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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 02 November 2014 00:00

Study Grant Reduces Family’s Burden

Written by  Tzu Chi Documenting Team, Klang / Translated by Ng Say Fen

On November 1 & 2, 2014, Tzu Chi Klang held 11 sessions of Tzu Chi Study Grant Presentation Ceremony in five communities, benefiting 1,320 needy students. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]

Tzu Chi Klang organized 11 sessions of Tzu Chi Study Grant Presentation Ceremony in five communities on November 1 & 2, 2014. A total of 1,320 students were awarded study grants, thus reducing the financial burden in their education. During the ceremonies, Tzu Chi volunteers also shared Jing Si Aphorisms with the students through interactive activities and videos, hoping to impart in them wholesome life values.


With the launch of Tzu Chi Study Grant by Tzu Chi KL & Selangor since 2008, needy students have benefited through the provision of financial assistance for school transport fees, meals, books, and so on. With this programme in place, Tzu Chi volunteers in Klang have established a good rapport with many families.
 
Financial assistance for students from all races
 
Six years after the launch, Tzu Chi Klang has, as of this year, held the Presentation Ceremony locally in five communities. Besides Klang, volunteers also went as far as Banting and Sekinchan to deliver the study grant to successful students.
 
Chiam Kong Yeu, one of the Activity Coordinators, revealed that shortage of manpower and lack of experience were the two main obstacles in making such arrangement. However, he viewed this issue as a good opportunity to nurture talents. For instance, in Sekinchan, experienced volunteers were mobilized to lead the local team, including some teachers, to make the Presentation Ceremony a success.
 
Tzu Chi volunteers, who did not understand Tamil, were surprised that all students and parents stood up unexpectedly while the School Principal, L. Thacthman, delivered his speech. As instructed by the School Principal, they thanked Tzu Chi volunteers for offering them such a great assistance. Principal Thacthman has observed in the past two years that many students have benefited from the study grant, not only financially, but also academically with overall improvements in their studies.
 
Haji Majid bin Yusof, whose granddaughter was one of the study grant recipients, has been taking care of his granddaughter since his son’s demise. He was, therefore, deeply grateful for the existence of Tzu Chi Study Grant, which has helped needy children to continue with their studies. After viewing a footage on Tzu Chi’s relief work in the Philippines, he shared, “No one, regardless of religion and race, can escape from the pain caused by a disaster. This is the first time in my 65 years that I come across a charitable organization that transcends the borders of races and ethnic backgrounds. I truly admire such ideal.”
 
Gunasekaran a/l Muthusamy, a former Tzu Chi care recipient, brought along his wife to attend the Presentation Ceremony as his two daughters were study grant recipients. He said the study grant will help to reduce his financial burden as he has to support his five children. He promised that he will help those in need when his financial situation improves.
 
Poor families are not alone
 
Santhiletchumi a/p Sanglerao has been working hard to earn enough money to pay for her children’s education. She travels more than 30 km on her motorbike every day to work in a factory; and whenever on night shift, would only reach home past midnight. Even though she feels tired at times, she never complains.
 
Due to a family dispute, she became a single mother 12 years ago and has to raise her three daughters single-handedly. Faced with rising costs in living and educational expenses, she was forced to live with her parents. She was happy that the study grant has allayed her worries for the fees related to her children’s education, thereby enabling her children to study with a peace of mind.
 
Letchumy a/p Maniappan, who has five sons, has faced many challenges in her life. Her husband’s meagre salary was not enough to support the family’s expenses. Thus, she had to work as a cleaner to supplement the family’s income. However, to compound matters, she met with an accident that injured her legs and she had to stop working. After learning of her predicament, the school referred her case to Tzu Chi. Volunteers then visited her family and later, applied study grant for her children in addition to subsidizing the school transport fees for one of her children.
 
Letchumy shared with the audience that she felt relieved after learning that her children are among the study grant recipients. With tears welling up in her eyes, she said, “I am really grateful to you all. Thank you Tzu Chi for helping me.”
 
Thirty-seven-year-old Letchumi a/p Raman could not hold back her tears as she watched the footage entitled, “Children of the Sea”. She said chokingly, “After learning the tough situation faced by the people in the video, I really hope to help them. I want to become a Tzu Chi member to provide assistance to those in need. If not for this footage, I would never know I could actually help others even in my current situation.”
 
Letchumi left her alcoholic husband to stay at her friend’s house, together with her five children. Tzu Chi volunteers walked into her life three years ago when her children applied for the study grant. She was pleased and grateful that Tzu Chi’s assistance has eased her financial burden.
 
“I will spend the money wisely and do my best to ensure that my children complete their education. I’m really thankful to Tzu Chi for offering me such a great helping hand. I will remember the kind gestures forever,” said an emotional Letchumi.
 
Jing Si Aphorism inspires kindness
 
Volunteer Chua Siew Pow led the students in the hall to play a finger games, disseminating positive messages and encouraging them to learn how to contribute. 
 
At the ceremonies, Tzu Chi volunteers also prepared Jing Si Aphorisms to be shared with the students. Besides interactive games, videos featuring the predicaments faced by the children living in the slums in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, and by the local aboriginal children. It is hoped that through these videos, the children will realize that they are blessed, and will be positive and benevolent.
 
Principal Thacthman agreed with the Jing Si Aphorism teaching method. He felt that the footages can broaden the students’ horizon and fill the gap of character education, which has been neglected in many families. He also hopes that the students will be empathic towards the suffering of others and learn to give.
 
Zhang Yi Pei, a Form 2 student, was impressed with the story of cash-for-work programme as it was more meaningful than direct cash relief. She hopes to be part of the team to help the disadvantaged group in the future.
 
Santhiletchumi has attended the ceremony for the fourth time. After learning about the spirit of the Bamboo Bank Era, her three daughters have started to keep the balance of their pocket money in the bamboo bank for a good cause.
 
 
Kugilabalan a/l Jeyabalan, who received the study grant for the second consecutive year, shared his story with the audience. His father had succumbed to illness ten years ago, leaving her mother to provide for the family of four. The family will use the study grant to purchase stationary and school supplies.
 
“I will cherish the study grant and study hard,” declared a determined Kugilabalan on stage. He also wished all the 1,320 successful study grant applicants to have a worry-free study life in the next academic year.
 
 
Recipients of the Tzu Chi Study Grant held their study grant joyfully. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]   The finger games in the Jing Si Aphorism teaching was not only fun, but also enlightened the students on the power of concerted efforts. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Recipients of the Tzu Chi Study Grant held their study grant joyfully. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]
 
The finger games in the Jing Si Aphorism teaching was not only fun, but also enlightened the students on the power of concerted efforts. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Sixty-five-year-old Haji Majid bin Yusof was deeply grateful for the study grant, which has helped needy children with their education. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]   Grant recipient, Zhang Yi Pei, hopes that she can also help the disadvantaged group in the future. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Sixty-five-year-old Haji Majid bin Yusof was deeply grateful for the study grant, which has helped needy children with their education. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]
 
 
Grant recipient, Zhang Yi Pei, hopes that she can also help the disadvantaged group in the future. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Principal Thacthman was grateful for Tzu Chi Study Grant, which allows children from low-income families to continue their studies and overall, achieve better performance. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
  A closer rapport was formed between Tzu Chi and a former care recipient, Gunasekaran and his family, due to the study grant. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Principal Thacthman was grateful for Tzu Chi Study Grant, which allows children from low-income families to continue their studies and overall, achieve better performance. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
 
A closer rapport was formed between Tzu Chi and a former care recipient, Gunasekaran and his family, due to the study grant. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Santhiletchumi was grateful for the financial assistance provided by Tzu Chi through the study grant, which has helped ease her burden. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]   Letchumy, who injured her legs, shared with the audience, “I am really grateful to you all (the volunteers). Thank you Tzu Chi for helping me.” [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]

Santhiletchumi was grateful for the financial assistance provided by Tzu Chi through the study grant, which has helped ease her burden. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
 
 
Letchumy, who injured her legs, shared with the audience, “I am really grateful to you all (the volunteers). Thank you Tzu Chi for helping me.” [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]