History

“Hidup Kelthom Makin Terdesak (Kelthom’s Life Gets More Desperate)”. In 1993, this headline appeared in a Malaysian local newspaper, reporting the plight of Puan Kelthom Abdullah, a single mother from Kelantan who was struggling to make ends meet. It grabbed the attention of four young Malaysian students in the UK, who then ran a donation drive to help bear the education costs of her children.

Puan Kelthom’s story had ignited a spark, which drove the same group of students to initiate a motivational camp in the following year. They aimed to help educate and motivate Malaysian secondary school students from rural areas who were less fortunate. It was called “Projek Kalsom” to immortalise Puan Kelthom’s name in this humble yet meaningful movement. The first Projek Kalsom Motivational Camp was held in 1994 in Jerantut, Pahang and its success had ensured its continuity for the next two decades.

In 2014, Projek Kalsom was no longer a collaborative effort but became an independent, non-profit and student-led voluntary charity movement, rebranded as ‘The Kalsom Movement’. Today, The Kalsom Movement has organised several programmes involving hundreds of primary and secondary school students – in a long term and sustainable manner. We also recruit facilitators who are Malaysian university students studying locally and abroad. To date, The Kalsom Movement has benefited nearly 4000 students. Twenty three years on, The Kalsom Movement committee aims to ensure that the Kalsom spirit is well and alive in today’s generation

Mission

To empower underprivileged students with awakened potentials to pursue excellence in life and to develop their capacity to contribute to society through holistic development.

Vision

The Kalsom Movement aims to address education inequality in Malaysia by bridging the knowledge and opportunity gap faced by underprivileged students in rural areas, benefiting students regardless of gender, race and religion and resulting in impactful contribution to the development of society and the nation.

History Timeline
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

1993

On 21st January 1993, the plight of Puan Kelthom Abdullah, a single mother struggling to raise her young children in Kelantan received the attention of Puan Hapizah Aziz, a journalist of Utusan Malaysia. As part of her column Di Sudut Penghidupan, Puan Hapizah shed light onto Puan Kelthom’s story. This short article written by a concerned journalist caught the attention of four young Malaysian students studying in the UK at the time, and they initiated a donation drive to help ease Puan Kelthom’s misfortunes. Like did Puan Hapizah know, her passion for highlighting the troubles of the less fortunate snowballed into two-decades worth of motivational programmes targeted at high-potential but underprivileged secondary school students from across the country. Throughout the years, each Projek Kalsom offered something fresh that took

1994

The idea to have a motivational camp was initiated by YB Abdul Rahman Redza (London School of Economics), strongly supported by Mr. Rizal Kahar (London School of Economics) and the late Mr. Adlan Benan Omar (University of Cambridge), the first Chairman of the United Kingdom and Eire Council of Malaysian Students (UKEC). Together with a few others, they organized the first motivational camp in Jerantut, Pahang. Since then, Projek Kalsom has received informal support from the UKEC. The first original “Butterfly” Projek Kalsom logo was designed by Ms Hayaty Mahdini.

1995

Establishment of the Lembaga Amanah Kalsom to provide governance and advice on the running of Projek Kalsom. The Lembaga provided this role for 4 years. Lembaga Amanah Kalsom and UKEC made Projek Kalsom a joint annual programme.

1996

Ms Aizan Azrina Rosli (LSE) and Mr. Rizal Razali (University of Kent) introduced several structural changes to Projek Kalsom. This year saw the establishment of Kelab Kalsom which consisted of study groups in the participating schools. The modules were also copyrighted for the first time. The Kalsom Theme Song was also introduced, entitled “Pohon-Pohon Janji”. The first Projek Kalsom theme was also introduced being “Bantulah Kami Membimbing Mereka”.

1997

A revisit by Projek Kalsom 3 was held, led by Ms. Aizan Azrina Rosli, to Puan Kelthom􀒋s house in Kelantan.

2004

The running of Projek TEKAD by the Kalsom Alumni (ex-facilitators and committee members of Projek Kalsom) to continue touching the lives of young students. The involvement of this programme is for fresh graduates and young professionals. The programme lasted until 2006. It was run on the same principles as Projek

2005

The Projek Kalsom motto was revamped to include English – This was done to emphasize the importance of the English language.

2006

Projek Kalsom 13 was held in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

2007

Projek Kalsom 13 launched the Projek Kalsom website for the first time.

2008

The first time Projek Kalsom was held twice at the same school – Sekolah Menengah Sains Sultan Mohamad Jiwa after 1996.

2009

Projek Kalsom 15 established the Marcus Ng (Secretary of Projek Kalsom 13) Award for the Best Facilitator. This year, Projek Kalsom was held as a one-day camp due to the H1N1 outbreak (advised by Ministry of Health).

2010

The introduction of the first homestay programme in Projek Kalsom, which run alongside the motivational camp.

2011

Projek Kalsom 17 was officially endorsed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as Rakan Muda. Projek Kalsom was now collaborative effort between the UKEC and Kelab Belia Kalsom.

Projek Kalsom Motivational Camp was presented as one of the most influential Malaysian community projects at the 2011 One Young World ‘Impact’ Conference in Zurich, Switzerland.

2012

Projek Kalsom 18 was held in East Malaysia (Miri, Sarawak) for the first time. This year saw the first Projek Kalsom 17 revisit (top-up programme).

Projek Kalsom 17 motivational camp’s online video and media was selected as top 10 2012 DiGi Google Most Inspiring Internet for Good Awards

2013

Projek Kalsom 19 collaborated with the Bristol Commonwealth Student Society (BCS) which h created history through the involvement of non-Malaysian facilitators for the first time.

2014

Projek Kalsom celebrates its 20th year anniversary, and the motivational camp was held in Kuala Nerang, Kedah. In this year, the Kalsom 20 Anniversary Dinner was held for the first time for all Kalsom Alumni.

Kelab Belia Kalsom was selected as finalist by DiGi Malaysia for Telenor Youth Summit in Oslo.

2015

For the first time, the Projek Kalsom Motivational Camp is held in Sabah. It marks a milestone whereby The Kalsom Movement have visited all the states in Malaysia. A partnership was forged with Teach for Malaysia, which provides the formal training for facilitators. The Professional and Personal Development Module was introduced this year.

The Kalsom Movement's Pillars

English Language Proficiency

 Many students from poor families are not raised in an English-speaking environment. The movement strives to create a safe and encouraging environment and a support system for our student-participants to develop their interest in learning English and competency in practising the language. All the modules conducted aim to encourage the students to use English in a fun and interactive manner. This will hopefully spark the students’ interest to further continue using English as a medium to communicate in daily life.

Development Of Academic And Non-Academic Skills

Academic skills such as note-taking, smart study and time-management skills are important for students who are going to sit for important examinations such as the SPM. We aim to equip the student-beneficiaries with the right technique to possess these skills through interactive modules. Apart from that, non-academic skills such as leadership, teamwork, creative-thinking and entrepreneurial skills are equally important and will be highlighted.

Exposure To Post-Secondary Education Opportunities

Observations from previous programmes have shown that most of our students-participants did not aim to pursue tertiary education. This is due to either loss of interest in their studies, lack of knowledge on educational pathways after secondary school, family obligations or financial difficulties. We especially thrive to expose the students to the importance of tertiary education and the opportunities available, including both traditional and non-traditional subjects and pathways. The facilitators who come from various backgrounds of study from institutions worldwide personally inspire and guide them to take baby steps towards their ambitions.

Nurturing The Kalsom Spirit

The Kalsom Spirit is the enthusiasm to help people in need and to give back to the society within our own capacities as school students, youth leaders and as working adults. As a student-led movement promoting volunteerism and empowering through inspiration, we encourage our student-participants to see themselves as agents of change after attending our programmes and to know that they can make a difference to someone’s life through their individual strengths. In this spirit, we welcome and highlight the initiatives of youth leaders and stakeholders in making a positive impact to the society.

Model Of Action
Annual Reports