THE #StandTogether National Kindness Week may have ended on Friday, but the “Kindness Revolution” is still going strong thanks to the unflagging efforts of students determined to create a kinder Malaysia.
Two such students, SMK Chung Hwa sixth formers Denise Vim and Marina Wong, were so determined to leave a better school culture for their juniors that they spearheaded their school’s 10 “Kindness Projects” carried out over National Kindness Week, which was from April 1 to 5.
“All of us have a responsibility to make our community a better place,” said Vim, who first mooted the idea of taking part in the competition.
“I’m already 19 years old, and I feel like I have not done anything to contribute to the community. So I thought, ‘This is the year (I can contribute)’, and I can do it with my friends.”
Chung Hwa’s student-led projects, which included light installations, role-playing performances, and encouraging students and teachers to greet each other, helped it become one of 40 schools to receive a RM1,000 grant from #StandTogether co-organisers SP Setia and R.AGE.
As one of the top five secondary school submissions, it was also rewarded with a celebrity visit by Malaysian singer/songwriter Nik Qistina.
At a special ceremony to mark the closing of National Kindness Week, Nik Qistina addressed the 1,700 students of the school in Miri, Sarawak, encouraging them to “keep the kindness going throughout the coming days”.
“It is really inspiring for me to see young people not just being aware that bullying is not right, but also taking action to prevent it and to promote kindness to one another,” said Nik Qistina.
“When the students participate, and the teachers are encouraging them, it changes the whole place.”
Teacher Liew Sook Khim expressed pride in how the students displayed their leadership and independence.
“I am very proud of them.
“Once I gave them the approval (to take part in the #StandTogether Competition), they were very independent. They did everything, and I merely gave them advice and guidance,” she said.
Liew also noted how a simple change like getting teachers
and students to greet each other led to improved relations in the school.
Aside from the student movement, the campaign also included an interactive Kindness Challenge, powered by a WhatsApp chat bot, for the general public to get involved.
The first batch of users to complete the five-day challenge on Friday finally unlocked the mystery “prize” – two VIP passes to the #StandTogether Kindness Concert, where celebrities like Harith Iskandar, Ismail Izzani, Rabbit Mac and Lisa Surihani will be either performing or speaking.
For more information on the #StandTogether campaign, go to www.standtogether.my