2nd August 2015 witnessed the beginning of the fourth installment of Project Inspire Teringai carried out in SK Temuno Teringai Darat, Kota Marudu, a three hours’ drive away from Kota Kinabalu. This year, there was ten of us, including two UKECharisma committee members, Xin Tian and Sean.
Prior to our first meetup, we had discussions on Facebook and Skype about the possible effective lesson plans and fun activities for evenings and weekends. The first day was occupied with us running around the city, loading our stationery and snack supplies for our ‘reward system’ whilst teaching the kids and conducting treasure hunt activities. Apart from highlight the importance of education, we aimed to provide inspiration and support to the younger generation to achieve their ambitions.
Our arrival at the school was welcomed with open arms and amiable smiles. We were assigned to the upper primary school students, the Primary 6 students in particular, who were about to sit for their UPSR examinations in a few weeks’ time. We had at least an hour a day with the Primary 4 and 5 students where we taught them English and Mathematics. We spent most of our afternoons and evenings tutoring the Primary 6 students, where we were each assigned to 2-3 students from 6 Impian (the weaker class). Due to lack of manpower, we each took turns running between 6 Gemilang and 6 Impian to ensure all students received equal attention.
Primary 4 and 5 classes were filled with more fun and less academic activities, including singing, pop quizzes, running around class to label items, story telling (the list goes on!). We were proud of the students who took part in the ‘Red Riding Hood’ play, directed and written by our very own Venoshini. Evenings were filled playing ultimate frisbee, board games or just chatting with the kids before the whistle blew to signal bathing time. On one of the Friday mornings, we coordinated a health workshop, to enlighten the students with the importance of maintaining healthy teeth.
We got to experience many ‘firsts’; we all survived the two whole weeks without social media and internet, participating with the kids in ‘kampung’-like activities such as bathing in the nearby river, jumping off a cliff, joining a spontaneous dance-along session with all the students and teachers, eating ‘buah tarap’, travelling at the back of a Hilux and a lorry to the nearby town. We also had the privilege to lead the entire student body in their weekly aerobics session, with Celina’s lead, who was bustling around with funky moves to popular upbeat songs. We managed to squeeze in time to paint a mural and prepare an Indian dance performance for the closing ceremony.
We were grateful for the presence of Mr James Masaya and Mr James Jupinon (Rotary Club Kota Kinabalu), who took care of our wellbeing during the two weeks which flew by really quickly. We got so accustomed to the friendly environment in the school that it was very hard for us to leave SK Temuno to get back into the pace of reality on our last day. We made great friends and better memories. Hopefully, impacted the student’s lives just as they had impacted ours.