The education that we are providing for our children at Shelter

17 May 2012

Hannah* from Shelter 1

Hannah* is a child who has never interacted or socialized with anyone. She grew up without going to school and was mostly neglected at home by her divorced parents. Today she is turning 13 but her education level is barely at that level and she behaves differently from other children.

When you ask her a question, she’ll answer briefly and it is usually irrelevant to the question. She is currently not going to school because she wouldn’t be able to catch up with the studies in school. We in Shelter hire private tutors to help her with her studies alongside with other volunteers.

Ms Helen is a volunteer that teaches her favourite subject, Art. She also teaches her BM and Maths. She does it on a one-to-one basis. When Ms Helen first came, Hannah was giving her a hard time and was totally unreceptive. Hannah would lock herself in the washroom or even hide under the bed! Ms Helen didn’t quite understand her behaviour at first but she didn’t give up and resolved to reach out to her rather than to wait or give up.

(Ms Helen is explaining about the craftwork she’s teaching Hannah)

Ms Helen would then sit on the floor next to the bed where Hannah was hiding, take out the art tools and started drawing. After some time, Hannah became interested and eventually came out and joined her. This went on for a few times. There was once when Ms Helen was unable to come and teach. When she came for the following session, Hannah was at the door waiting for her! Hannah even expressed to her “Teacher, why didn’t you come last week!”

Ms Helen expressed what joy she felt! Today, Ms Helen is not only her teacher but is also her friend. Even though Ms Helen does not understand some of the stories or things that Hannah tells her, she still listens and lets Hannah know that she cares. Ms Helen even rewards her with her favourite cartoon “Sailor Moon” by letting her watch some of the episodes she has downloaded into her phone and even gives colouring books whenever she does well in her studies.

Ms Helen expressed her opinion that Hannah’s earlier rebellious behaviour could be because many counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists only check her and treat her but never bother to show her love. Hannah might think that everyone that comes only wants to see her as a test subject/object but not as an individual who needs a lot of love.

(Hannah is finishing up the craftwork!)

* Hannah is not the real name of this child. This is to protect her true identity.

Sarah* (Formerly from Shelter 2)
Sarah* lost her mother when she was 10 years old and her father ran away, leaving her and her siblings. She was then taken by her uncle and aunty to live with them as they could not afford to care for her other siblings. But she suffered physical and mental abuse from her aunty and her cousins when she was 13 years old.

Her aunt sends her to school only on alternate days and the school eventually noticed her unusual reserved and quiet nature. She later confided in the school counselor and she was eventually placed in Shelter Home. We then sent her to school and she had private tutors to teach her as well.

She has now left our Home but we are still supporting her for her tertiary education. We didn’t want to prevent her from pursuing higher education and so we sent her to Saito College, a Graphic Design School that teaches Advance Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. We don’t only just send her to this College (a graphic design college) but one of our staff also spends a lot of time with her to help her with her problems and care for her.

(Sarah is working on the draft of her design. The laptop in the picture was sponsored by one of the donor.)

We found a sponsor to buy her a laptop which she needs to work on her designs. We also help to pay for other miscellaneous items like the other fees and work items.

Now she works very hard and some of her products are really very impressive. That talent would not have been discovered if not for you donors. So please help us to help Sarah have a bright future!

(A closer look at the draft shows that the image is based on a concept of Malaysian culture. Observe the silhouette of a girl wearing baju kurung incorporated into the design!)

* Sarah is not the real name of this child. This is to protect her true identity.

George* from Shelter 3
George* is a Sri Lankan boy, whose parents were robbed during the tsunami back in his country. He was still very young then and the UN sent him and his brother to Malaysia where he was eventually placed in Shelter Home. George never got a chance to go to school because of his nationality and his lack of documents. We have hired private tutors to teach him English and Math and he is still learning until today.

At present, George is 16 years old and he has interest in football, badminton and also computers. George was an unmotivated individual before this and he didn’t have many plans in life. He only hopes to go to Canada where his aunt is or just go back to his home country.

(George, at the bottom right, is learning in class)

We decided to improve his education level and so we sent him to Hartford, an institution that specializes in teaching Microsoft and Adobe syllabus to those who want to learn about computers. We at Shelter want him to have a bright future.

He has completed classes on Microsoft Word, Excel and even Adobe Photoshop! Adobe is software that is used to edit and to do minor designing on images. George has expressed his intention to study to degree level. For someone who had no aim in life, Shelter Home has transformed him into an individual who wants to be an achiever.

We at Shelter Home knew that George wasn’t aware of his true abilities and strengths prior to this. We have given him an avenue, like Hartford, to help him discover himself and this has helped his self-esteem. Many children like him, who have talents and intelligence that differs from the school syllabus will finally benefit if they are given a chance to try something else.

* George is not the real name of this child. This is to protect his true identity.

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