I got to know Christy when we participated in Miss World Malaysia 2009 and we kept in touch regularly after the pageant ended. Over a recent dim sum session, we decided to visit the kids at StART Foundation, and did so a few days ago. We also got Claudia to come along with us.
A brief intro about StART –- it is an academy dedicated to serve children of lesser privilege. They use arts (music, drama, speech, writing, design, etc.) for the betterment of these children.
StART helps children find their natural talent; allows the various art forms to bring healing; encourages the nurture of these talents; allows their newly acquired talents to rebuild their self-esteem and confidence; and possibly helps them carve out something that will give them a brighter future.We got some currypuffs for tea (kids get hungry really fast) and chocolates for treats. Watching the kids indulge in their teatime snacks was a serious eye-opener and a humbling experience for me. It made me realised how lucky I am, and how lucky a lot of us are. These kids…they had a glow on their face, with so much gratitude and appreciation over something as simple as a currypuff. I don’t remember ever feeling this grateful over a currypuff. *shame on me!*
I saw this child (who was new to the place), who took three curry puffs at once. I found that behaviour strange, as there were plenty more curry puffs to go around. Christy told me it is their second nature; some kids never know when their next meal would be. I felt awful. A child that young should never have to worry about meals or what would happen tomorrow.These children are bright and talented, and everyone gets along well, regardless of age, gender and race. The older kids took care of the young ones, and even the playful ones knew when to be focused. They were all much better behaved than some very priveleged children I know. This is Rinisha. She’s 9 years old and is incredibly bubbly. Very clever girl; she picks up dance steps almost immediately. The rest of the kids were very shy. They needed time to warm up to us. Joshua (programme director) said it’s normal, and they are working on helping the kids become more vocal.
As a non-profit organisation, StART is in need of teachers, equipment, musical instruments, art materials, stationary and more. If you would like to help out (in any way you can), do not hesitate to contact them HERE.
It’s not all about who can give the biggest cheque (although that would be nice). To me, it’s about giving what you can and spending time with the children. Christy, Claudia and I will be visiting StART Foundation soon. So if any of you are interested to join us or want to contribute something, drop me an email at [email protected]
Besides StART, you can also opt to contribute to other non-profit organisations. Do your part in making their lives a better one. You’ll feel happier too.
No. 1, Jalan 5/39,
Off Jalan Gasing,
Tel: 03 7954 5423
Fax: 03 7954 7423