KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30, 2015:
Taking 90 children from poor families shopping — that was how the staff of a multinational software corporation spent their weekend.
Their intention was to ensure that the children had everything they had to be ready for school next year.
There was joy and hopefulness on the faces of the children as the 14 SAP Malaysia employees accompanied them to shop for school uniforms, bags and stationery at Mydin in USJ Subang Jaya last Saturday.
The SAP workers were joined by their family members and 35 staff from its partner company, NTT Data.
They also taught the children how to work within a budget, important tools they will need later in life.
Fully-funded by SAP Malaysia, a total of RM36,000 was allocated for the programme.
SAP Malaysia managing director Terrence Yong said the company had long placed importance on education, especially of poor children.
“Through education we can help the country and people on so many levels.
“We want to help narrow the gap that exists between the private sector and charitable organisations such as Hope Worldwide Malaysia,” said Yong.
The families of the children were recipients of welfare aid from Hope, a charitable organisation with extensive knowledge of Sentul and the needs of the poor there.
Hope has been running a free clinic there, giving free treatment and medicines to children from underprivileged families since 2000.
“It is gratifying that these needy children have the support of the community through caring companies such as SAP Malaysia and Mydin,” said Hope worldwide (Malaysia) executive director Katy Lee.
Mydin co-sponsored the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative by offering the distributor price for the purchases and sponsoring food for the kids and their parents.
“Money can be raised, even if sometimes with difficulty, but the time they spend with the children today is priceless.”
She added that it had always been important to convince the parents of the need for their children to remain in school.
“It took time for them to understand that with education, their children could have better lives,” Lee said.
For more than 10 years, volunteers have taught and read to children from slums in Sentul, thanks to a reading programme started by Hope.