Funfair offers rainbow of hope for underprivileged children

ROLF’s Gold Ribbon Grant-A-Wish Campaign funfair. The campaign granted the wishes of more than 200 underprivileged and marginalised children. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The Star

A COMMUNITY initiative to provide hope to marginalised youngsters saw some 200 underprivileged children receive gifts and basic grocery items.

Rainbow of Life Forces (ROLF) held its annual Gold Ribbon Grant-A-Wish Campaign funfair, giving refugees and orphans the chance to ask for new clothes, toys or musical instruments.

The funfair, now in its 16th year, offered a host of activities for the children, including games, camping activities and free health clinics, at the Piazza of Pavilion Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur.

Students from public and private universities – including Universiti Malaya, Sunway University, HELP University, Inti International University and UCSI University – volunteered as caretakers, organiser assistants and food caterers.

Nur Adilla Mohamad Junaidi, a 24-year-old English literature major at UM, took the Sunday off to be a caretaker for Sara, a five-year-old orphan from Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Mary Kuala Lumpur.

“Sara’s been enjoying herself so far; she’s going to the free clinic now and getting her general health checkup.

“We are excited for the gift handover ceremony, since she’s also getting a pair of shoes, a school bag and a brand new dress,” said Nur Adilla.

Lewis Moi, a 21-year-old undergraduate from HELP University and volunteer at the event, said that attending the fair was a chance for him to reflect on how he could contribute to ROLF’s efforts.

Lee (left) and his team of culinary students preparing macaroni and cheese for the children and volunteers at the funfair at the Piazza of Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.Lee (left) and his team of culinary students preparing macaroni and cheese for the children and volunteers at the funfair at the Piazza of Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

“Compared to these children, we live very privileged lives, so coming here gives me a chance to gain a different perspective and an idea of what I can do to help our disadvantaged communities,” he said.

ROLF founder Adelyn Lim said that at its heart, the initiative was established to unify existing organisations and create a space for volunteers to fulfil their social commitment to improve the lives of displaced children.

“Rather than creating a single foundation or setting up funds, we wanted a community platform where we could bridge ventures and connect people together, hence the name ‘Rainbow’,” she said.

Volunteering as a food caterer at the funfair, Singaporean chef Melvyn Lee made macaroni and cheese for the children and his fellow volunteers.

He was also leading a group of culinary students in preparing the meals.

“Most of these underprivileged kids do not have the opportunity to go to carnivals or other events of this sort, so I want to bring that experience to them by preparing mac and cheese, a staple of theme park food.

“Being able to be on the ground with young and aspiring chefs has been a rewarding experience in and of itself as well.

“Ultimately, leaving both the students and children with a sense of nourishment is all I want to do here today,” said Lee.

The non-profit project runs six other campaigns, including the Green Ribbon Campaign for environmental education, the Blue Ribbon Campaign for childhood disease awareness, and the Orange Ribbon Campaign for youth social responsibility.

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