Raising Leaders Among Underprivileged Children
Hulu Langat, Selangor - Billionaires Oprah Winfrey and Starbucks’ Howard Schultz are proof that one’s circumstances do not determine future success. Though born into poverty and having had to face a difficult childhood, these inspirational leaders overcame their circumstances and achieved extraordinary success.
Whilst these exemplary individuals attest that talent is everywhere however, opportunities are not always easy to come by especially for the underprivileged. Hoping to change this reality, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB) established the F&NHB Teambuilding Programme in 2005 to empower children from disadvantaged backgrounds to look¬ beyond their limitations and realise their full potential.
The Company recently conducted a three-day team building programme for 44 orphans of Yayasan Ilham Pinggir TTDI at the Agrotek Garden Resort, Hulu Langat. The weekend getaway saw children, aged between 7 and 17, undertake fun-filled challenges which fostered entrepreneurship, resilience, emotional intelligence, teamwork and improved their communication skills.
Among the challenges include a Fireman Simulation game which saw the children put on their thinking caps and work under pressure to rescue their co-facilitators from a ‘burning building’ and a Capture the Flag game where the children worked in teams to find their respective flags first before their opponents. After their hard work, the children were treated to a movie night and had fun belting out their favourite tunes during a karaoke session. While watching the movie ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2”, the children learnt key lessons on teamwork and achieving success together.
The weekend also saw the children participate in numerous workshops which helped them understand the importance of teamwork, being tolerant of one another and what it means to be a leader. These sessions also helped boost confidence, self-respect and acceptance among the children while identifying their talents and affirming their achievements.
“We had a ball of a time with the children during the various workshops and challenges organised, and were certainly amazed by the immense talent and leadership qualities shown by the children. Although they may come from disadvantaged backgrounds, these youths have so much to offer and deserve the same opportunities as others to excel.
At F&N, we believe that all children deserve equal education opportunities. Through our team building initiatives, we hope to give the less fortunate opportunities to discover their full potential and in doing so, give them an edge among their peers,” said Cariessa Goh, Corporate Affairs Manager, F&NHB.
Equipped with the skills they had learnt, the children put their talents to the test when they were tasked to plan a leadership project from scratch. Held annually, the leadership project is a day-long outreach initiative by the youths with the aim to give back to the society. In three groups, the children planned the project with the guidance of the teambuilding facilitators, looking into every detail from proposing the activities, suggesting possible speakers and even working out the logistic arrangements of the event.
“Through the programme, the children realised that working in a team is not easy but it can be a rewarding experience as much more can be accomplished. We are proud of their effort and see a lot of potential in each one of them to succeed in the future. F&NHB is honoured to help them along the way to excellence,” said Cariessa.
F&NHB has been engaging with Yayasan Ilham Pinggir TTDI since 2008 as one of the organisations to benefit from its sustainable CSR programmes. This includes the Sudut Iqra; an initiative to inculcate children with the love of reading by providing library set-ups and books to a few schools located in rural locations and orphanages.
In 2014, the Company organised an excursion with the home to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Santuary in Pahang. Through the visit, the children not only learnt about the conservation efforts for endangered animals but were given the opportunity to contribute to the long term protection and preservation of the elephants via various fun-filled activities.