By: Ruthravathy Tenaigaran
We at Biji-biji Initiative are not only aspired to make changes in the environment aspect, but we also serve the community. In August, we visited Tabika Kemas Jheoa which is located in Batu 12, Gombak, a prospered neighbourhood of the Orang Asli community. In conjunction with Values Day 2018, this project is an initiative by Clarins Malaysia collaborating with Biji-biji Initiative and SOLS 24/7.
Our destination is situated in a prospered neighbourhood of the Orang Asli community. The place is surrounded by greenery and an abundance of nature pleasing to the eye. Here, one can discover more of the culture and traditions of the Orang Asli community. Although the buildings and facilities here have been renewed, their heritage and surrounding ecosystem are very well preserved.
We headed off to Tabika Kemas Jheoa where we were welcomed by the teacher, Kasmalili binti Che Ahmad.
Working alongside people from different professional background is rewarding as we strive for the same goal. Our team was divided into a few smaller groups,with each given specific task to work on different parts of the Kindergarten.
The Mini Kitchen Garden
“We serve breakfast for the children twice every morning and we use the edible plants from the Mini Kitchen Garden to cook,” said Kasmalili.
Edible garden is also known as foodscaping for we grow our own nutritious food to save cost. Apart from edible plants, there’s also flower plants, a small pond and the teacher upcycle old tyres into vase! That is surely a brilliant DIY garden idea. We cleared unwanted grass and painted the old tires to colourful vase. Our Head of Fabrication, William Koong draped over plant protection netting to prevent damage from harsh weather.
Outdoor playtime is crucial for children to be active and healthy. However, providing a safe environment is focal. Our team renewed the swings, washed and painted the slide and seesaws.
What lies beyond the four walls of a classroom? Definitely a lot more than some tables and chairs. It is made up of knowledge! We transformed the entire classroom environment to inspire and motivate students to have fun learning time. Besides newly-painted walls, we’ve installed bookshelves at the library corner, shoe racks made of OSB board outside the classroom.
“The shoe racks were made in Biji-biji Initiative. We also reuse paint to avoid wastage. Everything that we do, we stick to our principles”, said Muhammad Saiful Rizwan, the Project Manager.
The Wall Murals:
We decide to give some vibrant colors to the walls by drawing murals! Creative ideas were shared openly by team members for an instant artwork. It was the first time for some of them to draw murals, nevertheless they did their best confidently.
Fun games and activities were also conducted for the children, such as colouring and making origami.
“I have no words. I feel extremely grateful for the children, for all the kind hearted people. The children are going to be very excited to attend classes, I am more motivated to teach,” said Kasmalili binti Che Ahmad, the teacher.
The before and after of the makeover is truly astonishing. As a social enterprise that gives back to the community, we are pleased by our contribution. We hope the positive changes that we have brought into daily lives of the children will make a difference for them!