Saturdays for me, very rarely start at 7 am. But yesterday was different. My mom had to attend one of the adopted schools of Petronas' Program Bakti to give a speech and meet the kids and their parents. So I tagged along. :D
Prior to this, I didn't really understand what my mom did since she moved to Corporate Affairs. Only recently have I learnt what she and the rest of her department are doing, how dedicated some Petronas staff are and how the company has amazingly found ways of improving children's lives.
Program Bakti is not your average charity project. It’s not a ‘collect money and donate for expenses’ fund. This program targets underprivileged children who are getting low marks in school and gives them free tuition. Besides that, once a month, volunteer Petronas staff go over to the schools and have various activities with the children in English. They play games, do work exercises and learn new things. This lets the children strengthen their grip on English, improve their confidence and motivate them to do better.
Its ingenious really, if we want the nation to produce a better, more ambitious society, then where else to start if not in schools through education? Adults have the responsibility to mould these children to be better individuals socially, spiritually and mentally. Schools are perfect avenues for this and Petronas has taken it upon them to provide kids who really need help with the tools to improve their lives. Statistics show that there has been a significant improvement in their overall performance, including their discipline and behavior.
Another thing I find absolutely astonishing is that the volunteers are Petronas staff that are not being paid overtime or coerced into taking part in this program. They do it out of the goodness of their heart and seriously, it isn’t easy taking time out of ones busy schedule to deal with impetuous children without any concrete benefits. But every year they come back for more and the emotional profit is reflected in their proud smiles every time a student excels.
I now have a new found appreciation for my mom’s job, Petronas’ efforts and unselfishness as well as the volunteers. Thanks mom. :D