Volunteering has its special place at Ilham Child Care Centre. We encourage all our students, families, and staff to take part in various volunteering activities in the community throughout the year. During the month of Ramadhan, Ilham Child Care’s volunteering efforts are mainly focused around the distribution of Oatsome Porridge.
Like many other community centres, residential centres, and mosques, Ilham Child Care centre distributes bowls of porridge for free. However, we are doing it by distributing healthy versions of the porridge which is made from Oats.
Ramadhan is a reassuring and blessed time when Muslims worldwide fast from dawn until sunset, spending time in prayers, self-reflection and connecting with family, friends and community.
Fasting in Ramadhan strengthens our sense of self-discipline, improving resilience and self-control, but it also promotes feelings of empathy and sympathy for those in need. Ramadhan makes us more sensitive to truths, goodness, and rightness, encouraging us to be more giving and generous; so many people participate as volunteers in various activities during this month.
When we do good deeds and help those in need in our communities, the effect of our good actions can have a profound and lasting impact on our self-respect, behaviour, and personality.
At Ilham Child Centre, we have an annual Ramadhan charity drive as part of our CSR. We carried out the past few charity drives in partnership with Ain Society, Muhammadiyah, etc. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t have one last year.
This year, we wanted a charity drive that will get our students involved and immersed in the spirit of giving.
Teaching young children the importance of giving and kindness helps instil self-esteem, pride, empathy, and compassion. These are positive character traits that will benefit kids long-term as they grow and develop relationships with others.
In Ilham’s Oatsome Porridge Distribution Drive, our students were involved in both the process, the end product and outcome while learning essential values such as sharing, kindness, generosity, and empathy.
We collaborated with Shahidah Travel & Tours and their sub company, Ayoobi.Sg for this distribution of healthy porridge made from oats. In these challenging times when everyone, including the travel industry is affected, we must support each other while engaging children and teaching them the importance of volunteering in the safe environment of our centres.
Our teachers and students were the ones running the show. They were fully invested from the beginning and divided the workload accordingly. While our teachers were in charge of the planning and execution, our HR manager coordinated the whole program with our contact from Shahidah Travel. At the same time, the Ilham marketing team designed the stickers, posters and Sampul Raya that we gave for free to the public.
Our Ilhamites, on the other hand were involved in the pasting of stickers, packing and distribution of the porridge. Thank you too to our parents who have always been highly supportive of all our efforts and we are truly thankful for that too.
These porridge were distributed on Fridays in Ramadhan from 4:30 pm to 6pm, at alternate centre locations. After the porridge was delivered to us at 4pm, our Nursery students pasted the stickers with the help from our teachers. After that, our kindergarten students took turns packing and distributing the porridge with their teachers. It was really a whole school effort!
Since it was a contactless distribution, the public was not allowed into our centres or to be in close contact with our students and staff. The public had to scan a QR code for them to make a health declaration, and only after that, could they proceed to a table with all the porridge that’s up for grabs. All the staff and students also took home the porridge to share with their families too and some even shared with their neighbours!
Here’s what some of our students and recipients had to say about the Oatsome Porridge Distribution Drive:
“I found out about the porridge distribution through word of mouth. It was a very good initiative and very good service by staff.” – Syddiq, public recipient
“Friendly and bubbly distribution of porridge by little Ilhamites and the teachers involved. Knew about this porridge distribution drive from Ilham instagram and also word of mouth. Porridge was delicious and would definitely recommend it.” – Al-Syibli, public recipient
“I feel that it was a friendly drive to let children experience and get involved in doing charity.” – Din Faisal, public recipient
Our K2 Ilhamites also felt accomplished from the porridge distribution drive. “I really like to help teacher to give out the porridge during ramadhan. I get pahala by helping others,” said Adam, our K2 Ilhamite from Ilham Child Care East.
Mikaeel and Shariff from K2 also mentioned that, “I’m happy I give porridge to people for them to eat”, and “It’s nice to give people free food because they no need to pay”.
It’s all in the spirit of giving for them. Overall, #RamadhanWithIlham was an amazing experience for the Ilham Child Care staff, students and public recipients! Alhamdulillah.