“The English language is a work in progress. Have fun with it.” by Jonathan Culver
14 May 2017- ‘Abang, next time can we come again to IMU?’ said one of the Rumah Titian Kaseh (RTK) children. The Passion to Care Project is one of the IMU Cares project at the International Medical University and is led by Dr Hazwanie Hashim together with a dedicated team of project members, Alvina Ng Jia Yee, Soohg Wai Kit, Cheow Qiaru, Low Siew Yeng, Carman, Chow, Low One Ling, Nermesh Singh Gurdib Singh, Grace Lim Pei Ling and Sellam a/p R Elangovan from the School of Pharmacy who put all their heart and souls to bring smiles and laughter to every child. In the past, IMU has been engaging in various activities with the children in RTK consistently, including conducting healthcare screening and health education awareness campaigns which involved a number of staff and students. Majority of the children in Rumah Titian Kaseh (RTK), Titiwangsa need an English language-rich environment to support their learning development. Hence, ‘Passion to Care’ is aimed at assisting and preparing these children to develop their school readiness skills especially in English. This project has been carried out for five months from January till May 2017. The main themes including self-introduction, daily communication skills and vocabulary enrichment.
On 14 May 2017, 20 children from RTK were invited to IMU to experience hands-on learning and play-based activities designed by IMU’s School of Pharmacy students. Activities were designed based on the topics that they have learned from previous visit. The children were divided into small groups and were required to complete a given task. The event managed to obtain the generous help from staff and students who came from various IMU Schools, Departments together with many other volunteers, making the event a success to all.
The play-based activities were designed to increase the children’s attention span and improve the overall outcome task. All of the children had fun while learning in games such as “Blindfold” and “Pass the Message”. From these games, the children’s ability to understand simple English commands and conveying skills were observed. In a blindfold game, the children will need to give simple instruction to their friend who is blindfold to complete the task. In ‘Pass the message’, the children need to convey the messages to their friends correctly. Besides that, the children also learned “Baking Honey Cornflakes” by following a demonstration and simple instructions given by the volunteers. Mathematics skills played an important part in the bowling game as the children had to calculate the points obtained. The children also loved “Treasure Hunt” and gave positives feedback on enjoyment, knowledge and teamwork. In the treasure hunt, they were required to search for items related to the type of occupation around IMU campus. Throughout these activities, there was laughter everywhere and not even one of the children fail us with the absence of a smile on their face. The children also looked forward to our next event by saying “See you next week” before they left IMU.
The children showed their gratitude at the end of the project by giving us a short hymn accomplished with the statements of ‘thank you’ in 7 different languages. These precious responses had caused no regret but satisfaction and enjoyment for anyone who had turned out in any of the visits.