PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s inaugural #StandTogether National Kindness Week was a huge success, with over 650 schools taking part and over 100 student-led kindness projects implemented across the country.
The R.AGE team travelled to 10 cities in five days to film the most innovative school kindness projects throughout the country.
Yesterday, SJKC Aik Hua showcased their student-led project to help the school’s differently-abled students.
“There is a lack of care and kindness in our society right now.
“If more of our school children have the kind of thinking as these students do, they will make society a better place for everyone,” said SP Setia property division (North) general manager Ng Han Siong, who visited the school with R.AGE.
SP Setia and R.AGE initiated the #StandTogether campaign in response to a spate of school violence cases last year.
The campaign was quickly endorsed by the Education Ministry, Unicef Malaysia, Digi, Petrosains, 100% Project and Study Hub Asia. Teach For Malaysia came on board to help refine and develop the programme.
In SM Sri Kuala Lumpur representatives of telecommunication company, Telenor Group praised the campaign. Digi is part of the Telenor Group.
“This is a good programme that we would like to adopt,” said Telenor executive vice president Wenche Agerup.
“Cyberbullying is not just a Malaysian issue, it is a growing problem internationally and there is a lot to benefit in working on this.”
Agerup visited Sri KL yesterday to observe Digi’s #5DaysBaikHatiChallenge, a digital kindness challenge that ran concurrently with #StandTogether.
Unicef Malaysia chief of communication and public advocacy Laurent Duvillier also felt that Malaysia’s kindness week is something other countries could emulate.
“This year, Malaysia; next year, maybe South-East Asia!” he said. “National Kindness Week sends an important message to all young Malaysians – don’t stand alone, when we can stand together – this is a message all students worldwide should hear.”
Close to 120 schools submitted kindness project ideas from its students as part of the #StandTogether Competition.
#StandTogether celebrity ambassadors visited the schools with the best submissions throughout the week, and on Thursday, Tamil hip-hop artist Rabbit Mac and social media star Arwind Kumar covered schools in KL and Penang.
SMK Meru’s Special Needs Integration Programme (PPKI) teacher Zuraidah Ibrahim led a team of students to create “OKU Cafe”, a food stall within SMK Meru’s compound manned by special needs students.
Rabbit Mac, who was visibly moved as he spoke with the special needs students, said sharing a meal and interacting with them really can change attitudes.
Arwind was similarly touched by the dedication displayed by teachers when he visited SK Tambun Tulang in Perlis.
The school’s kindness project involved giving “Kindness Tokens” to students who perform kind acts, and would reward the students with the most tokens.
The project was led by teacher Zatusy Syamam Naim, who is almost completely blind.
“I became a teacher because I felt that I would be able to make a difference,” said Zatusy.
Growing up, Zatusy said she witnessed a sight-impaired friend getting bullied in school and vowed she would help create kinder Malaysians.
Arwind lauded Zatusy’s determination to help her students become better people, adding that projects like this are the building blocks to a better future.
Meanwhile, SMK Cochrane’s “compliments jar” encourages students to leave positive messages for fellow students and staff members.
The project is spearheaded by Ravin Kalai Chelven, 17.
The project was already well underway when Rabbit Mac visited the school – even the security guard had received a note.
“It was a great idea,” said Rabbit Mac after the visit.