as told by YU JING, SK Tumunda Salimandut volunteer
We had NASI LEMAK for breakfast today! All the volunteers were so in love with the nasi lemak hence we were clearly excited to taste it for the second time! A big thank you to the parents and teachers for all the hard efforts in making sure that we were all well fed. We are always amazed by their cooking each time they presented some local delicacies!
After the delicious breakfast, we decided to teach the kids how to sing “You Raise Me Up” for their upcoming performance during jamuan raya on Thursday. We played the song once so that the kids familiarised with the tunes. Then, we sat with our own kids in small groups and taught them how to sing the song. I was quite nervous because my singing was not so good so it’s actually a challenge for me to teach them! Luckily, there was a girl in my group that knew how to sing almost the entire song so I asked for her help to guide her friends. My partner and I translated the lyrics into Malay so that the kids can have better understanding about the song. We practiced a few times along with some simple actions. I was glad that the kids enjoyed the singing and I must say that they have beautiful voices! (or at least my kids do!)
I continued teaching my kids on addition and subtraction of fractions today. Most of them told me that they were weak in this topic when I asked them to list out the topics that they did not really understand on the first day. The kids were being very enthusiastic to learn today, probably because they have managed to do questions on simplifying, multiplying and dividing fractions. I have watched how they slowly mastered this topic from zero. They can now solve questions on their own from knowing nothing about fractions. I still remember the satisfying smiles on their faces when I marked their answers correct. They even requested to have more questions to do today and one of them told me “rasa belum cukup baik lagi”. Although my kids might not be the smartest students in the class and their learning speeds were of different levels, they all have the desire to gain more knowledge. I am glad that I have helped them in understanding one of the topics that they disliked – fractions.
In the evening, we played a childhood game “Coca-Cola” with some of the kids. I noticed that the volunteers were even more excited than the kids! It had been really long time since we last played this simple but thrilling game that is mainly about jumping to touch others’ feet and to avoid being touched. While we are always taking things for granted, these kids can find simple happiness in little things such as playing games using a type of flower found in the field and playing football. They were never bored of playing “captain ball” every evening. I truly admired the energy and spirit they have during sports session. Every day, they will ask me “Kak, hari ni ada sports/bola tak?” and they will be so disappointed if I say no.
At night after the reflection session, the volunteers practiced “cup song” as our surprise performance, which we planned to do in a flash mob style. Some of us stayed up late to write personal messages on cards to our kids. It had been my plan to write some words of encouragement to my kids before I left so that they will be motivated continuously in their studies. I believe each and every kid here has his or her own potential that is yet to be discovered and it is undeniable that they are lacking the resources that can help them develop their potentials. I felt happy listening to my kids talking about their dreams to be achieved. (I have a kid who wants to be a DETECTIVE!).
Through these two weeks here, I am grateful to receive the warmest welcomes of the kids into their lives and I hope that our presence left a positive impact to them. I sincerely wish all the kids grow up well and strive hard for everything they want in life. Thank you all for the kenangan terindah!