I want my children to say that proudly. I see it in their eyes. I see it in their eagerness to learn more. I know they can be future leaders. I know they can change things in this country.
I co-founded Buku Jalanan Chow Kit for these children. I want them to think about a life beyond Chow Kit. When people think about Chow Kit, they have a negative image of it. Because of this, I was really nervous on my first visit! I really didn’t know what to expect.
But the children of Chow Kit are different. They are not afraid of strangers at all. When you teach them simple things like counting, or how to play a game, their faces light up with eagerness. It shows in the way they call me ‘Cikgu Ayu’. It shows when mothers bring their children down while it’s raining. To me, charity is about being with people, and acknowledging their existence. Memanusiakan manusia.
I always tell my kids, “Let’s learn and grow together. Let’s change things.” I believe in them.