Unicef hopes to spread kindness to rest of region next year

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 30 Jun 2019

KAJANG: Unicef Malaysia hopes to push the #StandTogether student kindness movement to the rest of the region in 2020.

The movement’s success in fostering kindness in schools has caught the attention of schools and NGOs in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, some of whom have already independently organised #StandTogether Kindness Week projects.

“In 2016, Unicef focused on violence against students and promoting child participation, which goes well with the #StandTogether campaign. It is becoming a global campaign,” said Unicef Representative to Malaysia Marianne Clark-Hattingh.

Clark-Hattingh was speaking during the visit by Unicef ambassadors Choi Siwon and Lisa Surihani to SMK Tinggi Kajang to promote the #StandTogether campaign.

Lisa had been supporting the campaign since its inception, and was thrilled to hear Choi pledge to bring the campaign to Korea as well.

“We can’t stop now. We have to continue, continue, continue, and reach out to even more students.

“Kindness doesn’t cost anything. It’s so easy to pay it forward, so whatever kindness we are receiving now, we have to spread it even further,” said Lisa.

SMK Tinggi Kajang was one of the top 20 participating schools in #StandTogether this year, and English society teacher Shabita Jayapalen – who oversaw the school’s Kindness Projects – has been thrilled with the results.

“I love it! When we tell the students about kindness, sometimes it’s just ‘preaching’.

“But when you have Siwon and Lisa here saying that bullying is not right, it gets through to them,” said Shabita.

Shabita added that it was good that the campaign seeks to empower students to run their own Kindness Projects.

“The English Society students approached me, pitched their Kindness Project idea and the teachers helped fine-tuned it.

“All I did was remind them that when they’re doing something good, don’t think about the competition.

“Whether we win or not, do it from the heart, and do it all the way,” she said.

The #StandTogether campaign is endorsed by the Education Ministry in Malaysia.

Schools can participate by registering at www.standtogether.my and downloading free resources on bullying prevention and kindness.

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