“Hello teacher!!”, paired with enthusiastic children jumping about- a weekly sound and scene for the voluntary student tutors of the Stepping Stones Tutoring Program. Starting from 27th February 2015, a group of volunteers from the Rotaract Club of Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas dedicate three hours of their Saturday morning to tutor the children of Stepping Stones Living Centre in Taman Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur weekly. The founders and pioneers of this tutoring program, Rabshaau Hussain (2014/2015 president of the TCSH Rotaract Club), Christine Sze and Natasha Lama (both 2015/2016 TCSH Rotaract Club Vice Presidents) have a love for children and a passion for serving the underprivileged community.
The Centre was established in 1998 as a home for children who came from dysfunctional and broken homes. The Centre, managed by Pastor Johnson also cares for distressed mothers, widows and seniors. At present there are around 100 residents under Pastor Johnson’s care and the Centre’s sustainability is entirely dependent on donations from the public. During their visit, the students were shocked by the crowded living conditions, and upset that these children had to live under such trying circumstances.
As college students with an understanding of the importance of education themselves, the project leaders began the program with an aim to inspire an appreciation for academics among underprivileged children. “We also intend for them to bring home values such as responsibility and politeness by setting a positive example for them.” said one of the volunteer tutors. Discontent with the usual ‘teacher speaks, students listen’ formal teaching routine in schools, the project leaders devised a tutoring structure in which learning is interactive via spelling bees, quizzes and science projects. A creative arts session also takes place at the last hour, designed to cap off the taxing academic sessions with an hour of fun; promoting relaxation via creation.
The project leaders attribute the program’s success to the support from the community. Since its commencement, the project has received an overwhelming amount of support. On 11th April 2015, Grabit Malaysia and BuzzElement Sdn. Bhd. sponsored 25 paint sets. Throughout the year, RAC TCSH also organized multiple charity sales, such as a bake sale and a ‘Gift-a-Book’ campaign. The TCSH principal, Lauren Wilson too, is a strong voice of support for the program.
For companies or individuals looking to sponsor the Stepping Stones Tutoring Program in terms of cash, stationery or art supplies, kindly contact the TCSH Rotaract Club through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tcshrotaractclub. For more information about Stepping Stones Living Centre, or if you’d like to make a contribution to the Centre, kindly contact Pastor Johnson or Mr Suresh firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.hati.my/children/stepping-stones-living-center/
Written by Christine Sze Chui Li