8th Oct 2012, by Donna Uning, CM –
Thursday, October 4, 2012 – World Vision kicks of its new Child Sponsorship Campaign tagged, “Hands up for the Children” here in Kuching on Thursday. With Kuching being the first pit stop for the campaign, the event, held at the Spring Mall, will continue in Penang and Kuala Lumpur later this month.
“Hands Up for Children” focuses primarily on the child sponsorship aspect of World Vision’s work. Visitors get to take photographs on the giant “frames” with actual pictorial and information on the community sponsored. Apart from that, sponsors and donors can participate with the campaign by putting their hand prints on the mural. The campaign encourages pledgers to make a difference in the lives of children by putting their mark on the mural.
Having sponsored two children with World Vision, it was no surprise for me to be drawn to the South Court of the mall for some information. I have been a part of this Christian organization since 2008 and sat with Media Relations personnel Leong Yee May about World Vision’s latest campaign.
“Working here, I understand what we do, witness how we help the community there and help encourage people to sponsor a child,” said Leong, who has been with World Vision since March 2012.
With the recession, World Vision has revised their sponsorship rates this year. “We have a positive respond,” she said. “It is still a very positive way to help, especially when they (sponsors) witness the work done in an effective and holistic way. People don’t just hand money, we develop a fund to give a stable income for the community and get proper school equipment,” she added.
“We listen to the community and work with them. We communicate with the people and find out their needs. We get the locals to be involved, empower them. In 10-15 years, after we leave, we hope they can be self-sufficient,” she said. Leong has been involved in a few projects personally, having seen how the organization works and how it benefits the community. “They have a say, this builds trust and relationships,” she added.
World Vision is a well-known Christian organization. With majority of its members being Christians, one wonder what ‘going to the office’ is like. “I love the environment in the office, being a Christian organization,” Leong said. “When you’re busy, you often forget your focus. Here, you know what you do and why. We have prayer meetings and devotion weekly. I’d think how God loves us so we can love others. It’s important to always go back to God,” she said.
What about non-Christian co-workers? “We tell them during interviews that we have prayer meetings. It’s their choice. We tell them up-front, we share our lifestyle and mission,” added the Kuala Lumpur based employee.
The campaign underscores World Vision’s holistic approach to child development. It strives to ensure that children in poor communities are healthy and educated, establish wholesome relationships and are participative, and most importantly, are cared for and protected. World Vision achieves much of this via its Child Sponsorship Programme.
By participating in the Hands Up for Children Child Sponsorship Campaign, Malaysians are making a greater impact for children by providing them with access to life-saving and life-changing basics such as education, clean water, nutritious food and healthcare.
The event in Kuching ends on Saturday with launching by celebrity guests and child sponsors singer Daniel Lee and My FM DJ Royce Tan. All venues will spot the same exhibition with a walkathon in Penang and ‘freeze mob’ in Kuala Lumpur.