How Impian Malaysia's Camps Are Helping Rural Kids Realise The Power Of Education
"Want to get ahead? Make life easier for those around you." -Dan Rockwell
This quote perfectly sums up how DAP's Impian Malaysia has been transforming the lives of rural Malaysians by devotedly uplifting the forgotten parts of the society.
Started in 2013 by the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Impian Malaysia is a local organisation that is dedicated to improve the lives of rural Malaysians, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.
They have been doing a great many things to bring development to these communities by focusing on providing basic necessities, education and helping them to be more politically aware.
The five main changes are:
- Return Water Rights
- Light Up Their Nights
- Uplift Rural Economy
- Roads To A Better Future
"Impian Malaysia espouses the ideals of a 'Malaysian Malaysia', a Malaysia for all regardless of gender, age, race and religion."
After many years of fancy election promises, one may wonder why these Malaysians are still left to live without the most basic necessities and forced to compromise their dreams just to survive
From going through muddy roads to studying in dangerous school buildings, their daily struggles seem to be a never ending streak of underdevelopment.
While urban Malaysians complain about the lack of good Internet and efficient public transportation, rural Malaysians are still living in darkness without running water supply and electricity.
Photos and stories we see and read about these communities might seem a little far fetched, but the truth remains that they are indeed living in very poor conditions, almost like how the country was, about half a century ago.
Determined to bridge the growing development gap between rural and urban areas in the country, the visionary Impian Malaysia team is currently working on a number of solutions, namely;
1) Providing clean water to villagers with the gravity-fed water system. This innovative system uses the earth's gravity instead of pumps to move the water supply from one place to another.
2) Lighting up their lives by building pico and micro-hydro dams that uses a small amount of electricity to power up a number of fluorescent bulbs.
3) Building paved roads to replace muddy, uneven tracks so that people living in these villages can travel around easily, without risking their lives on a daily basis by trudging through muddy terrains and choppy streams.
4) Running health camps in different villages to help these communities get the medical care that they need and deserve.
5) Improve the lives of the younger generation, by running education camps that are aimed to instill love for learning and preach the importance of education to break away from the cycle of poverty.
While they have successfully built roads and supplied a number of these villages with fresh water supply and electricity, Impian's most revolutionary dream remains their passion to transform young minds through the sheer power of education
It is a known fact that good education has the power to lift people from the depths of poverty and break the vicious cycle of sufferings that rural communities most often face.
The best thing about Impian Malaysia is that they work on long term developments like this that can help the young generation of natives and rural Malaysians find the balance between a decent life without forsaking their love for nature and living close to it.
Impian's education camps are usually held during school holidays and volunteers are known to focus on three crucial subjects; English, Science and Mathematics
The education camps are run by volunteers and facilitated by two or more representatives from Impian Malaysia, depending on the number of participants.
Impian has run their education camps in many villages in Sarawak, including Jelau Atas, in Betong, Kampung Sorak in Serian and Long Semadoh in Lawas, to name a few.
The education camps mainly consist of fun, interactive activities and games to enrich students' learning curve.
In turn, the volunteers get to explore the beautiful villages, learn more about the rich local cuisine, language and culture.
For a better insight on Impian Malaysia's experience of working with the children in Long Semadoh, Lawas, Sarawak, read below:
Impian's education camp in the beautiful highlands of Long Semadoh was one we had indelible memories of, thanks to the close-knitted, well-organised and united community that banded together for the greater good of a cause which they shared and believed in, with us.
Mothers gathered themselves to form a ‘cooking team’ to lovingly prepare full-course meals and teatime snacks for their kids. How can we not strive harder when we saw eager-to-learn kids arriving at the camp site via carpooling onboard a 4WD early in the morning?
12 volunteers from 9 different states of Malaysia and parents from 5 different villages displayed boundless energy, all while inspiring and encouraging over 84 children here who showed enthusiasm to engage, connect and grow further.
Even the parents requested for an adult English class as they too believed in lifelong learning. They appreciated the views, cultural exchanges and interaction shared by the volunteers
From recruiting volunteers to months of preparing relevant materials for the education camps, the Impian team has proven time and time again that they are truly committed and passionate about transforming lives with education
"They (the children) were an active and spirited bunch, as they responded enthusiastically to each and every story we told, or game we played. Their manners were highly commendable, as they would respectfully say 'thank you teacher' each time they receive something."
"At the end of the session, as we passed around registration forms for them to fill up for a possible education camp the next round, they fervently told us 'When is this next camp date, teacher? We hope to see you again soon!" Such a warm, fuzzy feeling to be hearing this from kids that we met just hours ago!" read a Facebook post by Impian Malaysia on 28 February.
To help Impian Malaysia continue inspiring young minds with the beauty of education, you too can sign up as a volunteer to be a part of their transformation programs in the future
Impian's next education camp will be held from 12th till 17 March in Skim B, Sibu, Sarawak.
If you are interested to embark on a life-altering experience, you can register with Impian Malaysia to help with any relevant programs that they are working on.
Speaking about education, here are the kind of schools that children in Sarawak villages have to go to, just so that they could study and improve their lives: