Bandar Kinrara, Puchong - Overcoming educational disadvantages is challenging, especially in the small communities where families face difficulties with just barely enough of the necessities for every day living.
While cognisant of their situation, 12-year-old twin sisters Durgavaiishnavi and Durrgalakshmi har-bour dreams of becoming doctors and are taking baby steps towards realising their ambition, thanks to the tuition aid under the F&N Empowering Lives Through Education (E.L.I.T.E) programme.
“The biggest frustration is that it is challenging for us to receive assistance, in the form of free tuition. Now with the E.L.I.T.E I know that there one hurdle less,” said Durgavaiishnavi who has been receiving tuition assistance from an education centre in Pangsapuri Enggang established by the Kassim Chin Humanity Foundation (KCHF), a beneficiary of the F&N E.L.I.T.E. programme, together with her twin sister over the last five years.
“The teachers at the centre are always there to guide me through some of our subjects and provide us with the confidence during the examinations. Though, still a long way, I know that my sister and I are making progress,” said Durgavaiishnavi who recently completed her UPSR examination and is excited about pursuing her education further.
Taking centre stage at the recent F&N E.L.I.T.E. Graduation Ceremony 2016, Durgavaiishnavi recit-ed a self-written thank you poem in fluent English to express her gratitude for the continuous support by F&N Holdings and KCHF.
Durgavaiishnavi and 29 of her peers showcased what they have learned at KCHF’s education pro-grams with confidence through performances including cultural dances, poetry recitals and songs.
Also standing tall at the graduation ceremony were proud parents, guardians and respective family members who witnessed their children successfully surpassing yet another milestone in preparation to move on to new challenges.
The F&N E.L.I.T.E. programme was established to offer underprivileged children a fair start in ob-taining the basic foundation to learning and assisting them in taking learning to the next level, by empowering these children and their families to rise above their conditions and strive for a better future.
Through the programme, F&N Dairies provides financial assistance for the upkeep of KCHF’s Pangsapuri Enggang tuition centre and food aid in the form of F&N milk products. An e-Learning Centre was set up by the Company last year to provide basic computer literacy for the children. Beyond celebrating the children’s success, the graduation ceremony was aimed at creating aware-ness about the importance and the need for guided early learning as well as encouraging children to aim higher in their education journeys. According to Cariessa Goh, Corporate Affairs Manager of F&N Holdings Bhd, education is not only for the privileged few but the right of all children whether rich or poor.
“Every child deserves a fair chance in life and that begins with an opportunity to learn. As guardians of our children’s future, we believe by giving every child a fair chance to learn, we give them tools to build a better world for themselves and their children.
“Hence, it is our goal to provide a safe learning environment for children to enable them to reach their full potential, help them build confidence to create opportunities and ultimately empowering them to take control of their own fate.
“We are honoured to be working with the Kassim Chin Humanity Foundation in their generous efforts to eradicate poverty and provide equal opportunities and access to education for all children,” added Goh.
Forty-three-year-old Noorsiyah binti Zarkoni has much to be grateful for with the establishment of the centre and was thankful that her two children were not denied an opportunity to gain knowledge.
“I have seen a huge improvement in my sons’ language proficiency in just five months and I am so proud of them. I hope that this kind of educational assistance will become a gateway to a better life for the younger generation,” said Noorsiyah.
Ms Miliee Kassim, executive director Kassim Chin Humanity Foundation, thanked F&N for its sup-port over the years that enabled them to provide such learning opportunities to underprivileged chil-dren. To-date, F&N has invested over RM360,000 in the F&N E.L.I.T.E programme, benefitting over 300 children.
Officially established in 2006, KCHF’s Pangsapuri Enggang education centre is housed in two shop-lots and lies amongst eateries and sundry shops within the grounds of the flats. The humble teaching facility currently has an enrolment of 35 students of all ages, from pre-schoolers to secondary school children. The teaching or volunteer staff are mostly the residents themselves, many with their own children enrolled at the centre.