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Saturday, 10 August 2013 00:00

Happy Kids’ Health Camp

Written by  By Yen Yu Chu & Xu Shu Jing, Melaka / Translated by Goh Hwe Yong

Taiwan’s Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth and their Melaka counterparts jointly held a 'Happy Kids’ Health Camp' that attracted the participation of 216 children, aging from 7 to 11 years.【Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan】

Taiwan Collegiate Youth group and its supporting task force recently visited Melaka Tzu Chi on a humanity educational exchange programme. They also joined their local counterparts in organizing a Health Camp to teach children to adopt a healthy and eco-friendly diet.


Twenty-six members of Taiwan Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth and their supporting task force were at Melaka Tzu Chi on August 9-10, 2013, on a humanity educational exchange programme. They were joined by more than 200 local volunteers in organizing a 1 ½-day “Happy Kids’ Health Camp” for 216 children, aged between 7 to 11 years from the Tzu Chi Parent-Child Bonding Classes. Some parents also took on voluntary tasks in order to get involved in their children’s extra-mural activity. It was the first time that this activity was organized on such a scale in Tzu Chi Melaka.

Many members arrived to report for the Camp much earlier than scheduled. Seven-year old Luo Jing Hong was one of them. Despite being unwell, he would not miss this much awaited activity so his mother sent him over. He enjoyed the Camp so much that he totally forgot his illness.

Some children were shy and timid so both their parents had to accompany them to the Camp. They included Madam Li Cai Hong’s two children. Madam Li wanted her children to learn good values and manners through the Camp’s activities. Upon arriving at the Camp site, they finally plucked up their courage and happily joined the rest of the children.

Humanistic quality is the key to a beautiful world

The Camp focused on Health and Environmental Protection issues. As such, the programme was designed around this theme and they included group activities, sketches, and others. It was a thoroughly refreshing way to learn about serious issues like environmental protection and health.

The programme opened with a sketch entitled, “The Battle to Save the Earth”. Through their participation, the children learnt to protect the Earth by overcoming the evil forces. They would then become more caring, loving and respectful of others, as well as, be humble and gentle in speech and behaviour.

In the sketch, the Collegiate Youth members portrayed Miss Smiley, Mr. Clean, Miss Chip-in and Mr. Rush to impart the message of good social behaviour. The children were then asked to discuss both the good and bad behaviour; and hopefully all the positive good values would be instilled and reinforced in their young minds.

Deputy Headmistress of Bukit Beruang Chinese Primary School, Yang Xiu Fang, and her staff, Teacher Lin Zheng Hui, were voluntary workers in the kitchen. However, they were later invited to join the Camp as observers. According to Madam Yang, Tzu Chi volunteers have, for the past two years, been visiting her school every Tuesday and Thursday for recycling activities and classroom story sessions respectively. As a result, her students are well-mannered, and the teachers have also learnt alternative teaching methods. As an example, she cited Lin Zheng Hui’s class where no duty roster is drawn up because every student does his part to keep the class clean.

Due to such encouraging results, the school will always welcome Tzu Chi volunteers and their morale-boosting activities for its students. Madam Yang thinks very highly about Tzu Chi as her son was a Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth member when he was an undergraduate at Singapore Nanyang University, and had been to Tzu Chi Taiwan on an exchange trip. So she is always happy to volunteer for Tzu Chi’s activities.

Natural colouring agents

In one programme, the children learnt through a video footage the benefits and dangers of natural and artificial coloring in food so that they would be able to make the right choice when buying food in the future. They were then taught to use fresh fruit juices to make jelly.

Like some children, Huang Jun Heng is already aware of food colouring which he learnt from his mother, Mok Mei Ling. He said that he would never buy any drinks or jelly with attractive colors. He prefers homemade jellies and drinks because they are definitely healthier and even taste better.

Alerted by the presentation, Fu Kai Ling was eager to share her new knowledge with her parents.

After watching the ‘Food Crisis’ sketch, Chen An Sheng realized he had been wasteful in throwing away food that he disliked. He did not know that a large number of people are starving and in dire need of food. He promised to finish his food in future and will save money in a coin bank to donate for charity.

In a quiz session, the children responded well to environmental protection issues. This was followed by a DIY session where they were taught to make a “bamboo coin bank” each, using PET bottles. To demonstrate that they will love and care for the Earth, the children had to write on the bottle how they would go about saving the environment. A little friend wrote that he would not eat meat, junk food or consume soft drinks, as well as not waste resources and food.

He also ended his ‘vow’ with the word ‘Gan-en (In gratitude)’.

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The highlight of the Camp’s activities was an evening show on “Parental Grace” that featured the delivery of a baby elephant and its development from birth. The film made these young viewers realize the amount of love and care that are being showered upon them by their parents. A sign language presentation of “Grateful Little Lamb” conveyed the message about filial piety, which moved the young hearts.

At the end of the day, the young campers enthusiastically looked forward to going home and practising filial piety towards their parents. Some were heard saying: “I want to help in household chores from now on…”; “I will give my parents a good massage…”; “I will do no evil, so that my parents will not be worried about me…” A senior volunteer from Taiwan, Huang Qiu Liang, also shared his life story with the children, pointing out that it is good to realize one’s blessedness, treasure it, and create more of it through doing good deeds. The Camp ended with the screening of the camp review movie and singing the song “Children of the Earth”.

 

Fruit juices were introduced as natural colours for jelly. Thus the children have learnt the difference between natural food colours and harmful chemical colouring.【Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan】 The Taiwan Collegiate Youth team leading the participants in singing the song 'Children of the Earth'.【Photograph by Tan Lian Hee】

Fruit juices were introduced as natural colours for jelly. Thus the children have learnt the difference between natural food colours and harmful chemical colouring.【Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan】

The Taiwan Collegiate Youth team leading the participants in singing the song “Children of the Earth”.【Photograph by Tan Lian Hee】
Deputy Headmistress Yang Xiu Fang (centre) and Teacher Lin Zheng Hui (left) of Bukit Beruang Primary School arrived early to help out in the kitchen, but they were later invited to join the Camp as observers.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】 Exercises were designed to create health awareness.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】

Deputy Headmistress Yang Xiu Fang (centre) and Teacher Lin Zheng Hui (left) of Bukit Beruang Primary School arrived early to help out in the kitchen, but they were later invited to join the Camp as observers.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】

Exercises were designed to create health awareness.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】
The Ceremonial ritual at lunch time was meant to instill discipline and manners in the children.【Photograph by Ngow Judy】 A stage performance of “Grateful Little Lamb” made the Camp members realize that they must be grateful to their parents.【Photograph by Ngow Judy】

The Ceremonial ritual at lunch time was meant to instill discipline and manners in the children.【Photograph by Ngow Judy】

A stage performance of “Grateful Little Lamb” made the Camp members realize that they must be grateful to their parents.【Photograph by Ngow Judy】
Huang Yao Hui made a ‘Bamboo coin Bank’ out of a PET bottle, and wrote on it his promises to protect the environment. 【Photograph by Tan Ah Lek】 Sharing by the children on ways to preserve the Earth were pinned on the board. 【Photograph by Goh Ah Lian】

Huang Yao Hui made a ‘Bamboo coin Bank’ out of a PET bottle, and wrote on it his promises to protect the environment. 【Photograph by Tan Ah Lek】

Sharing by the children on ways to preserve the Earth were pinned on the board. 【Photograph by Goh Ah Lian】

 

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