TSI, Lions Club adopt 3 underprivileged students

Albert (third left), Kueh (third right), Aloysius (centre), TSI chairman Datuk John Tenewi (fourth left) and members from TSI and LCKN posing for a group photo during the presentation of the financial aid recently.

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KUCHING, Feb 22: The Sarawak Initiatives (TSI), in collaboration with Lions Club Kuching North (LCKN), has adopted three secondary students as part of their efforts to champion education for the underprivileged.

The three beneficiaries, Albert Affleck Thomas and Brenda Kueh of SMK Kuching Town No.1, and Aloysius Lim Francis of SMK St Thomas, will receive monetary aid of RM2,500.

In a joint statement issued by TSI and LCKN recently, the financial assistance under the adoption programme was to help students from very poor families to pay for schooling expenses.

Potential beneficiaries were identified by the respective school principals. After the selection process by both organisations, selected students would be placed under the “Adopt A Student” project.

“TSI and LCKN appreciate the announcement by Sarawak Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) on the allocation of RM10 million to Yayasan Sarawak to help poor students pay for their school tuition fees and other expenses.

“The kind gesture shows that the Sarawak government is sensitive to the needs of students from poor families when it comes to education.

“TSI and LCKN will seek a meeting with Yayasan Sarawak to further understand their policy and see where our NGOs can complement our services and assist in any way for students deserving of the financial assistance to be provided by Yayasan Sarawak,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the three students received their aid in a simple ceremony here last Saturday (Feb 20).

Albert, 16, has 10 other siblings and both of his parents have no proper job at the moment.

Aloysius, 16, is a son to a single mother working as a sales promoter, while Kueh, a Form 5 student, has no parents.

She lives with five other siblings.

Both organisations noted the limitations on how far they are able to play their role to help underprivileged students due to limited financial resources.

“Although both NGOs can only play a limited role in allocating financial assistance, they focus on a greater role when it comes to highlighting issues facing our communities. This is how both NGOs work positively with the Sarawak government to bring about positive change in our society.

“TSI and LCKN understand that education is free for primary school and secondary school. However, it will be good to see how education can be made free-of-charge for deserving pupils in pre-school years and students doing their tertiary education.

“Both NGOs would like to see all students not be allowed to face any financial difficulties when they go through their adolescent life pursuing a good education,” the statement added.

Touching on online studies, which has become part of the new norm during the Covid-19 pandemic, TSI and LCKN expressed hope that both the state and federal governments could do more to assist poor families to acquire laptops or computers for their children’s studies.

Members of the public who have any computers that are not obsolete and want to give them away to students may contact TSI at 082-452525 to arrange for collection. — DayakDaily