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Discovering the Joy of Learning at Rumah Charis Children’s Home

21 Nov 2019

Discover the Joy of Learning (DJOL) is a six-week project, with the current sequel (DJOL 5.0) spanning from 2 August to 6 September 2019. The project aims to educate and empower underprivileged children in Rumah Charis Children’s Home. Situated in Taman Yarl, Kuala Lumpur, this home provides shelter and care to orphans as well as children from single-parent families. IMU CARES DJOL was initiated by Dr Dinesh Kumar and led by Dr Subrat Kumar Bhattamisra from IMU School of Pharmacy. The IMU project team comprises of undergraduate students from pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, Chinese medicine and other healthcare programmes. With DJOL project set in motion for several years now, we have evolved from solely teaching the children academic subjects, to teaching the children basic life skills to expose the children to knowledge beyond the brick-and-mortar classroom. To delve into the details of our activities for DJOL 5.0, we conducted a multitude of classes and workshops, with our volunteers assigned to one child each. The details are as follows:

Cupcake and Dumpling-Making Class
We believe the knowledge and skill learned through this activity would be useful when the children are living independently in the future. As an icing on the cake, we hoped that the class would spark their passion for culinary art and later on, become a future career for some of them.
First Aid and Basic Emergency Response Workshop
Demonstration were done on bandaging techniques using triangular bandages for different body parts, basic life support, as well as basic protocol during emergencies. Children of the older age group were taught on how and when to perform the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), while stressing on the significance of recovery positions. A CPR manikin was used for this demonstration with the much appreciated help from Bryan Isaiah Appukuttan (medical student), the IMU First Aid Club Head Trainer, and several other certified first-aiders.
Basic Financial Concept Workshop
Through sharing their own experiences, children were taught on the importance of money and the benefits of savings. Children of the older age group were introduced to the concepts of investments, loan, income, interest, taxes and KWSP/EPF. To further engage the children, station games were designed to enhance their understanding of currency exchange, stock markets and currency used by different countries. Arts and crafts were also conducted where the children crafted and decorated their personal coin boxes.
Lesson on Preserving the Environment
With the aid of worksheets, we introduced to the children to the concept of 5Rs. An interactive session was carried out to teach them the causes and effects of natural disasters and types of pollution (eg air pollution, noise pollution and etc.). To end the lesson plan with a bang, a volcano eruption science experiment was demonstrated to the awestruck children.
Hygiene and Hand Washing Class
To help the children understand the risks of having poor hygiene, information on the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) was incorporated into the distributed worksheets. Our volunteers also demonstrated the 7 steps of hand washing and patiently taught the children the right techniques. The activity was enlivened by giving the children the opportunity to make their own hand soap with personalised aromas and colours.
Lantern-Making for Mid-Autum Festival
As the Mid-autumn Festival was approaching, we conducted an arts and crafts session for the children to make their own paper lanterns. As it was the final visit of DJOL 5.0, both the children and volunteers also wrote ‘thank you’ cards for one another.

An IMU Cares activity at a children's home. Throughout all six visits, although there were times when the children were rebellious and the volunteers struggled to maintain order in the midst of chaos, we believe that both the volunteers and children shared good times together. This project was a treasure cove of sweet memories for the Rumah Charis Home children and all IMU students involved. All the way through, IMU students had demonstrated a good sense of social responsibility and community engagement for the betterment of society. All being well, such projects could be deliberated to meet the educational need of children in similar homes and empower this underprivileged group to be self-sufficient.

Written by Dr Subrat Kumar Bhattamisra, reviewed by Prof Khoo Suan Phaik, edited by Dr Goh Ni Kol

Related Articles: Bringing Joy of Learning to the Underprivileged Children at Rumah Charis Discover the Joy of Learning Discover the Joy of Learning at Rumah Charis (Home for the Children) Experiencing the Joy of Learning at Rumah Charis

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