Early May 2018, I made a trip (my first visit) to East Malaysia.
It was one of the most meaningful trips I had ever been to. I was physically exhausted! But the experience fed my soul and taught me new life lessons.
I was involved in a volunteer project to visit the stateless kids in East Malaysia, which I still feel absolutely honored to be part of it.
There are a few things that I want to mention before showing the current learning environment and circumstances of the kids.
- What does “Stateless” means?
This is not an easy issue to talk about. I will briefly explain the situation for comprehensive understanding, and we will only focus on the education part in this post!
During this trip, the kids’ grandparents are mostly from the other countries. They got on a boat, sailed and fished to sustain themselves as they traveled to Malaysia.
They stayed and built their family here, but they “forgot” to register their kids as Malaysians.
Then these kids too, built their family here and gave birth to their own children. However, they couldn’t register their kids because they themselves are not identified as Malaysians. Hence, the kids you are going to see in this post are “Stateless”. They are not entitled to any Malaysian rights, such as education.
They cannot go to the school.
- What do we do there?
I know some of the people might think that “1-time-kindness = harm”. I don’t encourage that neither. So, this trip was made for a few purposes.
- Our members included edu-pros, who play a role in discussing and developing a proper learning module for the kids. (Which I truly respect and appreciate their efforts!!)
- Also members from the charity association, we collect their drawings and children’s “voices” and bring them back here to set up a fund raising sale. All the funds will go to their school to build them a better learning environment! (below are the current schools they go to.)
*for those who are interested in buying their artworks, updates will be available here. It will be faster to access on my page. Stay tuned!
- And also for people like me, who travel and write. We are in the middle of developing a “Voluntour” project. This project welcomes travellers who speak Bahasa to visit this place, and to commit a short period of time to tutor these kids.
As well as write to raise awareness about this issue.
So, we were there for few days, drawing, singing and talking with the kids.
Look at some of their creative art works!
Laws can take away their right to go to school, but they could never take away their creativity and talents.
I believe art can save the world. So long as we give them a hand, the diamonds will get to shine one day.
The precious moments.
Another thing these kids moved me to tears, are their ATTITUDE. Imagine this is their environment, 44 students in a “single room”, without a/c or a fan under 34°C.
But they are still so eager to learning, they go to “school” every day, some of them even walk 1-2km daily.
And their manners! They are the most well-manner kids I have ever seen. They greet, they queue, they wait, they share and they never take advantage.
This trip was a volunteer trip about education. But it wasn’t just for the stateless kids, it was also for me. I had seen so many things I had never seen before and learnt so many things from them in this trip.
We who have so much in life but still complain everyday, versus the kids who are so content with just being able to go to school.
If you’re keen to help out, Let’s stay connected! Drop me a message! And I will forward the project updates to you. It’s may not look like much, but it might be a major influence to them. See you guys in the #stateless.
More interesting STORIES (The kids singing and the real environment videos) are on my Instagram.
Including the perfect sunrise in East Malaysia! Welcome to check out and stay tuned for more updates.
The SQUAD ❤ Thanks everyone. You guys are all very sweet and dear humans. Respects and Love!