BATU PAHAT: An ordinary Monday morning for students of two schools here turned extraordinary when actress and #StandTogether National Kindness Week ambassador Lisa Surihani showed up.
Her appearance was a reward for the students of SK Kota Dalam and SMK Banang Jaya, who were among the winners of the #StandTogether “kindness project” competition.
“I’m really happy to see that both schools have very progressive ideas,” said Lisa.
#StandTogether organisers R.AGE and SP Setia had pledged to give 10 winning schools RM1,000 each in grant funding for their projects, as well as a visit by one of the campaign’s celebrity ambassadors.
Unicef Malaysia later pledged to support the campaign by funding projects for an additional 20 schools.
SK Kota Dalam proposed various kindness initiatives, but the one that impressed Lisa the most was the idea of getting students who behaved badly to plant vegetables.
“Instead of punishing them, you teach them to do something good. On top of that, the vegetables are then given to underprivileged students,” she said.
In SMK Banang Jaya, the students organised a “free market”, where the entire school community donated items which were then free for any student to “buy”, simply by asking nicely.
“Every school should have its own kindness programmes.
“It’s important to nurture kindness in students. There is so much more to learn in life other than what is found in books,” said SMK Banang Jaya English teacher Rasyidah Pardi.
In Sabah, MMA fighter Ann Osman thrilled the students of SK Kampung Contoh, Penampang, and SMK Sanzac, Kota Kinabalu, yesterday when she dropped by to check out their kindness programmes.
SK Kampung Contoh had a carnival atmosphere, where several activity booths were managed by students showcasing their ideas.
The organising students branded themselves “Team Baik Hati SKCP” (SKCP Kindness Team) and will hold activities such as a Kindness Photo Booth and Kindness Bubble Art throughout the week.
They also drew up a checklist of kind things to do for their fellow students.
SMK Sanzac organised a variety of programmes to run throughout the year, including “plogging” – a combination of jogging and picking up litter – and “Act It Out”, a competition to produce videos on kindness and cyberbullying.
The school also encouraged students to help report cyberbullying among their schoolmates.
“This school is situated in the urban slums and many students are from poor families, so the challenge for us was how to get connected with them.
“I want them to have confidence and feel safe at school,” ” said SMK Sanzac principal Dr Shirley Tay.
For Ann, it was good to see schools opening up to organise such projects “because parents can be too busy and forget that they need to play a part in educating and encouraging students to do more”.
“We need to play our roles in developing kind human beings. We don’t want them to just be number one in schools, but also to be number one as human beings,” she added.