Tucked inside the dark concrete walls of a car park, a simple room shines bright with the smiles and laughter of refugee children living in Malaysia. Each day, nearly 90 students, between the ages of four and sixteen, flow through this room. They come here to learn, play and visit the teachers and friends who have become like family. They come here for the opportunities MSO Learning Centre gives them.
On Friday, May 24, Elicos Malaysia had the opportunity to visit this small refugee school located in Cheras. We brought with us 90 bags of school supplies — but left feeling as if we had been given so much more.
During the holy month of Ramadhan, our students, staff and teachers worked together to fundraise for MSO. Not only did we want to give back, we wanted to help support the next generation of young learners and leaders — which is how our Next Generation charity event began.
Before we had even finished taping up the posters advertising the event, our students began bringing in bags full of school supplies. A mountain of books, pens, rulers and art supplies began to form in the teachers’ office. Yet, our students continued to donate generously. By the end of the month, we had collected over 450 ringgit — along with the school supplies that had been donated.
Because of our students, we were able to fill 90 Next Generation bags with pencils, pens, notebooks, rulers, pencil cases, colouring pencils, stickers, toothbrushes, hair ties and other supplies that could be used to help further their studies.
When we arrived at MSO on Friday, with seven volunteers — made up of teachers, staff and students — they were all waiting patiently for us at their desks. A low murmur of excitement buzzed through the air as we took off our shoes and headed in with our boxes of donations.
With the simplest hello, smiles broke out across their faces. They thanked us for their gifts, told us their names, played games with us and a few even shared their dance routine. The room was full of laughter, hope and happiness — a place of joy inside the humblest of car parks.