Every little bit for charity counts. It is not so much about which organisation or the amount you give, but having a heart to help the less fortunate as best as we can.
That was the underlying message from the Vice Chancellor of Wawasan Open University, Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, as he led seven staff to visit the Penang Shan Children’s Home in Mount Erskine on April 14th. They were joined by about 15 on-campus learning (OCL) full-time students as they mingled with the kids at the Home.
The visit of the WOU delegation to the Home was auspicious for two reasons. It was the Tamil New Year, the ushering in of ‘Chithirai’, the first month in the Tamil calendar. Also, Prof Ho was happy to be there to present a cheque for about RM11, 500 to the CEO of the Home, Krish Rethina.
The money, which will go towards the Home’s building expansion project, was collected by 55 full-time students of WOU as part of their exercise in the co-curriculum course. They had organised a food fair, an entertaining charity dinner, and also solicited for donations from well-wishers.
In his remarks during the informal cheque presentation ceremony at the Home, Prof Ho said that the co-curriculum course afforded “a good platform for our students to learn how to plan and execute a worthy community project and pick up some ‘soft skills’ in the process. I am proud of what they have managed to achieve.”
“This fund-raising is also a University-wide initiative. The amount raised is not that much, just a drop in the ocean, but I am hopeful that it will lead to similar support from other benevolent organisations. I wish you the best with your home expansion mission,” Prof Ho stated.
Deputy Dean of the School of Foundation & Liberal Studies, Jasmine Emmanuel, remarked, “For the Tamil New Year, this is just a seed we are planting, and I hope it will grow in many ways. I thank the students who have worked so very hard over these past months to realise this project.”
Lee Kah Wei, the student representative, thanked his team and also Jasmine for her guidance and advice for the community project. “The fund-raising gave us a marketplace experience and a social experience as we had to approach people for donations. It also sharpened our organising skills.”
Meanwhile Krish thanked WOU for their support. He said the Home has 22 children aged 4-18 years, mostly from broken families. “We need at least RM850,000 for the home expansion project. We hope to start the project in October this year, and have to date collected about RM100,000.”
The proposed extension is a three-storey building which will comprise a multipurpose hall, study hall, dormitory and washroom, washing and drying area, pantry and office. The expansion will allow the Home to take in another 30 children.