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Inspirations

  • Date Submitted: 06/10/2014 07:35 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.4 
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“Bashful, illiterate, unambitious, and naive.” These were some of the words used to describe the orang asli children by one of the school teachers during breakfast. I stopped eating and shifted my attention to the children; they were lining up in groups of 6 across the dining area in their pyjamas. The children were having a 3-day motivational camp; it was their final day at the camp, their final morning roll call. Through biased initial observations on them, I could see their innocence, hesitancy and passivity judging from their body language and movement, responding to the facilitators standing in front of them. “True.” I hear myself mumbled, hoping that the teacher and others could hear me.

Earlier that morning, we arrived at the Iman D’Semungkis Campsite. The sky was black, the stars were bright, the trees were swaying but there was no sign of children except for a 4WD pickup truck parked next to where our bus parked. Three men were laughing to each other and smiled to us as we disembarked the bus. We were asked to leave our bags at the back of the truck and walk through a dark steeply sloping street. We started moving in groups, telling each other of ghost stories we might have heard, assuming that the street would stretch for another mile. It was only a couple of minutes when we started seeing several blocks of what I assume were dormitories.   I quickly collected my bags from the truck and found my way to the girls’ block.

The morning briefing ended, and so we waited for the children in a hall, located a floor below the boys’ dorm. The Corporate Social Responsibility brought the Talent Acceleration in the Public Service (TAPS) Associates to meet 40 orang asli children of Temuan community from Sepang, an area located in between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Putrajaya. My mind drifted back to the morning briefing we had earlier. “Despite being sandwiched by these two well-developed areas, the mentality and literacy of these orang asli...

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