Sunway City Ipoh,13 October 2019
This Festival of Light celebration, Sunway Group launched its #sunwayforgood Deepavali Cheer Programme to bring cheer to more than 900 underserved Perakian school children at the Lost World of Tambun.
While many celebrate this festival with happiness, a delicious feast and large gatherings, the same sentiment is not shared by the underserved communities, especially those in the B40 community. Sunway Group hopes to be able to bring cheer to the community this festive season.
Aside from bringing smiles to the community, this programme also aims to ensure the children’s long term future through education. The #sunwayforgood Deepavali Cheer includes an educational tour; providing school supplies to students; upgrading school libraries; and ICT Literacy Aid programme.
The #sunwayforgood Deepavali Cheer programme supported by Perak EXCO’s Member’s Office, the Perak Education Department, and Friends of Mankind was designed as an urgent response to studies that showed even though there is a decline in dropout rate from 0.35% in 2016 to 0.29% in 2017, the highest dropout rate comprise of children from the B40 group due to their parents’ inability to afford school expenses.
Perak Health, Consumer Affairs, National Integration and Human Resources executive committee chairman and Sungkai Assemblyman YB Sivanesan Achalingam who was present at the event commended Sunway Group’s initiative as one that is supportive of the Perak Government’s focus on uplifting the B40 households.
“The Perak Government has taken several positive steps such as the introduction of the Kad Prihatin Perak ration card, expansion of community farming projects, rebates on electricity bills, free water and training sessions for small and medium entrepreneurs to assist the B40 groups reduce their burden. Sunway Group’s initiative is of great importance as it helps the children and their families break the cycle of poverty through ensuring that children receive the education they deserve.”
Sunway City Ipoh Executive Director, Wong Wan Wooi said that the entire initiative was aligned to Sunway Group’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at sustainable and equitable development without leaving anyone behind.
“Our founder and chairman, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah believes that education offers the best route out of poverty. We hope that by reaching out to these 900 primary students from B40 groups and providing them with school necessities, the students will be motivated to pursue education for a brighter future. Our #sunwayforgood initiatives have reached out to 40,000 beneficiaries thus far, and we hope to be able to reach out to 50,000 beneficiaries by the end of the year.”
Education Tour at Lost World of Tambun
The programme was launched on 13 October where 160 school children from various schools including SJK(T) Klebang, SJK(T) Ladang Chemor, SJK(T) Kg Simee, and SJK(T) Ladang Strathisla were invited to an educational tour at the Lost World of Tambun to learn about the various animals within the zoo as well as how to build terrariums.
Besides the learning opportunity, the students were also treated to a sumptuous luncheon at Lost World Hotel. During the luncheon, students received school supplies including school bags, stationeries, water and food containers, multivitamins, tooth paste, mouthwash and environmentally friendly repurposed soap by Sunway Hotels & Resorts from Wong Wan Wooi and YB Sivanesan Achalingam.
Sunway Group will continue its #sunwayforgood Deepavali Cheer programme with the distribution of school supplies on 14 October to another 740 students at SJK(T) Klebang, SJK(T) Ladang Chemor and SJK(T) Kg Simee.
The supplies are similar to the ones given out the day before. It includes school bags, stationeries, water and food containers, multivitamins, tooth paste, mouthwash and environmental friendly repurposed soap initiated by Sunway Hotels & Resorts.
Sunway Group will soon kick-start the Sunway R.E.A.D (Reading Enhances Aspiration and Drive) programme where SJK(T) Klebang’s school library will be refurbished. Apart from the refurbishment, Sunway Group is also looking into equipping the library with the necessary books for education purposes.
Sunway Group launched its book donation campaign last month with Friends of Mankind. Books are collected at selected Sunway premises nationwide and the books will be given to the school library.
ICT Literacy Aid Programme
As part of #sunwayforgood long term initiative to make education accessible to deserving students in the nation, it will embark on an ICT Literacy Aid program in year 2020. This programme will focus on digital learning, where students are taught the basics of information technology and programming skills.
To spread the merriment of Deepavali celebration, Sunway Group will also release a Deepavali video. In a multiracial country like Malaysia, every festival is celebrated by all Malaysians. The video features the importance of unity among Malaysians, and how we can all appreciate and embrace our cultural uniqueness and differences.