All I Want For My 29th Birthday
Team Member: Luke Lee
Kent McWong wrote -
All I Want For My 29th Birthday (April 3)... is to trade my birthday gifts/lunch/dinner/drinks/shots to raise $2000 for the Chin Student Organization. I would like to help Lal Nun Sang, an 11 year-old boy who is a refugee from Myanmar, so that his family can continue to put him through school. The money raised will also go to buying food and stationery supplies for the students. Cooper's birthday is on April 19 and he would also like to trade his doggie gifts to reach the $2000 goal!
**This campaign will end on April 9th, 2015 at 11:59pm local Kuala Lumpur time.**
My Payback for Your Dollar:
$20 - THANK YOU for making a difference with me! We are 1% closer to the goal!!
$30 - I'll teach you the tricks to staying #skinnyfat. It actually works on me.
$50 - Your next shot on me. Easy Peasy!
$100 - I'll show you some moves from dirty dancing if you really want or I'll buy you two shots! ;)
$500 - I will shave my head bald just for you. Disclaimer: I could probably only do this twice a year if you really want to see a difference.
$1000 - A tattoo on my body of YOUR choice. We should probably keep it small... but if you have to make it big, it'll costs another $1000 per square inch. Disclosure: I'm tattoo free so this is kind of a big dea for me.
I first learned about the rights for refugees in Malaysia when one of our staffs from my company was transferred to help us out at one of our stores for a few days. I got to learn her story when I asked her if she was happy to live in Malaysia. She said, "No." I was a little shocked to hear that and I thought we treated everyone in the company pretty well and fairly. I wasn't sure if the "No" was directed to us. So I asked, "Why not?" She replied something along the lines of, "Because I can't go to school and live like a "normal" kid." I can't even describe to you how those words affected me that evening while I drove home after work. It's quite sad to see someone with so much potential being limited to his/her skills by the limited access to education. It doesn't mean our company doesn't have a career path or ability to hone her skills; for a brilliant kid like her, we absolutely do but it's just... well, just different with learning from the university of hard knocks.
I did some research over the next week and to my surprise, I learned that there is no legal recognition of asylum-seekers or refugees under Malaysian law. They are treated as illegal migrants by authorities if they don't have a Refugee Card. And then about a week after this happened, I was driving to our other Premio Stationery outlet in Sri Petaling and I happenned to be tuning into the Business Radio Station (BFM 89.9) and heard a segment on the radio about the Burmese refugees. That's the moment I thought it could be a good fundraiser and awareness for this cause on my birthday.
There are five CSO schools in the Klang Valley and wiithout them, the Chin refugee children would not be able to continue their education.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT? Simply put: these kids deserve education. I cannot even begin to say how counter productive it is to have these children here in Malaysia and the government prevent them access to the public school system. A lot of these kids are eager to learn and they are smart kids! These kids, if left on the streets of KL, will be exposed to all sorts of negative influences and we know that could very well be anything from causing nuisance to the community to drugs and human trafficking.
Looking at the Issue:
What most of us don't know from looking at the photo of the cheerful Nun Sang is that both his parents passed away and him and his 14 years old sister is currently living with his uncle and his uncle's family. I don't know what the living condition at home is like but I could only assume at least 5 people share the same room. From my understanding, his sister is working to support themselves. The money we raise isn't a lot but like all causes, every dollar counts. It really does!
From the information I've gathered, most of these kids are malnorished. The are left in the school during the day when their parents are out at work. Sometimes they don't even have lunches served to them. They will probably have breakfast at home in the morning and dinner when they get home. I believe the funds will not only help Nun Sang continue his education at CSO, it will also help the school to provide more food for these kids.
How Will the Funds be Allocated:
School Fees for One Year @ $100/Year * 3 years = $300
Extra Food/Lunches and/or Stationery Supplies = $1700
My friends are pretty awesome and I know it, but let's see what we can do if we combine our powers like the Captain Planeteers! Let's make a change in this town! And Thank You from the bottom of my heart! :)
The Chins Student Organization is a fully registered United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organization. You can learn more about them here: http://www.csomalaysia.org/about/who-we-are/
Funds are in USD because of the web set up.. sorry.
26th Birthday - Raised $760 for Make-A-Wish Foundation benefiting Valerie who was dignosed with Hemophilia. Her wish was to go to Hawaii with her family.
27th Birthday - Raised $ 1538.00 for the Alzheimer's Disease Foundation Malaysia. This cause is close to my heart because my grandmother was dignosed with the diseases before she passed away.