Friday, April 10, 2015

Daily routine for school-going children..and Horlicks School Journey Initiative

Hi folks!

What is the routine like for your school-going children?

For my children, they would wake up by 7am to get themselves ready for daycare. As for me I would wake up earlier to prepare their lunch to be packed along with their heavy backpack to eat at the daycare after their tuition session.

Pretty hectic life I must say, coming from a background where I don’t go for any tuition or any enrichment classes when I was young.

I wonder, given a choice (if my parents could afford then), will I choose to go for tuition classes and other enrichment classes like swimming, ballet, etc.? I might opt for the latter but not tuition classes which to me is filled with jam-packed children trying to digest whatever their tired mind and body could absorb with the chattering of other 50+ students in the background.

Back to school routine, even though I felt my kids live a rather hectic lifestyle, at least they have a chance of education. As what some of us might be aware, there are many parents whose main concern is whether there are food on the table for the next meal. What more to mention about getting good education for their children.

I remembered when I was young, even though we don’t come from a well-to-do family, my parents always make sure I go to school not with an empty stomach. Breakfast is very important part of our life since young. Thus even up till now, I had to have my breakfast before I start my dad. Otherwise I felt something is missing and I practically couldn’t function.

Thus, I would always try to ensure my children have some nutritious meal before they start their day. I would make them some drinks like Horlicks or oats to go with bread or buns. When they are running out of time especially on days they woke up late, I would usually pack something for them to eat in the car as it takes almost 20 minutes to get to their tuition center.  I enjoy the moment I have in the car with my children as they talk about what’s going on in their life, their friends and their school.
From the way they described, what they loved most about school is their friends and the new things they learnt at school excluding the homework and exams …oh well…who loves that :P

One of their dreams for the future is to have no "homework" (gosh what a dream!)...and when they grow up they like to stay with us. Another dream KY is having is to be a police officer so that she could catch all the thieves and bad guys. No matter what their choice is, I hope they will lead a meaningful and purposeful life and having access to the best and effective education is important foundation for their future.

Having shared this, I would like to share with you on the Horlicks School Journey Initiative.

Education plays a major role in how a person’s life will turn out. Unfortunately, many children around the world have very little access to education.

- For some children the journey is often too demanding, denying them of education altogether, and the chance to realise their full potential.
 - One of the main barriers to basic education is a lack of physical access, with children hampered by difficult or even impossible journeys.

It is estimated that 1 in 25 Malaysian children are out of school and do not have access to primary education.

- Malaysia has seen many successes in primary education, and is well on the way to achieving universal primary education with 96 per cent of girls and boys enrolled in school1. However, there are still a vast number of children who remain out of school, many of whom live in remote rural areas, far from the nearest school.
- The Malaysian Government has committed to improving access to education to those children that are still out of school, with a specific focus on assisting children in the bottom 40 per cent of households.

The Horlicks School Journey Initiative aims to champion the cause of addressing children’s lack of access to education.

Horlicks believes that every child, no matter where they are in the world, is born with unique talents and abilities. By nourishing their potential, they will have a better chance of living a self-reliant and fulfilling life.

- By partnering with NGO partners, they aim to improve children’s journeys to school through practical interventions and solutions that are not only sustainable, but are also scaleable to enable children in other communities to attend school.
- The initiative was launched in Malaysia with longer term plans to introduce the Horlicks School Journey Initiative in other countries where children face difficult journeys to school.

Horlicks has partnered with the Malaysia Association of Social Workers as part of the Horlicks School Journey Initiative, working to ease the journey to school for Malaysian children who are currently not receiving a formal education.

The Malaysian Association of Social Workers is a local organisation dedicated to helping the most disadvantaged group in Malaysia, and on this initiative will work with co-partners on-the-ground to implement the programme.

The partnership will focus on a kick-off pilot programme to help children in Kampung Chuweh, Malaysia to attend school.

- Currently, almost none of the children in Kampung Chuweh are in formal education.
The challenging geographical location of the community poses a major obstacle for these children to attend the nearest school, which can only be reached by a 35 minute boat ride followed by a 15 minute car journey.

 The Horlicks School Journey Initiative will assist the community in a two-phased approach:
- Phase one will see teaching staff travelling to the Orang Asli community to provide children with lessons to address their basic education needs through initiatives such as the Play Group and Learning Centre. Askee, a teacher of Orang Asli origins has been appointed to teach and equip the children of Kampung Chuweh. Additionally, the programme is funding a boat dedicated to ferry Askee and children from the neighbouring kampungs to these classes in Kampung Chuweh B.
-  Phase two of the programme will see the school boat take the children from their community to the SK RPS Banun school in Gerik on a daily basis.

 There is no quick fix solution, but the Horlicks School Journey Initiative will work with the community to understand and address their specific needs, and drive sustainable change.
Through the Horlicks School Journey Initiative they want to inspire and motivate communities across Malaysia to do their best to support education for all Malaysian children.

-  Horlicks is committed to nourishing the potential of children around the world and to help them achieve their aspirations.
- They do this by providing science-based nutrition supporting growth. On a daily basis many Malaysian mums choose Horlicks at breakfast time to get their children power-packed for school. Through the Horlicks School Journey Initiative they also hope to support other Malaysian children, who may not have access to education today, to get to school.

Now, learning about how difficult the other kids are facing to go to school, not even have proper breakfast makes me feel my children are indeed luckier in that sense.

Cheers to a better future for our next generation and have a nice weekend folks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Sunday and GST

Hi folks!

How has your Easter Sunday been? On the eve (Sat.), we had to bring ZS to hospital for blood test after 3 days of fever coming on and off. Luckily it's not dengue, however, his platelet level is pretty high which means his body is fighting bacteria infection (according to the medical officer on duty as all Pediatrician is not on-call/on holiday that Sat evening).

Breathe a sigh of relief that it's not dengue however, it's equally uncomfortable for him with rashes all over his body and finding it hard to sleep (thus resulting in mommy on zombie mode as well).

On Easter Sunday, brought the family out for a lovely meal (hoping to cheer everyone up)…usually we would eat in Mon-Fri, with occasional treats like this during the weekend…already we are feeling the pinch from the GST implementation in Malaysia.

From the original bill of MYR109, with added GST and service tax; the bill came up to MYR122++

Now I must kudos to IKEA Malaysia who kept the price the same despite the GST.

How is your family or yourself coping with the rise of cost of living with the implementation of GST?

Any tips or lessons to learn to share?

Hear from ya!