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 one-year 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.”