Out of work or any source of income, the underprivileged families who were deeply affected were struggling to feed their families. As we all were adjusting to this new and somewhat strange norm, there emerged a few empathetic and kind-hearted souls who went all out to serve the needy.
Victoria University Business Program (VUBB) students of Sunway College, Wong Min Yi and her team had planned a project cause before the Movement Control order to initially have a Talent Show for refugee kids from a few settlements. This was part of the project outcomes for the Social Issues and Community Engagement (SICE) service learning module to which Min Yi took charge. With the restrictions of the Movement control order, all projects for SICE had to be changed in nature to become more of a campaign with digital presence and online engagement with outputs to be used by NGO’s or social purpose organizations. Despite these setbacks, Min Yi spearheaded a collection drive for eleven identified struggling families in Sunway Mentari. They initially targetted RM300.00 to purchase necessary groceries but this figure grew to RM507.25 which they collected via social media! They reached out to families and friends using digital engagement with Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
Min Yi was given the necessary advice for her own safety to limit interaction when she was planning to deliver the goods and was told to take precaution. The option to deliver the goods through Grab transport was given but Min Yi had the support of her dedicated parents to purchase, pack and deliver the rations themselves. On the 11th of May, each of the refugee families received rations of rice, flour, eggs, cooking oil, biscuits, packet of mee hoon, onions, packet of vegetables, can of baked beans, can of sardines, packet of salt and one packet of sugar. Fully geared with masks and a huge smile, Mr. Mangnor, the community spokesperson who runs the pre-school for the Myanmar kids received these grocery items to distribute to the families. He was overjoyed and touched that people cared to consider them during these difficult times for everyone.
Min Yi and her team went beyond her project expected outputs that only required them to kick off their online campaigns and raise awareness for the plight of refugee kids. This outreach was indeed a selfless and commendable effort as it reached further into the hearts of the urban poor community especially during a time that most Malaysians would prioritize caring for their own.
Written by: Ms Anita Paul (VU Undergraduate Programme)