Cre­at­ing a bet­ter fu­ture

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PEOPLE - > FROM PAGE 19

“Through­out my ex­pe­ri­ence here, I wasn’t only teach­ing, but I also learned a lot from the peo­ple here. The kids are awe­some. They are re­cep­tive and al­ways ea­ger to learn. Some­times in school, we kids can be rather mean to each other. But it is quite har­mo­nious here, with no threats or con­dem­na­tion,” says Azam.

Ini­tially, he too strug­gled a lit­tle, as he had to adapt to the stu­dents’ dif­fer­ent in­tel­lec­tual lev­els and skills sets.

“It was tough teach­ing them the first few times. We had to repeat the steps over and over again. But we soon learned that it’s their na­ture, es­pe­cially with the young adults who are autis­tic.

“It has truly been an en­light­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I’ve got­ten to know the kids on a per­sonal level and bonded with them,” shares Azam.

Azam’s fam­ily have also been very sup­port­ive with his projects at the cen­tre.

“It’s a fam­ily af­fair. There are four of us, who are all work­ing on recre­at­ing items from scraps, to pro­duce use­ful ob­jects and all our fam­ily mem­bers sup­port each other and of­fer their time at the cen­tre. My mum some­times also helps with the de­signs and so on,” he con­tin­ues.

Another vol­un­teer, Nori­dah Ad­nan, a long time friend of Juairiah, is at the cen­tre ev­ery day.

“I used to be very in­volved in do­ing arts and craft with the kids here. How­ever, these days I con­cen­trate more on the ad­min­is­tra­tive side of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“There is a lot to be done and some­one needs to work out the lo­gis­tics. Since we put the items made by the stu­dents here on sale, I as­sist with the dis­tri­bu­tion. I am also rais­ing aware­ness on our orgni­sa­tion. Gold’s mis­sion has been well sup­ported by cor­po­ra­tions such as the Sun­way group.

“Most of the items are distributed to cor­po­rate clients such as The Sun­way Group. They buy the prod­ucts made by our stu­dents and give them out as door gifts dur­ing some of their cor­po­rate events. They also pur­chase the items in bulks and mar­ket them on our be­half. Of course, what­ever rev­enue gen­er­ated is paid to our stu­dents as this is how they gain an in­come.

“Last year, we gen­er­ated RM54,000. Ev­ery year we hope to gain a lu­cra­tive in­come, as the money is also used to buy items such as ce­ramic uten­sils, crafts, paints and other prod­ucts used to de­sign our end re­sults,” says Nori­dah.

Ma­jlis Per­ban­daran Subang Jaya (MPSJ) sup­ports Gold’s ini­tia­tive by spon­sor­ing their premise, and The Sun­way Group as­sist with the up­keep­ing of the venue.

Juairiah also urges the pub­lic to lend a help­ing hand by vol­un­teer­ing at the cen­tre.

“With the right sup­port and su­per­vi­sion, it has been proven that these young adults could re­alise their po­ten­tial and be­come

Up­cy­cling ini­tia­tive pro­gramme biji biji’s founder azam Hisham has been vol­un­teer­ing at Gold ev­ery day af­ter work since april. He is pic­tured here with items made by the kids at the as­so­ci­a­tion, banners up­cy­cled into bags.

ce­ramic items made by the stu­dents on dis­play at the cen­tre.

Founder of Gold (as­so­ci­a­tion of Learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties) Juairiah Jo­hari de­sires to help those with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties at­tain in­de­pen­dence so that they can sus­tain a liv­ing for a brighter fu­ture.

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