A Lesson from Projek Kalsom

A Lesson from Projek Kalsom

Who ever you are and where ever you are, the writer invites you to share the writer’s sense of optimism to embark on this learning journey in life that can offer many rewarding ‘secret’ lessons.

Learning confirms our existence as fellow earthlings of this planet we call home and where we travel endlessly in search of endless opportunities. So, is education really a never-ending journey? Hold on, some might be thinking now: ‘I’ve just received my SPM results. That marks the end of my secondary education.’ Well, to be truthful to you, you’re right. SPM does mark the end of one’s secondary education, at least for most of us in Malaysia. However, the writer has a proposition to make; education never ends, even if you have a doctorate or the highest academic award in your field of expertise.

Then, what exactly is education? Well, you’ll see what education means to the writer in no time. Education, to the writer, has always been about holistic development of a person in many aspects. You name it: academic, sports, music, leadership, and community involvement, to name a few. Until Projek Kalsom 21, there was another valuable aspect of education that the writer has acquired from being a part of Projek Kalsom 21 Motivational Camp in August 2015. The writer admits that the lesson is another form of education that still shapes the writer’s learning curve as an individual and personal development.

Most of you may be familiar with the Kalsom Movement and its focus on underprivileged students in Malaysia. Having been blessed with many opportunities and support throughout the writer’s secondary education, Projek Kalsom 21 had indeed opened another aspect of education that the writer aims to master in the long run. This lesson or education that the writer attained was simply humility or modesty, if you like. (Definition from Oxford Dictionary: the quality of not thinking that you are better than other people; the quality of being humble)

Why is it that the writer is suggesting that humility is part of education? Surely, humility is an abstract, dry subject and immeasurable. This is precisely the writer’s point, you can’t measure humility by grades, or performance. It is something that one has to learn from interacting with others in various social contexts. In fact, to maintain humility in one’s development and education can be a challenge, for most of us who tend to take things for granted in life.

How is it that the writer learnt humility through Projek Kalsom? One week of interaction and fun-filled activities with the students of Papar in Sabah last year was an enriching experience for both the students and the facilitators. Without a doubt, it had provided opportunities for both the students and the facilitators to learn from each other. The writer still remembers some, if not all, the sessions with the students. Through such interactions, the writer discovered many interesting things about others and circumstances that mould a person’s character.

Some people are sentimentalists by nature, and the writer makes no attempt to deny this. The most striking feeling the writer experienced was on her return flight from Sabah to Kuala Lumpur. The thought that some of the students she met had never ever been in an airplane before, truly stirred the writer to realise how some of us are blessed with different things in life. By any means, a truly humbling experience from a week with the students had instilled a sense of gratitude in the writer for even the smallest things that we enjoy everyday.

Surely, one day, they will be able to experience a flight and perhaps, travel the world. The writer has high hopes that the students will achieve their dreams, if they constantly learn and teach others as well. After Projek Kalsom 21, the writer now keeps in touch with the students and tries her best to assist them when they send Whatsapp messages asking for guidance, particularly on career pathways. Therefore, the writer would like to take this opportunity to extend her gratitude to each and every one from the Kalsom family for being teachers who had taught the writer a really special lesson.  It’s true; there is just so much that you can learn and also, teach others.

On a final note, the writer truly believes that education is something that one learns every single day, at precisely every heartbeat of one’s existence. It’s a never-ending journey because one never knows when or what’s the next lesson that’s coming your way. Education is not a means to and end. Even if you think you’ve reached the end, remember that education is a journey that we all go through, regardless of who we are.


by Sabrina Hallman

Full time student who enjoys taking part-time lessons from people she meets when she’s not occupied with her studies

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