THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The children: You win some, you lose some…

While preparing the report for our Education Sponsorship for Children programme, I did my own analysis on how much this sponsorship programme had helped the children of our clients. And last year, for the first time we had post-SPM students among our sponsored children. Frankly, when I noticed that 5 of the 33 sponsored children had sat for their SPM in 2011, I was eager to find out if the children would further their studies, or would they stop their education there and decide to work immediately. One of them, Azlan (Sofie’s son) did mention when he was in form 5 that he wanted to work immediately after SPM so he could help out his mother. For the record, our Sponsorship programme covers education expenses only up to secondary school.

I was pretty pleased when all 5 children decided to continue their education – it didn’t really matter to me which field they chose, academic or technical. One who did quite well in his SPM, went on to a matriculation college up north. Another one is taking up Diploma in Accounting at a private college while 2 more are in polytechnics. Even Azlan who earlier on was determined to work immediately after SPM, finally agreed to take up a 2 year certificate course doing something he likes. He had always shown interest in the mechanical or automotive field.

Thanks to the sponsors who agreed to finance the schooling of these children, they are now on the right path in getting a qualification, and hopefully a better future.

But we had some failures as well. 2 of the sponsored children didn’t even complete their education up to form 5. One of them was Azman, Azlan’s younger brother who decided to stop schooling after his PMR. I thought I managed to save him from wasting his future when, after finding out that his interest was in the culinary line, arranged for him to join a culinary school. He was excited about the idea. It was supposed to be just a one year course, yet although initially started off quite well,  he wasted the opportunity given to him. He misused the funds he got from Tabung Kemahiran, didn’t want to listen to advise, and ended up simply leaving the culinary school just like that. He didn’t even bother to go back to his aunt’s house to visit his siblings, not even for Raya.

The other child, Pushpa, orphaned since young, had stopped receiving sponsorship when she ran away from home. By the time she returned back to the family who had been taking care of her since both her parents died, she had stopped schooling. We tried to coax her to continue her studies, but she simply didn’t want to. She was more interested to take up a bridal course. She didn’t even sit for her PMR.

I guess I can’t expect 100% success. Although the main objective of the Sponsorship Programme is to ensure that these children would go to school at least until SPM, and hopefully after that further their studies in a field of their interest, sometimes no matter how hard you try to help, things still don’t work out.

At least we tried…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Even at that age, they must want to improve themselves. You can only do so much to help. Enjoy the successes. You can only hope that the "failures" may one day come to appreciate your efforts and work hard to improve.