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Yayasan Sime Darby funds school supplies for 4,461 underprivileged students
 
Funding covers schools in Sabah, Sarawak and 6 other states in Peninsular Malaysia 

Students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Bumbun pose with their new bags filled with school supplies. 

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 December 2016 – In the idyllic Pulau Carey, about 50 Orang Asli students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Bumbun waited patiently for new bags filled with shoes, a school uniform, stationery, socks and a pencil case to be handed to them.  

A necessity taken for granted by many, these children come from families who earn too little to afford basic schooling items annually and for them, a little goes a long way.

Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Bumbun was one of numerous schools nationwide that received Back to School assistance from Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD).

The programme, which began in 2013, aims to alleviate the financial burden of families with household incomes below RM3,000 a month by providing school supplies for their children. The supplies include uniforms, bags, stationery, shoes, socks and pencil cases.

This year, YSD distributed supplies to 4,461 students from schools in Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Pahang and Johor in Peninsular Malaysia. Two Orang Asli schools in Pulau Carey also received the school supplies.

YSD Chief Executive Officer Puan Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin said the Foundation not only aims to lighten the financial burden shouldered by underprivileged families, but also instill the importance of education in children and especially, their parents.

“We hope that YSD’s commitment towards providing basic necessities to these students shows them and their parents that education is to be taken seriously and pursued diligently,” she said.

“The provision of schooling items is an essential tool to empower these students with education and we hope that they use it to their best advantage.”

Sekolah Riih Daso in Serian, Kuching and Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Melati in Tawau, Sabah were among the schools identified by the Back to School programme partners in East Malaysia, The Rotary Club of Kuching Central (RCKC) and The Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) respectively.

In addition to underprivileged students, Sekolah Riih Daso also gifted three outstanding students with school supplies.

RCKC member Louis Yong who is in charge of the Back To School programme in Sarawak said it was heart wrenching to know that families living just a few kilometres from Kuching are unable to afford new school supplies.

 “For example in a family who has to fork out RM100 for each child – what happens if they have four kids? That’s RM400 they have to figure out how to earn to send their children to school,” he said.

RCKK member Danny Wong says it is crucial for more people to come together and work towards helping people in need.

“We might not be able to give a lot or help massive amounts of people but we can try make the small differences in their lives,” he said.

SK Melati teacher Elstiyanti Salimin, who has served as a teacher for 21 years, also said the school was thankful for the assistance as some of the children come from hardcore poor families.

“These kids, especially the anak ladang (children of fieldworkers), really need all the help they can get because some of their parents are retired while some of them only get a few hundreds of ringgit per month,” she said.

The Back to School programme falls under YSD’s Community & Health pillar, which supports community-based programmes and sustainable initiatives to promote the well-being and health of disadvantaged people, reduce socio-economic disparities and enhance the welfare of neglected children and senior citizens, vulnerable women, people with disabilities and other marginalised groups.

Students from the Maahad Tahfiz Sulaimaniyyah orphanage in Sabah and their new school supplies. 

Despite it being a school holiday, students and parents of Sekolah Riih Daso flocked to the school hall to show support and appreciation. 

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Last Updated:
14 Sep 2017
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