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Tzu Chi Study Grant Presentation Ceremony - Enriching Values of Life

Tzu Chi Malacca held the Tzu Chi Study Grant Presentation Ceremony for 661 primary and secondary school students on October 30, 2022. The morning and afternoon sessions of the ceremony were conducted in Mandarin and Malay respectively, with attendance from more than 1,240 parents and students.
An interactive activity about real-life situations was included in this year’s Tzu Chi Study Grant Presentation Ceremony, to lead the students to reflect upon themselves and check if they have been on the right track. [Photo by Low Kin Fook]

“Did you indulge in online games during the Covid-19 lockdown?”
“Has staying up late into the night become a habit for you?”
“Do you plan to save part of this monetary reward for charitable causes, or do you have other plans to use it?”

Through a sketch, the emcee guided the students to reflect on how the Covid-19 lockdown has changed their lives, and what they could do should they face a similar situation as depicted in the play. This was to help them recognize the value of life and the importance of education in transforming their lives, as well as understand that they, too, can help others with small daily savings.

After all the sharing and reflection, the emcee guided the children to jot down in words what they hope to achieve; the goal of “little stories for great revelation” was achieved. [Photo by Low Kin Fook]
Lim Yew Heng shared that it was the continued care from Tzu Chi volunteers that made him understand that education is key to changing his and his family’s fate. [Photo by Chin Fook Kuen]

A former beneficiary of Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme, Lim Yew Heng, was also invited to share his life-changing story. He recalled that his family met Tzu Chi when he was five years old. His mother was struggling to raise him and his younger brother, and the financial assistance from Tzu Chi enabled them to have a more stable life. Thanks to the volunteers’ continuous care, he finally realized that education was key to turning his and his family’s fate. Thus, he stopped indulging in video games during Form 5 and began to study hard. He successfully made it to the university and graduated last year. With a job now, he is able to improve his family’s life.

University freshmen, Puaneswaran a/l Arumugam and Komalaa a/p Sellathamby, are another two inspiring examples. They shared their struggles and perseverance for education through pre-recorded videos. All three of them unanimously encouraged their juniors to persist in pursuing their studies and dreams, and to repay society one day.

◎ Flourishing against all odds

“Show your green card if you prefer online lessons, and red card if you prefer physical classes.”

Lim Wei Chin, a Primary 4 student, put up his green card at once. He admitted that he dislikes going to school post-pandemic, as online lessons offer more freedom. For example, he could study lying on bed, and just get up shortly before the lessons start.

His grandmother, Yap Koon Eng, shared that he was addicted to the virtual world during lockdown, and was totally devoid of any physical activities. Yet, she was too busy to supervise him, as she had to raise three grandchildren single-handedly. She had to get up at 4 a.m. daily to prepare snacks and drinks for sale, and would only return home in the afternoon. Fortunately, things turned better after physical classes resumed.

Lim Wei Chin (left) was addicted to mobile phone during the Covid-19 lockdown. He was somehow inspired by what he heard in the sharing, and vowed to correct his actions by reducing time spent on the mobile phone, studying diligently, and repaying his grandmother’s kindness. [Photo by Lee Kin Chee]

The sketch and Yew Heng’s transformation led Wei Chin to think about his own situation. He promised in writing: “I will reduce time spent on mobile phone and be more diligent in my studies. I want to be a teacher to repay Grandma’s kindness.”

Another beneficiary, nine-year-old Kirishika a/p Rameshkumar, had no means of attending online lessons during lockdown and depended on her mother’s guidance, based on lesson materials forwarded by her teachers. Studying remains challenging for her even though schools have reopened. She has to pick up her one-year-old sister from the nanny’s house after school, and take care of her in between times while she does her schoolwork, until her mother returns home from work at around 7 p.m.

Despite the family’s hardship, she would donate savings in her coin bank each time the volunteers visited. After listening to the stories of the three senior beneficiaries, she realized that she is in a better position than many others. She promised that besides taking care of her sister, she will look up to the seniors and study diligently regardless of any situation, and be a good and kind person who reaches out to others with love.

Nine-year-old Kirishika (1st from left) has to take care of her baby sister after school. Although she had no means of attending classes online during lockdown, she never lost momentum in her studies. [Photo by Benson Choo]

Education is a process of guiding children to develop a kind and positive personality. Through self-reflection, and witnessing the grit and beautiful transformation of children who shared the same fate, these needy students began to rethink the value of life and were inspired to become a better person.


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