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Monday, 14 April 2014 00:00

Realizing the Dream with Actions

Written by  BY YEN YU CHU, MELAKA / TRANSLATED BY LEE REN HUI

Melaka Day Care students made sushi  to raise fund for the construction of Melaka Tzu Chi primary and secondary schools. [Photography by Yen Yu Chu]

Tzu Chi Day Care children vowed to prove their determination to help raise fund for the construction of Tzu Chi primary and secondary schools. Their selfless love has touched their fellow younger brothers and sisters at Da Ai Educare Centre, as well as many kind-hearted people who responded and supported them, helping them to move closer to their dream.


In the afternoon of April 4, 2014, Cai Gui Xiang, a teacher at the Day Care, led the children to make their first sushi. A few weeks ago, Gui Xiang was teaching the children on how to use their own ability to earn money, so that they learn to work to achieve their goals. Therefore, she decided to organize a sushi charity sale, and her little kind thought was amplified by the great love of the children, where the whole class decided to donate all the proceeds from the charity sale towards the building fund of the Melaka Tzu Chi primary and secondary schools, instead of their initial plan to buy their favourite extracurricular books. To back the pure and kind thought of the children, Gui Xiang gave her full support in the preparation, from the purchasing of ingredients, to washing, cutting and cooking the ingredients.

On that day, the children excitedly helped one another put on their aprons, head scarves and hand gloves in order to ensure hygiene and food safety. After they were ready, some children started to prepare the rice, fillings and seaweed respectively, and some were in charge of packing and so on. The classroom was transformed into a small production factory, where everyone was taking part in the tasks. “Today is just a trial, mainly for the children to have some basic idea of what it is like, and to familiarize them with the (sushi) making process, in preparation for the coming large-scale charity sale on April 14 and May 11,” said Gui Xiang. Within two hours, the children had produced about 100 boxes of bean curd sushi, egg sushi and vegetable sushi roll.

The target customers of this trial session were mainly the staffs in the main office, free clinic and Jing-Si Books & Café in the premise of Tzu Chi Melaka Branch, as well as parents of the children. Some of the children actively promoted the sushi and the cause of the charity sale, and as a result of their effort, the bamboo banks were getting heavier and heavier with money filled. All their hard work was paid off by the many happy faces of their customers as well as the sense of accomplishment.

Striving to achieve their dream

Wei Wen Hong, a Year 3 student with SJK(C) Yu Hwa, led his classmates to make a pledge to raise RM10,000, as a target for this year’s charity sale. Today, he was responsible for putting the rice into the mould and making them into pellets. As the rice was sticky and easily stuck on the glove, it was difficult for them to work smoothly; failing to press the rice into solid pellets would then affect the wrapping of the fillings. Wen Hong was embarrassed to admit that, “It’s so toilsome and difficult, especially the rice! But I am very happy that I can personally make sushi for charity sale!”

Lai Nai Jin, a Year 5 student with SJK(C) Pay Fong, expressed his strong intention to study in Tzu Chi secondary school. He intently placed the sushi rice into the bean curds and carefully folded them, as if his hard work today would bring him closer to his dream. Furthermore, he was also confident in raising the charity sale target to RM 100,000. Although he knew that the process would not be easy, but he believed that with strong willpower, it is possible.

Putting kind thought into action

After a successful trial of sushi making and charity sale, the Educare Centre and Day Care specially invited Peng Zhi Hua, a sushi master with 18 years of experience, to come and teach the children on the techniques of sushi making. Touched by the kindness of the children, Zhi Hua who works in Kuala Lumpur took leave from work and travelled to Melaka to share his knowledge.

On April 14, Zhi Hua and Gui Xiang, started the preparatory works from washing and cooking the rice to cutting and washing the vegetables as early as 7 am, so that the sushi making could start by 9 am. In order to ensure quality instruction, Zhi Hua diligently taught the teachers and children in batches, from the six-year-old group to five-year-old group, four year-old group and lastly, the Day Care group.

With their masks, head scarves, aprons and gloves on, all the children looked excited. They listened attentively to instructions given by Zhi Hua, and carefully put the ingredients and wrapped the sushi. Due to concerns over safety and health issues, the children could not help with making the sushi for a long period of time, nonetheless, they contently enjoyed the sushi that they made for the first time. Six-year-old Chen Jun Hao said, “I wish to continue making, and I want to make for my parents at home.” He also said that he will invite his entire family to the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) on May 11, to join the Buddha Bathing Ceremony and support the sushi charity sale, to contribute to the construction of Tzu Chi primary and secondary schools.

Although having to stand the whole day, Zhi Hua was happy with what he did. “I’m not tired as I’m used to standing, what’s more this is a meaningful charity sale, which is more the reason to come and support,” he said. He also planned to join the Day Care children in the charity sale to be held in conjunction with the Buddha Day celebration on May 11.

Collective effort to fulfil the dream

Heard from Gui Xiang about the sushi charity sale on April 14, Liao Gui Fang, a teacher of ErTong LeYuan Kindergarten, helped to collect an order of 50 packs from parents of students at the kindergarten. During lunch time, Zhi Hua and Gui Xiang did not rest but delivered the sushi to Gui Fang at the kindergarten. Gui Fang humbly said, “Actually I did not do anything, just shared a good deed with others.”

One of the parents, Lu Li Wen, also came to help make the sushi since early morning. As the children’s tables were relatively low, she had to bend down to make the sushi, but looking at the boxes of sushi, she felt contented and all the hard work was worthwhile. She shared, “We should extend a helping hand while we can! Just do what we can. Furthermore, seeing all the sushi being sold out shortly, I felt like a sushi master despite this is the first time I make sushi, it’s very fulfilling.”

While everyone was busy making sushi, Yan Mei Ting, mother of Chen De Lin, a Day Care student, walked around to sell the sushi to the parents of Day Care and Educare Centre students, as well as teachers and staff in the office. Mei Ting said with a smile, “I’m very happy for having this opportunity to help in fundraising.” Mei Ting was also thankful for the opportunity to accompany De Lin, who is shy, and slowly guide him to take the courage to interact with strangers during the charity sale.



All the ingredients, from the trial sushi-making and charity sale on April 4 to the school-wide charity sale on April 14, and the large-scale charity sale to be held in conjunction with the Buddha Bathing Ceremony on May 11, are all sponsored by Zhi Hua’s supplier. Such encouraging response is mainly due to the kind thoughts and deeds of the children that have touched the hearts of many, and in turn enable the charity sales to be carried out smoothly.

During the activity, the children were not shy to ask questions actively. “How much ingredient should we put in the sushi?”, “Why must the sushi have fillings?”, “Is it a must to use seaweed? Can we use egg sheets?”, “How many times should we wash the rice?” and “What are added to the rice?” are among the many different questions that the children threw at Zhi Hua. Apparently, it was a rewarding experience for them. Some of the parents on the other hand, could not wait to taste the sushi and complimented that they were delicious. Gui Xiang also reminded the parents that the delectable sushi will once again be available during the Buddha Bathing Ceremony on May 11, at the MITC. The resulting fund of RM2,973 raised in the two charity sales indicates that the children have made a big step closer to their dream.

 

Wei Wen Hong (middle), a Year 3 student with SJK(C) Yu Hwa, was responsible for putting the rice into a mould and making them into pellets. [Photography by Yen Yu Chu]   Melaka Da Ai Educare Centre and Day Care especially invited Peng Zhi Hua, who has 18 years of experience in sushi making, to come and teach the children on sushi making. [Photography by Alex Tan Ah Lek]

Wei Wen Hong (middle), a Year 3 student with SJK(C) Yu Hwa, was responsible for putting the rice into a mould and making them into pellets. [Photography by Yen Yu Chu]
 
Melaka Da Ai Educare Centre and Day Care especially invited Peng Zhi Hua, who has 18 years of experience in sushi making, to come and teach the children on sushi making. [Photography by Alex Tan Ah Lek]
 
Touched by the kindness of the children, Peng Zhi Hua especially took leave from work so that he could come and guide the children in making sushi. [Photography by Alex Tan Ah Lek]   Gui Xiang personally delivered 50 packs of sushi to Liao Gui Fang at the kindergarten and thanked her for supporting the children’s kind initiative. [Photography by Alex Tan Ah Lek]

Touched by the kindness of the children, Peng Zhi Hua especially took leave from work so that he could come and guide the children in making sushi. [Photography by Alex Tan Ah Lek]
 
 
Gui Xiang personally delivered 50 packs of sushi to Liao Gui Fang at the kindergarten and thanked her for supporting the children’s kind initiative. [Photography by Alex Tan Ah Lek]
 
Yan Mei Ting, accompanied her son Chen De Lin, who is shy, and slowly guided him to take the courage to interact with strangers during the charity sale. [Photography by Yen Yu Chu]
 

Yan Mei Ting, accompanied her son Chen De Lin, who is shy, and slowly guided him to take the courage to interact with strangers during the charity sale. [Photography by Yen Yu Chu]