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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 21 October 2018 00:00

Comprehensive Care and Support for Needy Students

Written by  Tzu Chi Documenting Team, Malacca / Translated by Lim Rui Lin

Volunteers presented certificates to the students to acknowledge their hard work. [Photograph by Ng Hock Thai]

On October 21, 2018, Tzu Chi Malacca held three sessions of Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme presentation ceremony at the Malacca Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. A total of 851 primary, secondary and tertiary students benefitted from the Scheme, where each of them received study aid ranging from RM300 to RM800, and a festive pack. Also, on that same day, beneficiaries of the Happy Schooling Scheme received a festive pack each, in conjunction with the upcoming Deepavali celebration.


During the ceremony, volunteers played a video footage showing the beneficiary students participating in various activities at volunteers’ encouragement. The life stories of three beneficiaries – Chen Zhen Ni, Shanmugam a/l Vengadasalam, and Hashweenah a/p Ravinthran – were also shared through a skit and live sharing by the students.

“I believe today’s skit will inspire all the students present, as it portrayed the epitomes of many families.”

Principal Wong Chiau Sim from SJK(C) Khiak Yew attended Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme presentation ceremony for the first time and expressed concern for the beneficiaries from her school. She was especially touched when she saw Zhen Ni giving her mother a foot bath to express her gratitude and love.

Principal Wong had taught Zhen Ni when she served at SJK(C) St Mary as a Senior Assistant. Witnessing the positive changes in Zhen Ni, and how she is more matured now, Principal Wong could not help but repeatedly mentioned that she was moved. She said, “I am truly thankful to Tzu Chi for fulfilling the mother’s wish.”

Motivation to move forward

Harini a/p Ganesan comes from a single-parent family. She has been a beneficiary of the Scheme for four years now. This year, she received the Morality Award.

She shared, “Lately, I have learnt to be grateful for what I have, especially when I see other countries experiencing natural and man-made disasters, and the victims losing their loved ones. I feel that I am more fortunate than many others, to have my family around, loving me.” She also expressed her gratitude towards her mother’s dedication and promised to be filial to her mother.

Yati Anon from Indonesia was gratified to see her daughter’s resilience, which enabled her to become a recipient of the Academic Progress Award. Yati revealed that after her husband passed away, they were faced with a dire situation, where they would be deported back to their home country due to the expiring of their resident permits. She was grateful that the volunteers had tried their best to help them with the issue. She informed that she has been an independent person and rarely asked for help from others no matter how tough life was. The study aid from Tzu Chi has greatly relieved her burden; at least for now, she does not need to worry about her daughter’s school fees.

Support that alleviates financial worries

Wong Jing and Wong Zhi are sisters from a single-parent family. They deeply appreciated the affirmation from Tzu Chi. Wong Jing has obtained excellent academic results thanks to her diligence and perseverance. Hence, she received the Academic Excellence Award once again.

Jing’s family could not afford any extra study materials or tuitions for her, and she used to resent her mother for that. But, the resentment ceased when she became a beneficiary of the Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme since 2016. The study aid has allowed her to buy reference books and school supplies, thereby easing the burden on her mother.

She admitted that she lacked a sense of security as she comes from a single-parent family, but that also becomes a driving force for her to be more diligent. She believes that through education, she can change her future. Her goal right now is to strive harder to get 10As.

On the other hand, Wong Zhi had thought of giving up her studies and getting a job to help lessen the household burden, so that her sister could focus in her studies without financial worries. However, she finally decided to heed her mother and volunteers’ advice to continue with her studies and take up part-time jobs after school hours instead.

Having realized that working life is tougher than she thought, she had become more docile and empathetic towards her mother. She is also a good listener at home, and would bridge the gap between her mother and sister. This year, she received the Filial Piety Award.

Reflection as reminders for improvements

Nur Syakirah binti Hafiz Chu also comes from a single-parent family. This was her third time receiving the study aid. She hopes that she could continue to get the financial support from Tzu Chi to lessen her father’s burden. She made it a point to fill up her little booklet* daily. Being the eldest amongst her siblings, she felt a sense of responsibility to take care of them. That, coupled with her study load and a busy life, it was natural that she missed paying attention to certain aspects of life. The little booklet helps her to take a step back and reflect on herself daily, thereby identifying her room for improvements.

“I hope that I can be a role model to my siblings.” Syakirah expressed her wish and hoped that by constantly reflecting upon and improving herself, she could instill the right values and actions to her siblings.

Nur Amirah binti Hafiz Chu, Syakirah’s sister, who is also a beneficiary of the Scheme said, “Even though my sister can be strict at times, she is serious in what she does. She would ensure we do our homework and would get us to do house chores together.”

Caring from individuals to families

In 2004, Tzu Chi Study Grant was extended to needy students in Tamil primary schools. In the process, volunteers discovered other needs of the students. Hence in 2012, Tzu Chi initiated the Happy Schooling Scheme to subsidize the students’ transportation, meals, and tuition fees. That same year, Tzu Chi Study Grant was transformed into Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme, to further encourage the students to improve their character and conduct. Students who are beneficiary of the Happy Schooling Scheme are also eligible to apply and receive the awards in recognition of their hard work.

Since 2013, Tzu Chi has started preparing for the students festive packs nearing Deepavali, to make them feel the festive mood, and to reduce their families’ burdens. In previous years, volunteers used to go to each school to distribute these festive packs. However, for this year, Tzu Chi decided to bring forward the Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme presentation ceremony and distribute the festive packs during the ceremony, and welcome teachers and parents from the beneficiary Tamil primary schools to partake in the event.

It was Gurumoorthi a/l Muragesu’s first attendance at an event held at the Jing Si Hall. For the first time he saw so many families gathered together for the distribution of Deepavali festive packs to the beneficiaries of Happy Schooling Scheme. He was happy and touched to feel Tzu Chi’s love and support for all the underprivileged families.

When his child was only two or three years old, his wife left him, and he had to work and raise his family alone. Now, his daughter is in Primary 6, and his son Primary 4, and both of them are beneficiaries of the Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme. The family also received a festive pack.

Gurumoorthi said, “My kids are well-behaved and they would fill up their bamboo banks. So, I don’t have to worry about them. I am very grateful to Tzu Chi for enabling my children to receive the education they deserve. My wish is to help needy people one day, when I am capable.”

Malacca’s Chinese Language Educational Inspector, Lai Swee Ho, informed that in addition to the 4C’s (communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking) of 21st century learning, the Ministry of Education has now added moral education to the curriculum. He acknowledged Tzu Chi for being in line with the current educational policy. He remarked, “Although the intention of the Study & Awards Scheme was to subsidize the needy students, it has, in a way, enabled these students to learn to be grateful and give back to society. Tzu Chi has taken care of such meticulous details.”

The ceremony ended with a prayer for Sulawesi quake victims and all present also donated to reciprocate the love and kindness.

* The little booklet is a way for students to reflect on their behaviour and attitude, while disciplining themselves to finish their homework and track their study progress. It functions as a way to teach students to be respectful and responsible for their own and for others, while cultivating gratitude, empathy and filial piety. The parents and teachers/volunteers would monitor the students’ progress and encourage them to strive for improvements.

 

 

Tzu Chi Malacca held three sessions of Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme presentation ceremony on October 21, 2018. It benefitted a total of 851 students. [Photograph by Charlie Kam How Chan]   Shanmugam (2nd left) and his mother on stage sharing their life story. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]

Tzu Chi Malacca held three sessions of Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme presentation ceremony on October 21, 2018. It benefitted a total of 851 students. [Photograph by Charlie Kam How Chan]
 
Shanmugam (2nd left) and his mother on stage sharing their life story. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]
 
Harini (1st left), who comes from a single-parent family, is a beneficiary of the Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme for the fourth time. She was nominated for the Morality Award. [Photograph by Tan Yen Pack]   Principal Wong Chiau Sim from SJK(C) Khiak Yew was moved to tears witnessing the transformation of the students. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Harini (1st left), who comes from a single-parent family, is a beneficiary of the Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme for the fourth time. She was nominated for the Morality Award. [Photograph by Tan Yen Pack]
 
 
Principal Wong Chiau Sim from SJK(C) Khiak Yew was moved to tears witnessing the transformation of the students. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Teachers and parents donated to the Sulawesi quake victims. [Photograph by Chin Fook Kuen]   The beneficiary families returning home happily carrying the festive packs they received. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Teachers and parents donated to the Sulawesi quake victims. [Photograph by Chin Fook Kuen]
 
 
The beneficiary families returning home happily carrying the festive packs they received. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]