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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Thursday, 11 December 2014 00:00

Great Support for School Building Fundraising Event

Written by  Yen Yu Chu, Melaka / Translated by Lee Ren Hui

On December 11, 2014, Melaka Da Ai Educare Centre organized a Charity Fundraising Bazaar to raise funds for the construction of Tzu Chi International Schools. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]

“Good bargains! Grab them before they are gone…” were tender shouts of children from Da Ai Educare Centre amidst the bustling crowd, fearlessly trying to attract customers to their booths. Some children even walked into the crowd to promote their sale items. This fundraising event to promote education received great response from all present.


 
On December 11, 2014, Da Ai Educare Centre held a “Charity Bazaar of Love” aimed at raising funds for the construction of Tzu Chi International Primary and Secondary School. A day earlier, the Educare Centre held a mock charity bazaar to explain to the children about the sales items, customer service, etiquette when bargaining, as well as, calculation of prices. As the excited children were learning, they also started to look for their own treasures. They were heard saying, “Tomorrow I will bring RM3, RM5… I want to buy hair clips, bracelets, watches, toys, water bottles, stickers…”, as they busily discussed their shopping plans.
 
A variety of items, namely, drinks, snacks and crackers, fruits and plants, second-hand clothing, supplies and decorations, and books, were available at different sections of the charity bazaar. There was also an exhibition showcasing Jing Si Aphorism lessons conducted at the Educare Centre in 2014. 
 
People started arriving at the Educare Centre as early as eight in the morning. Some parents and volunteers rushed to the venue before going to work, while others brought along their young and old family members and friends. In response to the call to protect the environment, everyone brought his/her own tableware.
 
Four-year-old Tan Shang Yue from Da Xin Class shouted, “Come, come! Pudding and jelly! Please come over here…” His loud voice and amusing body movements attracted many passers-by to stop and ask, “How much is this?” and the children responded, “Two for three Ringgits.” But when they were asked, “How much for one?”, they were at a loss. Then, Shang Yue suddenly said, “One for one Ringgit,” and his answer drew laughter from the crowd. Their teacher immediately took the opportunity to teach them. They were quick to learn and shouted back “One is for two Ringgits, two for three Ringgits, quickly come and buy!”
 
Building school with love and practical action
 
Items and food supplies for the charity bazaar were discussed, decided and prepared by teachers and parents of each class. Enthusiastic parents, volunteers and the kind public sponsored all ingredients and materials. Parents and their children also offered their manpower for the event. Everyone shared the same goal and offered their best to make this charitable bazaar a great success.
 
On November 20, 2014, the five-year-olds from Da Yong Class started preparing for the event. One parent, Soh Wuu Shyong, especially took the time to teach the children how to plant small potted plants. Under the bright sun, children excitedly and busily planted the seedlings, then happily and carefully watered the green shoots. They cared for the plants daily, watering and fertilizing them as and when necessary; and at the charity bazaar, everyone strived tirelessly to promote his or her products.
 
Children and parents of five-year-old Da Ren Class prepared handmade beaded bracelets and ornaments with Jing Si Aphorisms for the charity bazaar. Teacher Sia Lee Hui said, “Fundraising for school construction is a good cause, and everyone has the opportunity to contribute. Besides, this is also a good opportunity for children and parents to participate personally.” After school, parents took time to learn to make beaded bracelets, while children used their spare time to complete some unique bracelets within three weeks. High-spirited Tai Yi Chen felt happy making beaded bracelets, and with his teacher’s permission, even brought some beads home to complete. He revealed, “I am very fond of beading, I chose the colours I like, and the funds raised can help build Tzu Chi School.” A total of 200 works of art were completed thanks to the joint effort of many parents and children.
 
On the other hand, the six-year-old children were taught to make steamed bread for the event. With assistance from parents and volunteers, they managed to produce some steamed breads in the shape of cute snowman, durian, hedgehog, and others. Volunteers also prepared buns, mochi, handmade biscuits, eco-bags, and so on. Everyone had worked together in their effort to raise funds for the construction of Tzu Chi School.
 
A family occasion that received enthusiastic response from everyone
 
At five o’clock in the morning, Kng Huey Ling started preparing delicious and nutritious fragrant rice, with sweet corns, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli and other ingredients. She specially took leave from work and brought along two sons, who graduated from Da Ai Educare Centre, to participate in the charity bazaar. Her sons were stationed at the booth to greet and serve customers and complete the sales. In so doing, it is hoped that they would gain new experiences and broaden their horizons. When her sons showed concern about not being able to sell everything, she provided timely comfort and encouragement. When everything was sold, the family rejoiced, feeling a great sense of accomplishment. Huey Ling shared, “I feel very warm here, a home-like feeling. Continuing exposure to Tzu Chi’s humanistic values is very important for children.”
 
Chang Pai Jen and wife, whose child graduated from Da Ai Educare Centre in 2013, are both Tzu Chi volunteers. They provided material and assistance for the charity bazaar. In early October, when Pai Jen learnt about the charity bazaar, he started spending two hours every night to hand-make wooden cabinets of varying sizes, one at a time. He designed, crafted, cut, nailed, moulded, polished and lacquered each and every one of the 48 cabinets for the event. He said, “The items for charity sales must be practical, and at the same time, able to promote parent-child interaction.” It turned out that he deliberately kept the cabinets in natural wood colour, so that each family can paint the colours they like, creating their own memories of the charity bazaar.
 
He also related that he had said to an organic bell fruit tree in his backyard, “Please bear more fruits so that we can raise more funds at the charity bazaar.” His wish was fulfilled as the tree bore a lot of fruits; and the couple spent a week happily covering the fruits with plastic bags to keep insects out. On the day of the charity bazaar, the couple and their daughter brought about 100 packets of bell fruits for sale. They also brought more of the fruits that were not ripe for picking a day earlier, for charity sale the following day.
 
Hearts filled with sweetness and happiness
 
At the bazaar, several family members of the six-year-old Da Shan Class were busily wrapping delicious savoury spring rolls. Aunt of student Fan Shi Qi, Lim Chin Chin, was responsible for purchasing the ingredients; mother of student, Yang Zhen Zhong, Lim Huee Yin, helped with washing and cutting the vegetables; while student, Khor Zhe Wei’s mother, Cheong Kar Mee, prepared some of the fillings and took care of the sales that day. All of them worked together, busy but happy. Chin Chin even drove to Muar to purchase spring roll wrappers, and to Kuala Lumpur to purchase the sauce, with only one aim in mind, and that is, to provide delicious food. Her mindfulness was indeed comparable to a professional cook. The making process of the spring rolls was cumbersome, and she had never personally made one before. She said smilingly, “I suggested spring rolls because it is my favourite food. I never knew it could be this troublesome to make, but since the decision was made, we must strive to complete it.”
 
As early as 5 o’clock that morning, Chin Chin and her mother, Goh Show Gooi, started busying themselves in the kitchen. They completed cooking the fillings after two hours, and immediately rushed to the venue carrying bags of food and paraphernalia. They prepared about 70 servings, and all were sold out. Show Gooi contentedly said, “I am very happy, and I do not feel tired at all. (I feel good) to be able to do something for my grandchild’s school. It will be even better if my grandchild can attend the primary school after graduating from kindergarten.” Upon completion of their sale, they joined the crowd to shop for other goodies in the bazaar, with smiles on their faces, and no trace of tiredness.
 
Parent and children focused on the same goal
 
In addition, the past year’s Jing Si Aphorism lessons was also exhibited in the International Conference Hall, where students guided the parents with explanations on each and every activity throughout the year, thus enabling parents to learn more about the children’s learning outcomes, as well as, the school’s curriculum. Hang Shze Nean, father of five-year-old student Hang Jia Rhou from Da Ren Class, had just returned from an overseas business trip very early that morning. He revealed that he usually sent his daughter to and from school in a rush, hence, was unable to know more about the school’s curriculum. That day, he gained a comprehensive understanding of the curriculum through the children. He also specially took off from work and brought along his wife and youngest son to volunteer at the event. His wife, Yeow Lee Ting, who made the crystal clear jelly for the charity bazaar said, “I try my best to help, and I am really touched to see such a great response.”
 
Yeow Lee Ting, a teacher who believes that education is a long-term effort, is very fond of Tzu Chi’s humanity education. She said, “Currently, Tzu Chi only runs pre-school in Melaka. If Tzu Chi could run primary school and secondary school, children would have a better chance of receiving good humanity education, which other schools lack.” A shy Jia Rhou also bravely promoted and sold handmade bead bracelets and ornaments together with her classmates. Her motivation came from her earnest wish to study at Tzu Chi Primary School.
 
One parent, Lim Lee Hoon, a lawyer, came to the bazaar immediately after court, to assist in the sale of fruits. She happily shared that since she could not spare time to help prior to the event, she had ensured that she could at least play a role that day. She said with a subtle smile, “This is a good parent-child interaction activity. What’s more, my daughter is about to graduate, so of course, I would like to seize the opportunity to support. I hope Tzu Chi International School can be built here successfully.”
 
Thanalatechmee a/p Batumalay, who has just joined Da Ai Educare Centre in 2014 as an English teacher, also invited her parents and children to attend and support the bazaar. Shortly upon arrival, they tasted the food and checked out every item curiously. Thanalatechmee also took the opportunity to take her family members to Jing Si Hall, where she explained as they heedfully read through every photo and text. Thus, the whole family has gained a better understanding of Tzu Chi’s charitable deeds worldwide. Her father, V. Batumalay Vadugu, happily took out an old blessing card from his wallet and said, “You see, I have been a Tzu Chi donating member since 2002, but today is the first time I visit the Jing Si Hall.” He also took out a donation receipt and joyfully said, “I believe that one who does good things will be rewarded, so I give my best wishes and hope that Tzu Chi School can be completed as soon as possible.” That day, the whole family had a rewarding day, both materially and spiritually.
 
 
At eleven o’clock, everything was almost sold out, and the funds raised exceeded RM10,000/- a clear testimony that everyone had given their fullest support to Tzu Chi Melaka’s educational initiatives. The bazaar not only raised funds for school building, but also raised public awareness on the construction of the school among the local communities. At the same time, it also promoted interactions among teachers, students and parents, while leading parents to better understand the school’s curriculum throughout the year, as well as, gain a better understanding of Tzu Chi.
 
 
On November 20, 2014, parent Soh Wuu Shyong, especially took time to teach children how to grow small potted plants. The children were all excited to learn gardening. [Photograph by Yen Yu Chu]   Tzu Chi volunteer, Chang Pai Jen has an organic bell fruit tree in his backyard. He said some blessings to the tree hoping that it would bear more fruits to raise more funds at the charity bazaar. [Photograph by Lin Yue Feng]

On November 20, 2014, parent Soh Wuu Shyong, especially took time to teach children how to grow small potted plants. The children were all excited to learn gardening. [Photograph by Yen Yu Chu]
 
Tzu Chi volunteer, Chang Pai Jen has an organic bell fruit tree in his backyard. He said some blessings to the tree hoping that it would bear more fruits to raise more funds at the charity bazaar. [Photograph by Lin Yue Feng]
 
Thanalatechmee a/p Batumalay, an English teacher at the Educare Centre, invited her parents and children to support the charity bazaar. [Photograph by Yen Yu Chu]   Goh Show Gooi (1st form right) and her daughter, Lim Chin Chin (1st from left) prepared spring rolls for the charity bazaar. Show Gooi hopes that her grandchildren could have the opportunity to study at Tzu Chi International Primary and Secondary School. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]

Thanalatechmee a/p Batumalay, an English teacher at the Educare Centre, invited her parents and children to support the charity bazaar. [Photograph by Yen Yu Chu]
 
 
Goh Show Gooi (1st form right) and her daughter, Lim Chin Chin (1st from left) prepared spring rolls for the charity bazaar. Show Gooi hopes that her grandchildren could have the opportunity to study at Tzu Chi International Primary and Secondary School. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]
 
Motivated by her wish to study in Tzu Chi Primary School, a shy Hang Jia Rhou (1st from right), bravely promoted and sold handmade bead bracelets and ornaments together with her classmates. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]   Kng Huey Ling brought along two sons, who graduated from Da Ai Educare Centre, to participate in the charity bazaar. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]

Motivated by her wish to study in Tzu Chi Primary School, a shy Hang Jia Rhou (1st from right), bravely promoted and sold handmade bead bracelets and ornaments together with her classmates. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]
 
 
Kng Huey Ling brought along two sons, who graduated from Da Ai Educare Centre, to participate in the charity bazaar. [Photograph by Tan Lian Hee]
 
Through an exhibition on the Jing Si Aphorism lessons, parents learnt more about their children’s learning outcomes, as well as, the school’s curriculum. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]    

Through an exhibition on the Jing Si Aphorism lessons, parents learnt more about their children’s learning outcomes, as well as, the school’s curriculum. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]