PETALING JAYA: Kindness can be its own reward but a sponsored Teachers Day celebration didn’t hurt the students and staff of Sri KDU secondary school, who won Digi’s #5DaysBaikHatiChallenge.
The event called on students to flood social media with images and captions of kind acts and encouraging words throughout the inaugural #StandTogether National Kindness Week, which took place from April 2 to 6.
“More than 90% of Malaysian kids are online and they need to learn how to support each other whenever negative things happen on social media.
“If they can stand up for each other online, there is no need for parents or teachers to police them,” said Digi sustainability programme manager Philip Ling.
Making a surprise appearance at the celebration was #StandTogether celebrity ambassador and YouTube personality Jinnyboy.
“I got a lot of messages saying my videos sucked. Initially, I was really hurt and I started to believe them.
“But I focused on the people who liked my work and remembered that there were people in my life who loved me, and after a while it felt okay,” said Jinnyboy.
According to the students, the Digi challenge has also resulted in the seniors and juniors interacting more frequently.
“After the challenge ended, some of them remain friends,” said Chiang Kah Vern, a prefect at the school.
“The teachers were treated to goodie bags including a care package from Laneige. However, the focus remained on their students.
“We want to create a community where the students are close to us and can come to us if they have problems,” said Jaya Seelan, the head of student affairs at Sri KDU International School.
Digi’s initiative is part of the wider #StandTogether National Kindness Week movement, which aims to create a new culture of kindness in Malaysia, starting with schools.
After a spate of horrific bullying and school violence cases last year, R.AGE and property developer SP Setia joined forces to initiate the campaign.
Other organisations such as Digi, Petrosains, Unicef, Study Hub Asia, Teach For Malaysia, and 100 Percent Project quickly came on board to be part of the campaign’s organising committee.
Together, the committee developed a five-day National Kindness Week programme for schools, which was approved and endorsed by the Education Ministry.
More than 700 schools nationwide registered for the programme this year, and the #StandTogether committee hopes National Kindness Week can become a regional campaign in 2019.
To view the winning #5DaysBaikHatiChallenge entries or find out more, visit www.baikhati.my.