as told by EDWARD GOH, SK Tumunda Salimandut volunteer
Since the 6th day of our volunteering mission is Saturday, we decided to start off the day with board games, chess and drawing to let the kids relax and have fun. While they seemed to enjoy themselves a lot, we headed off to a classroom to discuss and prepare for today evening’s highlight, Treasure Hunt.
After lunch, we had a fascinating science experiment, making volcanoes! After dividing us into groups, we laid down a sheet of manila card and placed a plastic bottle at the centre. We wrapped it using old newspaper to make it cone-shaped. While the volunteers were preparing the lava by mixing vinegar with red colouring and dish soap, we let the kids express their creativity to the fullest in decorating their own volcanoes. Some of them added some stones, grass and soil. Some of the kids even used clay to make animals and dinosaurs, how lovely!
After that, we poured the lava mixture into the bottles. Once we were all set for volcanic explosion, we moved it outside. A teaspoons of baking soda in hot water was poured into every bottle. And soon, one by one, the gorgeous explosions stunned all of us with red lava oozing out from the mouth of volcanoes. The kids enjoyed it so much, so did all of us.
During the evening, before Treasure Hunt began, the kids had to look for their teammates by making animal sound. It was adorable to see the kids making various types of funny animal sounds and eagerly looking for their teammates. There was a total of 9 stations with a volunteer assigned to be the stationmasters for every station. Prior to the activity, all of the groups were given a blank Malaysia map. Their mission was to earn 13 colourful pieces of puzzle representing 13 states from each station to complete the map of Malaysia. They were also asked about the fun fact of each stationmaster in bonus round. With much excitement and enthusiasm, the kids moved quickly from station to station in their animal groups to complete their mission, at the same time learning about the landmarks and well-known food in every state of the federation.
After they completed all the stations, the group with the highest score was determined as the winner. Besides, another very deserving group was also awarded for the great teamwork they demonstrated throughout the treasure hunt. The objectives of Treasure Hunt was to improve general knowledge, motivate the pupils to learn about Malaysia’s geography in an interesting and interactive way, as well as to foster teamwork among them. Our hard work paid off when we saw the smile on every kid’s face after they solved the challenge from station to station with great sense of accomplishment. Most importantly, they enjoyed the learning process.
As usual, the evening was again reserved for captain ball since this was the kids’ all-time favourite. This time, we added a training session for the kids to learn about the strategy and the correct techniques of making a pass. At night, we had mathematics extra class. Although the kids looked tired after having so much fun throughout the day, most of them were still proactive and tried their best to stay concentrated in the class. We loved to see such passion, and this really motivated us to teach. Despite being mentally and physically exhausted, we had enjoyed another fruitful and enriching day here in SK Tumunda Salimandut.
I am really grateful for the opportunity to embark on the meaningful volunteering mission in SK Tumunda Salimandut together with a bunch of dedicated and passionate volunteers. Throughout the project, I realized that the education level among the rural pupils was much lower compared to those in cities. There was still room for improvement as many pupils were still not receiving the kind of education they deserve. With personal guidance and small group teaching, I found that the pupils had improved tremendously in Mathematics and English. Although their progress in spoken English did not meet our target, I opine that improving English took longer time as they need more practice. The limited usage of English in their daily life has always been the biggest challenge to be addressed. After 2 weeks of endeavor in teaching, giving advice and motivating them, I was deeply touched when I received letters from my pupils before I left. They expressed their gratitude to me and promised to study hard for a brighter future. I am so proud of them, hopefully Abang Pin really made an impact on them.