All my life, I have been hoping to read minds and see the untold stories which are intended to be kept secret, or maybe forgotten on purpose. One that I am always curious about? The unsung street heroes. Do they have someone to listen to them and tell them they’ll be fine? Do they have someone who ever asks them about their dreams and ambitions in life? I don’t know them yet, but I see hope and potential in them, waiting to be unleashed. They’ll shine bright, all they need is the chance to do so.
I was all excited (I still am, actually) when I first found out about Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih in Chow Kit. This government-initiated school was built for the homeless, urban poor and neglected children. ‘BINGO!’ I told myself. This is where wonderful things will happen. We’ll discover beautiful talents and brilliant ideas. Interestingly, it is the first government-funded school of its kind in Malaysia and the world as it is usually the NGOs who are taking the lead. The vibes are different in there. Sweet smiles greeted our team as we walked into the school.
It is such a harsh reality to know that some parts of our society don’t seem to welcome these precious children. Some are more concerned with the labels these children came with rather than who they really are as a people. It is also sad to know that most of them don’t and won’t make it to tertiary education due to their lack of proper documentation. However, I must praise the management’s initiatives to equip them with life skills such as cooking, sewing, and entrepreneurial skills so that they will be able to make a living out of it.
Fun fact: All the secondary students play music very well and they have performed at corporate functions and events. They enjoy music very much! I even got 3 songs dedicated to me during my visit (was so happy!). When asked why they like music, one of them said that they can earn a living through busking. Sounds like a good work – life balance to me!
I believe that these are just portions of their amazing stories in the making. Can’t wait for more!
Written by Berjaya Land Berhad Community Centre 1Petaling Manager, Nurul Atikah Binti Ramli.