PETALING JAYA, May 8 — Storytelling and fundraising campaign SaveWithStoriesMY has harnessed star power to promote a love for reading in children during the movement control order (MCO).
The campaign organised by AFO Radio, Traqkid, Kiwanis Malaysia and VGI Transit, is inspired by the SaveWithStories campaign in the US in which popular celebrities lead fun storytelling sessions for kids in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Malaysian rendition of the campaign will feature local stars like beauty queen and human rights activist Deborah Priya Henry, actress Sharifah Amani, AFO Radio announcer Kym Tan, actress Nadiya Nisaa, and other notable names sharing their favourite children’s tales in English, Malay, and Chinese to keep young ones and their parents entertained at home.
The project also aims to raise funds for Kiwanis Malaysia to help special needs children and the underprivileged community who have been deprived of basic needs and learning resources.
Donations will be channelled towards lifelong care for children with disabilities like Down’s syndrome and autism while providing learning opportunities for them alongside B40 and Orang Asli children who lack access to education.
In a virtual press conference this morning, Kiwanis Malaysia governor Dr Laurence Lim said that the habit of reading will allow children to shape a better future for themselves and the country.
“Through reading and learning, our children can learn better values and the importance of helping others in need.
“They’ll be able to go beyond their potential and I strongly encourage parents and children to partake in this campaign.
“By starting the reading habit young, we can get our kids to use their imagination, explore the world, learn good values, and in turn, develop the heart to serve the less fortunate,” said Dr Lim.
Henry, who has spent more than a decade working with children through non-governmental organisations like World Vision Malaysia and Malaysian AIDS Foundation, said it was important to address the plights faced by kids during tough times especially during a worldwide health crisis.
“When children are in difficult situations, they tend to suffer in silence and they don’t call out for help. It’s so important to recognise that there are little things we can do to support them.
“From my experience, I really believe in storytelling. Stories have the power to heal people and teach us about different cultures and different ways of living.
“They make us more accepting and understanding and I feel like it’s a blessing for me to read a story for kids through this campaign,” said Henry.
The Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 winner, who chose to read How the Camel Got Its Hump in her storytelling session, said SaveWithStoriesMY provides a good chance for children to discover the magic of reading instead of relying solely on tablets and smartphones for learning.
By donating to Kiwanis Malaysia from as low as RM15, Malaysians can lend a helping hand to feed and educate needy children who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.