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KCHF Batu Caves Launch & The Asian International Vocational Center
 
Date : 02 April 2011
Education : A child’s right
 

"Educating the poor is a top social issue for the 21st Century” - Nobel laureate Gary Becker, University Professor of Economics and of Sociology."

Education is a fundamental human right which every child is entitled to. It is critical to our development as individuals and as societies, and it helps pave the way to a successful and productive future.

 

The founders and trustees of Kassim Chin Humanity Foundation (KCHF) believe that education should be accessible to all. Education, especially at the elementary stage, is a fundamental right of a child, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Four years ago, KCHF started their first tuition centre in the low-cost flats of Puchong called Pangsapuri Enggang, which caters to 150 school-going children of all races from Primary Year One to Secondary Year Five. In the mornings during weekdays, the center serves as a day-care (tadika) that takes care of toddlers aged 3-6 years. On weekends, extra curriculum activities are organized for the children to interact and have fun.

To further encourage the students to perform, KCFH provides incentives in the form of laptops for those who score straight A’s for critical exams such as SPM (Secondary Year Five).

“We operate in a very challenging environment”, says Miliee Kassim, Executive Trustee of KCHF and Advisory Council member of MyKasih Foundation.

“Gangsterism is rampant and the children are exposed to situations where high-risk behaviours can be easily picked up. We work very closely with Pure Life Society to counsel troubled teens, hoping to nip problems at the bud and ensure that the children are able to live life to their fullest potential”, Miliee explains.

As they come from low-income households, parents of these children have to work very hard to make ends meet. Most work six days a week and very long hours. KCHF works closely with MyKasih Foundation to provide food aid to those families in need. It is a synergistic partnership – MyKasih feeds the families, while KCHF educates the children.

MyKasih Foundation currently has 50 families in Puchong and 100 families in Gombak under its food aid programme and there is a plan to include 50 more families this year.

As of March 2011, MyKasih has 6,950 families nation-wide within 80 communities in 72 locations.

“What we are doing is throwing them a life line. It is up to them to take that first step to improve themselves. As our funding is limited, we cannot be feeding the families forever. We also have to reach out to other communities in need”, says Jeffrey Perera, CEO of MyKasih Foundation.

Tuition is provided free for the children and KCHF is on a mission to set up more centers.

On April 2, 2011, KCHF launched another tuition center in Pangsapuri Cempaka, Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur. Registration forms for tuition classes were being circulated to residents and during the launch, Miliee Kassim informed that 100 students had already signed up. “Clearly we need more space!” she exclaimed.

At the launch, Miliee Kassim thanked the trustees of KCHF and acknowledged the good effort of community coordinators, Mr Gopi and Mr Logan, who were instrumental in collecting data of families in need. KCHF now has 5 tuition centers – one in Puchong, one in Semenyih and three in Gombak. Two of those also operate as day care centers for toddlers to enable parents to work. With 400 children under KCHF’s tuition programme, the children have an opportunity to obtain a solid education and a brighter future.

Focusing on children’s education is a more sustainable approach. Quality basic education better equips girls and boys with the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt healthy lifestyles and to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. They will also find themselves in a better position to play an active role in social, economic and political decision-making as they transition to adolescence and adulthood.

Furthermore, educated adults are more likely to have fewer children as they are better-informed about family planning and appropriate child-rearing practices.

Spreading the love beyond our neighbourhood

Not about to rest on her laurels, Miliee informed that KCHF is also planning to establish a regional vocational school in Kelantan for underprivileged children aged 15 years and above to provide them with skills they could apply when they seek work.

The Asian International Vocational Center will be built on a 26-acre piece of land located in Machang, Kelantan. This is a family owned land which will be donated to the Foundation. One of Malaysia’s renowned architects, Hijjas Kasturi, is spearheading the design and concept for this school together with his team of landscape architects. He will be overlooking the construction of this eco-friendly building complete with open space for the children to play and work.

Kelantan is one of the poorest states in Malaysia but geographically it is very strategically located near Thailand and other neighbouring ASEAN countries. This boarding center aims to empower its students with skills and a future career that will see them through their adult life. The three-year course will be adhering to the City & Guilds certification, one of the world’s leading vocational awarding bodies in United Kingdom. Courses will be conducted in English and there will be a one year compulsory English language course for all students.

Initially students from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand will be selected as the alternative to school in these countries is often in foul conditions. Poverty in such countries forces excessive responsibility on the shoulders of children and hence why we are able to find a significant percentage of child labour.

KCHF hopes to be the forefront of global literacy efforts, keeping literacy high by providing basic education to children from impoverished countries. The foundation will offer education to these children in these communities so that they can transform this vicious circle of poverty into one that provides opportunity. Looking long-term, the Foundation hopes that graduates will be encouraged to help educate the next generation of disadvantaged children.

When we ensure that children have access to quality education, we create a ripple effect of opportunities that impacts generations to come. Education enhances lives. It ends generational cycles of poverty and disease and provides a foundation for sustainable development.
 
 
FOUNDATION’S OBJECTIVES

One of the main objectives of the Foundation is to dedicate its resources to setting up of institutions and facilities in providing education opportunity, healthcare and social services to the poor and needy regardless of nationality, age, sex, race or religion. These institutions and facilities will be imbibed with the universal spiritual values of love, compassion, integrity and mutual understanding. The foundation is convinced that quality education can only be provided if equitable access to quality and lifelong education is provided to these children.

OUR MISSION

Our approach to both the local community and wider society is through this International Vocational Centre. We wish to make positive contribution to the society at large and deliver benefits to the people, the business and to the community and to uphold our responsibility to the society with integrity and honesty. The foundation will be the movement that focuses on expanding access to education opportunity in the impoverished country.


POVERTY AND SOCIAL ANALYSIS OF COUNTRIES

Check out Poverty and Social Analysis for these countries:



CAMBODIA
INDONESIA
LAOS PDR
MALAYSIA
MYANMAR
PHILIPPINES
THAILAND
VIETNAM


ASEAN country details and characteristics

Social protection schemes in each ASEAN country