I remember the first time I heard about Projek Kalsom when I was doing my A-Levels and thought ‘Uuuu sounds cool, will try to apply as facilitator once I start my degree’. At the back of my head, I saw it as a mere volunteering program, like any other volunteering programs I’ve joined before – You join in, interact with the kids and you’re done afterwards. But boy, was I wrong.
Here’s the million-dollar question: So, what happened during Projek Kalsom 21 Motivational Camp (PK21)?
After 5 days of spending time with the kids, I came to realize that I gained a lot more than what I expected to from this camp:
#1- Education inequality exist guys, for real.
I realize that not all of us are fortunate enough to have opportunities to access proper education and essential exposures in pursuing our dreams. There’s no denying the fact that some of us are lucky enough to be sent to good schools, attend tuition classes and have many mediums to support our learning. But there are those among us who were born in less fortunate families, in areas with limited access to schools or books, with very little exposure to the vast opportunities out there for them to nurture themselves to become someone.
#2- Talents should be nurtured and encouraged by us, fortunate ones.
The students had so much potential and were eager to improve themselves – be it academically, in building their confidence to speak in public or in being a team leader for a group task. Projek Kalsom acts as a platform for them to discover and acknowledge what they are capable of and make them realize that everyone has that special ‘umph’ in them, giving them the understanding that no matter how different they are from one another, each one of them is unique in their own ways.
#3- So little opportunity, such a waste.
Everyone deserves a chance. A chance to learn and to gain knowledge; a chance to know and unleash their inner potential; a chance to use that potential to be someone, anyone they want to be. But how can they do so if they don’t even have the chance to gain access to education in the first place? ‘Chance’ might seem small to some of us, but to them, that’s the only thing they need to turn their lives around and improve their living conditions.
Projek Kalsom made me reflect on how lucky I am and serves as a reminder for me to not take things for granted. Nothing comes easy in life but we can play our part in helping to ease these kids’ struggle by giving them the opportunity to discover themselves. Even simple gestures like small donations or words of encouragement will make a difference to these kids.
As the saying goes,
‘With power, comes responsibility.’
We are blessed to have the power to do something to help eradicate education inequality, so when are we going to start using that ‘power’?