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IMU Psychology Student Organised Movie Outing for Underprivileged Children

03 Nov 2015

International Medical University (IMU) Psychology student, Wan Nur Arina bt Rashidan did her internship in Do Something Good under a company called Tandemic. Part of the job was to build relationships with NGOs and welfare homes through site visit/meetings, identify their needs and match them up with their corporate clients’ CSR projects. Arina relates her experience of organising a movie treat for children of Home of Peace Kuala Lumpur, Lighthouse Children Welfare Home Association and Pusat Jagaan Rumah Kesayangan Petaling Jaya. How an initiative to bring 15 girls to a movie became a movie treat for 80 children at Sunway Pyramid, where they watched ‘Inside Out’. All tickets were sponsored. MZZ_5010 “The visit to Home of Peace Kuala Lumpur was merely for a meeting to talk about an art therapy programme I was planning to have with the girls there, it became less formal and I realise that I was learning more about the home, the founder, Justine Morais and the girls she cares for. After the meeting, the girls immediately came up to me, asked for my name – they were so friendly that I made friends with them very quickly. They love reading, singing, dancing and doing hand stands together, such bright girls with great personalities. The 15 girls touched my heart and I decided to organise a movie as a treat for them through crowd funding on my facebook page. Within 20 minutes after I posted up the request, all girls were sponsored! Which is amazing, but even after I announced that we had enough, messages kept popping up from friends and strangers asking if they could still sponsor. Because of the overwhelmingly positive response, I decided to collect some more funds for another home, Lighthouse Children Welfare Home Association, where a really good friend of mine/classmate Sonia Samantha Kaman and a few other friends work as intern counsellors. So I wanted to extend it to the 28 kids they were working with. Some of them come from difficult backgrounds as they are a shelter for children from underprivileged families. From what I was told, some children were neglected, physically and sexually abused and children from drug and alcoholic families. On the movie day, we found out that the Home of Peace and Lighthouse kids were friends! I witnessed them gleefully greeting each other and talking about what an exciting day it is for them. MZZ_5125MZZ_5150 Even after getting 43 children, a lot of people still sent in messages and called me up as they were interested to sponsor and I asked my mom for advice – she said why not we take another home called Pusat Jagaan Rumah Kesayangan Petaling Jaya. My parents have been helping the home from time to time by sending food and do minor refurbishments – there were 40 of them! So this could be one last home – within a few days, everyone was sponsored along with popcorn and Inside Out cup for them to bring back. At the end of the day, there were an excess funding of more than RM1000 which we gave out equally to each homes. MZZ_5198 After the movie, all the children were excited, happy and they kept saying “Thank you, Akka Arina. Thank you, Arina” which really touched my heart. This was not easy for one person to organise such an event and it was the first time I organised something this big on my own. My mom Sharifah helped a lot with the accounting part of the project – we are both busy with work and often come back late so for the few nights prior to the movie day, 5 September, we have been staying up until 3am to sort out the financials.

This initiative was all done in less than a week.

I talked to someone about how I wanted to do this but I wasn’t sure when I should start, she gave me RM50 and said, for five kids – it was a big push for me to get out there and start crowd funding! If it weren’t for that RM50, I probably wouldn’t have started it. This movie treat was my own initiative, I had a lot of support from family, friends and strangers who talked to me and chipped in for it. It wasn’t supposed to be a big event to begin with. MZZ_4939 The movie was great – it had a lot of valuable lessons and my friends who works as counsellors plan to have a follow up activity with the kids to reflect and talk about what they’ve learned. So this is beyond just watching movies, it was a movie specifically to address mental health and emotional well-being which being a psychology student, I find very important and not highlighted enough in the society. The cutest part was before they went back, they asked where to put the cups and I said “This is yours” and their eyes widened and asked “We can keep this cup? We can bring back? Ini saya punya? Boleh simpan?” and I said, “Yes Yes Yes!” Everyone was happy that it’s something that they can use but I had to remind them to drink lots of plain water, not sugary ones!

I’ve made a lot of new friends, mostly with the sponsors, most of them I haven’t met in person but I believe friendships built on mutual intention of contributing to social good are the ones that are worth to have and keep. A lot of them were very encouraging, asking me to do more and they would like to get involved in the future. This has given me a boost in my confidence and my head is buzzing with more community project ideas – all I need now is to find time for it!”

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