Teresian Sparks of Youth building ‘a place of happiness’ for Bau residents
By Jude Toyat
The villagers in Kampung Peninjau Baru in Bau will soon have their first recreational park next month.
The very much anticipated and supported community project is led by a group of twenty Form 4 students from SMK St Teresa known as the Teresian Sparks of Youth, guided by two very dedicated teachers Marjolyn Michael and Cecilia Foo.
According to Marjolyn, ‘Rimang Rami’ in Bidayuh means ‘a place of happiness’. Construction on the park began May 1 and is expected to be completed by July 4.
“The objective of this project is to improve the community’s well-being, increase environmental awareness among the residents and to develop a better lifestyle both physically and mentally.
“The park focuses more on the children with several equipment of physical activities for them including swings and monkey bars. It provides a safe playground for them here.
“As for the elderly, there will be a reflexology footpath and gazebos for them to relax and at the same time can be used by the villagers to set up food or vegetable stalls that will help to increase their economic status,” she said when met during the handover ceremony of a ferro-cement table from Head of Department of Lifelong Learning at Kolej Komuniti Mas Gading Mohammad Khirudin Amdan in Bau recently. They are also one of Teresian Sparks of Youth’s project sponsors.
The mini park is built on a 20×100 foot idle piece of land valued at RM20, 000. The project is part of Petronas’ All About Youth Programme (PAAYP) and was supported by Bengoh assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil together with other sponsors gathered by the students. The programme is meant to be a learning process for the students.
The PAAYP is a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) embarked by Petronas in 2014 in its pilot project involving 1,200 Form 4 students from 60 schools in Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak.
The programme received good coverage from the print and broadcast media and expanded to six states this year, namely Terengganu, Sabah, Sarawak, Johor, Malacca and Kelantan.
This year, this programme involves 1, 800 students from 90 schools and at least 90 staff volunteers from various Petronas units including the Sarawak Regional Office, Sabah-Labuan Regional Office, and Petronas Dagangan Berhad.
The main objective of this programme is to empower youths to become well-rounded, creative and cultivate their moral values to contribute towards the community’s well-being in support of the National Education Philosophy.
“It is also to develop their talents, self-confidence, and soft skills including leadership skills. This is a good learning experience for the students before they venture into their working life in future,” she added.
The Teresian Sparks of Youth will be competing against 14 other schools in Sarawak; total 90 schools from Melaka, Terengganu, Kelantan, Johor, Sabah, and Sarawak.
Petronas provides a RM2,000 grant to the competing schools which are then given around two months to complete their project. Their projects will be judged based on their creativity, originality, sustainability, impact, and presentation.
Marjolyn hopes that this project will be a stepping stone for them to embark in more projects with Petronas in the near future.
“We do hope that our project will be a success and our team will be selected to compete at national levels later. I also hope that Petronas will take us with them in more academic programmes especially for our smart, active and outspoken students in future,” she added.
This year, the state-level finals to present their projects will be in August and the national-level will be in September in Kuala Lumpur.
Two schools from Sarawak namely SMK Lopeng Tengah, Miri and SMK Tatau, Bintulu emerged as first and second runners-up respectively in the national-level PAAYP held last year in Kuala Lumpur.
After the handover ceremony with Kolej Mas Gading, the representatives from SMK St Teresa also received a sponsorship cheque from Bengoh assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.