“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.