Christmas spirit for the less fortunate

The annual Christmas celebration this year saw the Wawasan Open University family extending their love and care to the less fortunate by hosting a high-tea at the main campus on December 14th.

The WOU staff welcomed 22 kids, aged 7-18 years, from the Penang Shan Children’s Home, Tanjung Tokong as the guests of honour for the function. The children were accompanied by the Home’s founder and chairman, Dr S Balakrishnan, and four helpers. The celebration kicked off with a cultural dance by the children, dressed in colourful traditional attires. This was followed by a song of appreciation presented in different languages, including, English, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil and Mandarin.

In welcoming the kids, WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye remarked on the “refreshing change” from WOU’s usual style of celebrating Christmas, commending the staff on their outward perspective this season. He added, “It is appropriate for the University to extend their caring spirit as Christmas is a time for love, peace and joy.”

Performance by the kids from the Home.

Performance by the kids from the Home.

He later presented a cheque for RM1,200 - collected from WOU staff - to Dr Balakrishnan for the Home.

Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Dr Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Chairman of WOU’s Board of Governors, presented book gifts to four children who excelled in their UPSR examinations – P. Nanthinie, S. Pahvittera, P. Dharshini and V. Suren. He encouraged the kids to “learn, study, and progress in their lives regardless of the obstacles they face”, as they too have the opportunity to become a ‘big person’ in life. He then handed out goodie bags to the children with the help of Prof Ho.

Prof Ho presenting the cheque to Dr Balakrishnan.

Prof Ho presenting the cheque to Dr Balakrishnan.

During the two-hour party, the guests along with the staff of WOU were treated to Christmas carols, an entertaining magic performance, and to WOU’s very own jolly Santa Claus.

Tan Sri Raj with the top scorers from the Home.

Tan Sri Raj with the top scorers from the Home.

The children were thrilled by the magician’s antics, with a few of them participating in some of the gags and tricks, to the laughter and amusement of everyone present. Santa Claus, otherwise known as WOU’s Customer Service Executive Samuel Low, made an appearance distributing sweets, before rendering a solo song performance to remind the children that they are all ‘special’.

The kids had fun ‘hunting’ for small pink envelopes, with each receiving a gift for their efforts. Besides these presents, every child also received a special Christmas gift which they were supposed to open on Christmas day.

Laughing at the antics of the magician.

Laughing at the antics of the magician.

Our thanks to all the staff of WOU who contributed towards the success of this Christmas gathering.