com.my

chil­dren at the workshop also learnt how the milk they drink is pro­duced.

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