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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 13 November 2011 00:00

Study Grant Presentation Ceremonies in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor

Written by  Compiled by Gan Chian Nee, Kuala Lumpur & Selangor/ Translated by Hew Kwee Heong

More than 5,500 students received the study grant distributed by Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur and Selangor this year.【Photograph by Yap Jod Kiang】

From October 30 and November 13, 20 sessions of "Seeds of Hope" Study Grant Presentation Ceremonies were held by Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur & Selangor to hand out cash, uniforms and other items to 5,500 primary and secondary students from low income families.


In 1997, Tzu Chi Melaka started to distribute educational aid annually to children from low income families. Other Liaison Offices followed suit, after discovering similar needs in their respective communities.  

Before 2008, volunteers sent the application forms by post to the schools, but this form of dissemination did not reach far enough to the poorer families. In 2008, the Kuala Lumpur Office decided to visit the schools personally to explain the purpose of the grant. Volunteers also visited all the applicants' homes to assess their real needs; and many families have been helped through this exercise.

For 2011, a total of 5,500 students from 563 schools (primary and secondary) and the children of Tzu Chi's care-recipients qualified for the grant. For the convenience of the recipients, the presentation ceremonies were held at various locations; and buses were provided to ferry students and parents from the outskirts.

Each successful applicant received RM200/- and a coupon to exchange for school shoes, uniform, school bag, stationery box or book.

Nur Asyuca Syamiza, who came with a pair of broken shoes, was smiling happily after collecting her new uniform and new shoes. She had been wearing her broken shoes for 3 months because she could not afford to get new ones; and on rainy days, she wore slippers to school.

Highest respect

Principal of Ladang Rinching Tamil School, Mr Abdul Naser, delivered a thank-you speech and presented the traditional Indian gifts, "Ponnadai (shawl)" and a flower garland, to a Tzu Chi representative; and a plate carved with Chinese characters to Tzu Chi to show their deepest appreciation and respect.

Mr Abdul Naser said, "For the last few years, Tzu Chi has been helping my students. This year, I told Tzu Chi volunteers that some of the students did not attend school because they could not afford to pay for their transportation, and that they had no money to eat breakfast. The volunteers responded and resolved these issues within a month. 

Seventy-six students from this school received Tzu Chi's transportation subsidy; 40 students received RM2 per day for breakfast and 84 received the study grant.

Mr Abdul Naser was very happy that with Tzu Chi's aid, the students' attendance has improved tremendously, and they are also more energetic, all of which have an indirect impact on the improved performance in their studies.

"Some students told me that they want to be like Tzu Chi volunteers and help needy people when they grow up."

When my pocket was left with only 2 ringgit

Madam Roha, a direct sales dealer, said, "When my pocket was left with only 2 ringgit to feed 9 children, Tzu Chi volunteers came to my house. They sent food on that same day."

"At the beginning of the year, I always worry about money. Now that my three children have received the study grant, my burden is lessened and I am grateful..."

Roha's husband developed hernia five years ago and could only work as a security guard. Three years ago, Roha herself was diagnosed with heart disease that resulted in both her hands being operated on to clear vascular blockage. After operation, her husband had to stop working to take care of her, leaving the family in dire financial difficulty. It was then that Tzu Chi volunteers turned up at their home to assess their study grant application.

While Roha was recuperating from her operation, her 12-year old daughter, Noorasshiqkin, had to do the housework and prepare for her UPSR examinations. Despite this, Noorasshiqkin still managed to score 5 As.

Noorasshiqkin said, "This is a daughter's responsibility. I want to be a physiotherapist to help my mother with her sickness and other patients as well."

Poor but rich with love

The movies screened at the ceremonies had touched and inspired both parents and children.

After watching the movie "Herman's Dinner", Piah, an aborigine married to a Chinese man, felt very grateful that she has a filial son.

After her husband's demise, she and her two children had to survive on the RM200/- welfare subsidy. Sometimes, the family ate only rice with salt.

Her son would not ask for anything from his mother. He would always ensure his mother eats the food first; and at times, he had to bear the hunger himself. Piah thanked Tzu Chi for the aid and hoped that her son will study hard and have a bright future.

Another participant inspired by the movie was Liu Mei Er, mother of primary student, Jiang Jia Zheng. She decided to donate back the money her daughter had received to help the poorer people, although her husband was in hospital for an operation.

Granny Sarahuvathi, who accompanied her grandson, brought along her bamboo piggy bank to donate as well. She said, "We must recipocate the kindness we received from Tzu Chi."

A great help for poor families

Deputy Principal of Chong Hwa Primary, Guo Ai Di said, "The grant is a great help to the poor families, especially the single parent families."

Madam Guo and husband even came to help prepare for the ceremony held at her school. She said, "Tzu Chi is a truly compassionate organization with a strong human resource. Its volunteers are selfless and sincere; I am touched."



While the students went up on stage orderly to receive the love and blessing from the hands of Tzu Chi volunteers, their parents looked on tenderly. It was indeed a touching moment.

After the presentation ceremony, the song "We are One Family" was played, and all present sang and followed the volunteers in making the sign language. The warm and touching atmosphere brought Madam Huang Lan Hua to tears. She said, "My children received grant from other organizations before, but Tzu Chi is so different. I think Tzu Chi is a very good organization. I hope that it will continue to help more people. I will also teach my children to cherish their food because there are people far worse than us."

May the kindness from people of all walks of life give additional strength to the children on their journey to pursuing a bright future.

 

Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur and Selangor held 20 sessions of presentation ceremonies at various communities to make it convenient for the attendees.【Photograph by Low Mai Yin】 A scene of students doing sign language.【Photograph by Leng Sow Wai】

Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur and Selangor held 20 sessions of presentation ceremonies at various communities to make it convenient for the attendees.【Photograph by Low Mai Yin】

A scene of students doing sign language.【Photograph by Leng Sow Wai】
Jiang Jia Zheng and mother donating back the cash they have just received.【Photograph by Lim Eng Yee】 A measuring board was prepared to help the students find a pair of shoes that fits their feet quickly.【Photograph by Chooi Kien Keong】

Jiang Jia Zheng and mother donating back the cash they have just received.【Photograph by Lim Eng Yee】

A measuring board was prepared to help the students find a pair of shoes that fits their feet quickly.【Photograph by Chooi Kien Keong】
Principal Abdul Naser presented a plate, ponnadai (shawl) and a traditional indian garland to representative of Tzu Chi as a token of appreciation for the help rendered to his students.【Photograph by Leng Sow Wai】 A happy child with her new school shoes, uniform and bag.【Photograph by Tan Ser Heng】

Principal Abdul Naser presented a plate, ponnadai (shawl) and a traditional indian garland to representative of Tzu Chi as a token of appreciation for the help rendered to his students.【Photograph by Leng Sow Wai】

A happy child with her new school shoes, uniform and bag.【Photograph by Tan Ser Heng】

 

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