St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) students and members of its Parent Support Group (PSG) have been busy assisting those in need during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period in Malaysia.
With the school temporarily closed in compliance with the MCO, SJIIM students and the PSG decided to channel funds that they had helped gather to benefit those in need of food and basic necessities during this difficult period. They also chipped in to make protective shields for use by frontline and essential service workers!
The group raised RM 6,000 and it received a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution from the SJIIM Lasallian Fund. The RM12,000 was equally distributed to the Pit Stop Community Café in the Klang Valley, COVIDCAREMY DHRRA Malaysia and COVID Assist Malaysia.
Dato’ Bro Paul Ho, Chairman of the SJIIM Board of Governors, is delighted with the initiatives of the students and the PSG. “It is extremely heartening to note that our community is fully embracing our Founder’s ethos of reaching out in service for the benefits of the less fortunate.”
Sheela Sam, the Chairlady of the PSG was very proud of the effort that the group has made. “We are happy to be able to make a difference. To help those in need as inscribed in our Lasallian culture is not just charity, it is humanity in the highest form. We enkindle good values for our future generation and we pray for those who have been affected physically, emotionally and financially.”
The Pit Stop Community Café and COVIDCARE MY are organizations that support the most vulnerable in the community in various ways, including food distribution which assists many families. Both organizations have been tremendously active with their humanitarian efforts and were very appreciative of the support received:
“The Pit Stop Community Cafe had the distinct pleasure of working with different groups of SJIIM students for the past three years and each one of them who have volunteered their time with us have shown us passion, dedication and leadership. We are very proud of our SJIIM volunteers and feel that their school and family have definitely done something right for these capable young people. In these troubled times of COVID-19 when so many marginalised communities are without income or decent food, SJIIM has come to us again with a lifesaving gift. Thank you so much for coming together to make sure that we are able to serve those who have fallen off the cracks of society.”
– Andrea Tan, Co-Founder of Pit Stop Community Cafe
“On behalf of COVIDCAREMY, we are truly grateful and thankful to SJI International School Malaysia and the SJIIM Parent Support Group for their generosity. Our donors and supporters inspire us to continue this journey and we invite them to walk along with us. COVIDCAREMY has been active nationwide for almost a month and we will continue to assist the marginalised and B40 communities during the MCO.”
COVID Assist Malaysia is a volunteer organization co-founded by two high school students namely Sandra Ong of SJIIM and Julian Yang from another notable international school to support those in need of assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds contributed to this organization will be used to produce face shields by volunteers who are students of SJIIM and other international schools, parents and other benefactors. The face shields will be given to frontline staff in hospitals and essential service workers who urgently require more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to perform their daily tasks in assisting with the recovery of COVID-19 patients.
COVID Assist Malaysia’s founders were ecstatic with the support they have received. “We founded COVID Assist Malaysia to provide support to those in need during this COVID-19 pandemic. We crowdsourced volunteers and funds, harnessed the people’s innate desire to do good, collaborated with our local community and other youths while employing the power of social networking systems to achieve maximum reach and effectiveness. We are incredibly grateful for SJIIM and the Parent Support Group’s generous donation. These funds will help further our cause by enabling us to increase the scale of our projects, diversifying into other activities and widening our base. As international school students, we are incredibly fortunate to have the financial means to continue with our education while others may not even be able to afford essentials. It is our duty to provide concern for the poor and social justice and do our part to help ‘the Least, the Last and the Lost’.”
Besides the three listed organizations, care packages in the form of groceries and food were also sponsored by the group and distributed to the security guards of SJIIM who are diligently working on-site to keep the school safe throughout the MCO period. Mohammed Sharizal, who is the security supervisor of SJIIM said, “We are thankful for the generous contributions given to us by the PSG. These essential food items will go a long way in helping the guards with their everyday lives during this difficult period.”
Service and care for the community are hallmarks of an SJIIM education. The school is proud that despite the challenges posed by the MCO, its students and parents have truly lived up to its Lasallian ideal that they had “entered the school to learn and would leave it to serve.”