PUTRAJAYA: The #StandTogether Kindness Tour rolled into Putrajaya and left a huge impression on the more than 300 teachers and students who attended it.
Teachers and students alike spoke out against the rise of cyberbullying and hateful speech on social media, and said the workshop equipped them with the knowledge to do their part to push back with kindness.
“Honestly, I thought it would be a waste of time because when I heard (the tour) was about cyberbullying and kindness, I didn’t feel it was relevant to me.
“But the workshop really opened my eyes. I’m really inspired now to spread kindness and I learned that the best way to do that is to lead by example,” said workshop participant Muhammad Azrae Harris Mohd Azman, 16, from SMK Jalan Empat, Bangi.
The Kindness Tour is part of the #StandTogether National Kindness Week campaign by R.AGE and SP Setia, which aims to empower students to create a new culture of kindness in Malaysia.
The tour will see workshops being held in every state across the country, each organised by experts from Digi’s sustainability team and the International Medical University’s (IMU) psychology faculty.
#StandTogether celebrity ambassadors Lisa Surihani and Arwind Kumar (aka MakCik Roast-mah) made a surprise visit at the end of the workshop on Tuesday, much to the delight of the participants.
Many celebrities and politicians, including Nurul Izzah Anwar, Khairy Jamaluddin, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Tony Pua have pledged support for the campaign.
“The questions from the students (during the celebrity Q&A session) were so amazing! I think it shows how eager and determined they are to spread kindness and empathy -- they just need someone to show them how,” said Lisa, who is also a Unicef Malaysia ambassador.
Teachers were effusive in their praise for the workshop, calling it a practical and timely programme.
“When I first got the invite, I was wondering what this #StandTogether campaign was about.
“But after attending the workshop, I realise just how relevant it is to my work as a teacher, and a counsellor, specifically,” said Mazdalina Mat Desa from SMK Kajang Utama.
Another teacher, Zakaria Bachek from SMK Jalan Bukit Kajang, said she hopes the campaign continues to grow next year and spreads beyond schools.
Digi head of sustainability Philip Ling, one of the lead organisers of the tour, said the goal is to inculcate kindness as “one can never have too much kindness”.
“Through storytelling, life scenarios and resiliency building strategies, we want students to realise that kindness is a foundation for building trust and empathy, which can lead to meaningful, life-long relationships,” said Ling.
The #StandTogether National Kindness Week is organised by R.AGE and SP Setia, and supported by partners including Digi, IMU, and Unicef Malaysia.
National Kindness Week this year will be held on April 1-5, and schools can register for the programme, approved by the Education Ministry, at www.standtogether.my.
Members of the public can also support the campaign by signing up for the five-day Kindness Challenge via a specially-designed WhatsApp chat bot.
For more info, email the #StandTogether team at firstname.lastname@example.org or access the WhatsApp chat bot at bit.ly/standtogether2019.