On 26 March 2018, Garden International School (GIS) challenged their students to read as much as they can in a month’s period, and sponsorship money would be collected as they do that. ‘The Big Read’ is a fundraising project where funds were raised whenever a student or their parents read a book. Funds raised in this project will use to help transform the Rohingya Education Centre in Gombak. RM 50,000 will allow up to 150 students, who have been forced to leave their homes in Myanmar, to have a safer, cleaner and more inspiring environment to learn in.
Last year, in the year of its inception, ‘The Big Read’ got off to an incredible start and as a school community, they have raised RM54,000, an amount that was far beyond what we imagined! This money was certainly put to good use, where they made a significant contribution to the transformation of the Rohingya Education Centre in Klang, allowing over 100 students, young refugees persecuted and forced to flee their homes in Myanmar, to be educated in a far safer, cleaner and more inspiring environment.
In awe of the astonishing amount raised in 2017, GIS set an equally ambitious target for 2018 which would allow them to build on their work with our friends at the Rohingya Education Centre, this time at a new site in Gombak. Determined to offer as much support as possible to this humbling project, GIS school community undoubtedly rose to the challenge of this initiative, introduced by English Teacher and Library Lead, Ms. Sara Sheldon.
This year, the project also benefited from additional support from MPH Bookstore, who not only pledged a very generous RM5,000 worth of books for the refugee centre, but also offered prizes of RM1,500 in value to celebrate the participation of the students. Students, aged from 3 up to 18 collectively read thousands of books over a month, and collected sponsorship money from their family and friends. One student, Natasha Foo in Year 7 collected over RM6,000, having been inspired by her visit to the centre in Klang. “We couldn’t believe the amount of money that was being collected,’ exclaimed Mrs Sheldon. ‘It just kept coming in!”
The total amount raised by GIS in 2018 alone was a staggering RM82,642. This money will be used to ensure that another group of Rohingya refugee children have a suitable and inspiring setting to learn it. After all, isn’t that the least than any child deserves?