Friday, August 5, 2011

CSR Round Two

Somehow, my nine other friends and I were chosen for this second CSR programme, a collaboration between FSTEP and Bank Rakyat. The moment I knew we had to manage about 200 primary schoolchildren from 8am to 4pm during the entire programme, I got weak.

Yes, I do love children but loving and being good at managing them are two wayyyy different things. But as any other Capricorn did whenever encountering a challenge, I rose to the occasion (chewah). I had to, anyway.

The CSR programme was primarily conducted by Bank Rakyat to encourage schoolchildren to save and open a savings account with them (clever). The day-long programme had a number of fun activities for the children including a science show by Petrosains team (in which I had fun watching it too). Us FSTEP participants acted as facilitators during the entire day, helping the children with their tasks and group activities.

Although these kids did get cheeky and fun to mingle with, there were times when I just felt like punching them (slow and hard) whenever they got too excited or simply couldn't take simple instructions, like, queueing up (which was most of the time). Tea break and lunch time were even more chaotic and needless to say, we had to come up with a stricter measure - which shall not be disclosed here *wink wink*. Kidding.

I am proud to say, I have a greater respect for school teachers for having to deal with these issues

Despite that, one or two kids caught my attention that day. They were well-behaved, witty, super intelligent and just awesome to sit down and have a proper conversation with. One of them even became the subject of my oral presentation for the FSTEP final assessment test (thanks Syahmi for the inspiration).

By the time the programme ended, all of us were completely drained of energy. Having to manage and chase around 200 schoolchildren were no easy job, alright.

That night, I slept at 9.30pm.

Huge thanks to Amirrul for the photos.

CSR in Hospital Kuala Lumpur

Initially I was dreadful of the thought that I needed to sacrifice my Saturday morning to entertain a bunch of sick children. Although I have a huge heart about the whole corporate social responsibility/giving-back-to-society thing, I was still not ready to give up one-half of my precious weekend for this occasion (I have a new appreciation for weekends eversince I started working, mind you).

However, once I reached the Pediatric Ward of Hospital Kuala Lumpur that morning, I was overcame with a strange cocktail of feelings - I was happy and felt really privileged to be there with these children, as well as with huge compassion for them.

That Saturday was all about the children.
For some few minutes, on and off, I forgot about my ugly orange FSTEP t-shirt which I had to wear that day.

There was nothing much we could do to entertain this children except by holding a puppet show for them and organizing coloring and card-making activities. We even invited a clown to entertained them with some tricks and jokes, and the children along with their parents and staff nurses were clearly enjoyed.

In between the activities, we did a sing-along of 'Rasa Sayang' under Jonathan's helm with all of the FSTEP participants and the audience.

Then, we distributed the goody bags from ward to ward, meeting and greeting the patients. Some of us went to the pediatric oncology ward, from which they returned red-eyed with tears running down their cheeks. I guess you know why.

Participating in this CSR event opened up a whole new dimension for me in terms of being grateful to my well-being and the capacity to give back to the less fortunate lot. Most importantly, it showed me that each of us had the ability to put a smile of these children face through simple gestures of love. A hug, a smile or simply a light chat with them conveyed the message 'I care about you'.

Would I do it all over again in the future? Definitely.
Twitter: @kyeberry