Posted on 22nd April 2019
Shah Alam – Forty residents from Rumah Ilham had a great time when they visited Montfort Boys Town for a half-day programme that enabled them to learn how their peers from the home lead their daily lives while bonding over various fun and exciting activities that were held during the visit.
Organised by Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB), the programme aimed at encouraging the young residents of Rumah Ilham to meet their peers from other homes such as Montfort Boys Town to enhance their social skills by interacting and exchanging views and experiences with people from different backgrounds.
The programme began with a video presentation on Montfort Boys Town and a sharing session by the home prefects who spoke about their personal learning experiences. This was followed by Rumah Ilham residents’ presentations on their leadership project that they executed and key learning takeaways. The Rumah Ilham boys later went on a tour of Montfort Boys Town before participating in team building activities including running an obstacle course with water balloons without spilling the water, football dribbling and carrying ping pong balls to a specified point and back without dropping them.
F&NHB Corporate Affairs Manager, Cariessa Goh said that the youth especially the younger children are naturally curious and interested to learn more about new people, places and things around them. “Kids learn positive attitudes and characteristics by observing and interacting with others which stimulate their thinking skills and inspire them to have an open discussion and sharing session with their peers about issues and situations.
“Good social interaction and communication skills are essential to help children and teenagers forge positive relationships with people from different racial, religious, cultural and age groups. This encourages them to be more kind, empathetic, helpful and understanding of each other in social settings despite the differences. It also fosters social competence in the youth that enables them to reflect on their surroundings and take into account other people’s concerns and perspectives, and apply their new insights to learning more about others in social interactions.
“We feel honoured to be given the opportunity to bring residents from the two homes together and participate in a myriad of activities in an inclusive environment. It was wonderful to see how they bonded with each other and we sincerely hope that they had an enjoyable time with their new friends. We look forward to organising more exciting programmes for the two homes in the future so that they will continue to engage each other and develop a strong camaraderie amongst themselves,” Goh added.
Seventeen-year-old Muhammad Ridzuan Bin Surian from Rumah Ilham expressed his excitement over the programme, “It was my first time visiting Montfort Boys Town and I thoroughly loved the programme especially the teambuilding activities organised by the residents. I was initially nervous of meeting a new group of people but the feeling quickly subsided after interacting with the boys and playing the games together with them.
“Growing up at Rumah Ilham has taught me a lot about the true value of friendship. The visit to Montfort Boys Town not only offered me with the opportunity to gain new friends but also showed me the importance of teamwork and communicating with other people from diverse backgrounds. I appreciate the boys’ efforts in making our visit to their home a memorable one and I hope that me and my friends at Rumah Ilham can return the favour if they visit us one day,” he said.
Another Rumah Ilham resident, Muhammad Haikal Danish Bin Ibrahim, 11, said that he was ecstatic to find out that his favourite sport, football was featured in the team building session during the programme. “The football dribbling challenge was the best part of the event! I love playing football and I was overjoyed when the Rumah Ilham team won the challenge. Despite their loss, the older residents of Montfort Boys Town showed great sportsmanship and celebrated the win with us!” he exclaimed.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Mehn Sang Ka who hails from Myanmar and was one of the prefects from Montfort Boys Town who led the programme organising committee, said that he was pleased with the Rumah Ilham kids’ participation and excitement over the event. “It was such a joyous and unforgettable experience for all of us although we only met for the first time. Everyone was such a good sport and subconsciously proclaimed our newfound friendships in agreement by shouting ‘Kita kawan!’ after each challenge. Despite our different backgrounds, at the end of the day, we are all the same and yearn to create meaningful connections with others. The event taught us to respect each other, boost our self-esteem and build a sense of community belonging,” he added.
Sang Ka’s fellow prefect, 21-year-old Joshua Raj said that he was thrilled to be able to bring the Rumah Ilham kids on a tour of their home and facilities so that they could personally witnessed how the Montfort Boys Town residents go about their daily lives.
“Besides improving my leadership and communication skills, I better understood the true meaning of teamwork and team spirit by mingling with a different group of people. Additionally, we got to learn more about how the Rumah Ilham boys lead their lives through their entertaining presentations. They are a fun and friendly bunch, and I hope we get to meet them again in the future,” Joshua added. Montfort Boys Town Head of Department, Student Affairs, Ananthrao s/o Aplanaidu expressed his gratitude to F&NHB for organising the event and allowing residents from both homes to garner an invaluable learning experience. “We received positive response from our boys and hopefully we can continue to strengthen their bond and friendship with the Rumah Ilham residents through sports telematches such as futsal and badminton if the opportunity arises which can help promote lasting friendships,” he said.
F&NHB has been building a meaningful relationship with Rumah Ilham since 2009 when the Group built the ‘Sudut Iqra’ library for the residents and has been supporting them ever since, through its ‘Make A Difference’ (M.A.D.) project, in partnership with Leaderonomics, a social enterprise dedicated to transforming communities through leadership development. Meanwhile, F&NHB has been providing the youth of Montfort Boys Town with opportunities to acquire basic computer skills through the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) certification course since 2011, following the establishment of the F&N IT Corner programme at the home in 2010.