Isnin, 25 Julai 2011

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12 di bukit lanjan - Google Blog Search

Free meals for needy kids - Kiwanis News -

Posted: 25 Jul 2011 04:33 PM PDT

By Priya Kulasagaran
Published June 26, 2011, in the star

Bukit Bandaraya, Malaysia—I really like laksa!" says SK Bukit Lanjan pupil Nor Ashira Anak Alang in between mouthfuls of noodles.

"It's nice to go to class feeling full; I can listen to the teacher better," she added.

The seven-year-old is one of the 30 children in the school benefitting from the Kiwanis Club of Bukit Bandaraya's (KCBB) "Breakfast a Child" (BAC) programme.

Beaming at the pupils tucking into their meals for the day, KCBB president Hong Mei Keng explains that the aim of the programme is to sponsor needy children with one meal a day for the entire year.

"The idea for the project arose when we decided to hand over some mooncakes to a nearby school.

"After talking to the headmaster, we learnt that some pupils could not afford to buy meals at the school canteen, and found it hard to concentrate in class because they were hungry," she says.

The programme currently provides for 330 pupils in 10 schools, and is funded by invididual and corporate donors.

One of the corporate sponsors this year is KMPG Malaysia, providing a total of RM56,000 for 160 pupils under the scheme.

Aside from SK Bukit Lanjan, the accounting firm is also sponsoring pupils in SJK (T) Sepang, SJK (C) Soo Jin, SK Bukit Rahman Putra, SJK (C) Subang and SK Sungei Way.

KPMG in Malaysia partner-in-charge Ow Peng Li says that staff support for the programme exceeded her expectations.

"Education is one of the key areas of our corporate social responsibility innitiatives," she says.

"So it was really heartening to see our colleagues pitch in for a good cause.

"Even those who felt like they couldn't afford to donate pooled their money in small groups to raise the required RM350 for each child," she says.

In fact, Ow says, staff contributions accounted for about 150 of the children, while the firm itself sponsored the rest.

It should be noted that a similar scheme is already in place in schools; the government's additional food programme (also known as Rancangan Makanan Tambahan or RMT).

While it was reported in January that RM247mil will be allocated under the RMT for 691,000 primary school pupils across the country, there is still a gap to be filled.

"There are children who are left out of the RMT but still need help," says Hong.

"The average family income of those who qualify for the RMT is RM500 and below, and we want to complement it by catering to those who earn RM1,000 and below."

The KCBB also plays an active role in the running of the programme, working closely with school administrators and canteen operators.

"The schools identify the children themselves, but we monitor the menus and cost estimates sent to us by the canteen operators each month; this reporting of costs is similar to the RMT.

"We even conduct surprise visits to the schools for accountability – and I'm happy to say that all the schools genuinely have the children's interests at heart," says Hong.

She concedes however, that this level of involvement comes with a price.

"The spot checks are necessary but time-consuming, and since it's all a voluntary effort, time is always an issue.

"With our current manpower of 23 women, we don't want to overextend ourselves by increasing the number of schools in the programme.

"Right now we'd rather focus on increasing the number of children who can benefit instead; as new intakes of pupils come in, we need to make sure that we can cater for them as well," she says.

SK Bukit Lanjan headmistress Normah Baharum says she is grateful for the BAC initiative, and hopes that more organisations will contribute to the project.

"Something as simple as a good breakfast will go a long way in making sure that they can make full use of their education.

"These are good, hard-working children, and what they need more than pity is a helping hand," she says.

One of the pupils Normah is referring to is Rasrull Anak Tereyak, 12, whose father is a sweeper and mother is a housewife.

"My mother cooks meals at home, but I can't afford to buy food in school," he says.

"It's usually not a big deal, I try not think about being hungry when I'm in class so I can concentrate.

"I like having these meals at school though, I feel like I can study better — and I need to study hard, because I'm going to be a scientist when I grow up," he adds.

The other beneficiary schools under the BAC programme are SJK (C) Sentul, SJK (C) Ma Hwa, SJK (T) Sepang and SJK (C) Kundang.

For those interested to sponsor a child or participate in the BAC programme, contact

Posted Jul 25 2011, 07:33 PM by Scott Smith Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

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