SHTCA Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative 2016 KDU Students Embracing The Needy With Humble Heart

Hundreds of urban poor queuing up, patiently waiting for their turns in getting the meal boxes and donated items from KDU students.  The underprivileged men and women, young and old, routinely receiving relief items. 
KDU students with their lecturer, Datin Puteri Julie (left), gather at DBKL Medan Kasih Distribution Centre for the SHTCA CSR Initiative 2016 grand finale.   
You will never go poor by giving’ – this very apt phrase was emblazoned on the tees worn by KDU University College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts (SHTCA) students, who undertook and worked on a series of charity projects for their Corporate Social Responsibility subject under the Bachelor of Hospitality Management and Bachelor in Culinary Management programmes.

The SHTCA CSR Initiative 2016 was launched in March, culminating with the grand finale recently on 26 May. The project, which had 3 phases, saw the students humbly and tirelessly reaching out to the poor and needy, under their guidance and tutelage of their compulsory CSR subject lecturer, Datin Puteri Julie.  

“College and university life is far beyond excelling in knowledge and professional skills. At SHTCA, we want to instil a sense of caring and sharing amongst students by giving back to the society. This is especially important for students who study hospitality and culinary, as humanity is the utmost important value to grow further in this line,” said Ms Kitty Lee, Head of SHTCA. 

The first two phases saw the students spearheading donation drives from their peers, friends, KDU staff and academics, family as well as the general public. First phase of the drive was on clothes collection, while the second phase had students organising a drive to collect canned food. The third phase and the grand finale was a concerted effort of the students in organising a soup kitchen and delivering the donation items collected to the needy at DBKL Medan Kasih Distribution Centre, Lorong Medan Tuanku 2, Kuala Lumpur.

“Students were divided into four groups to handle necessary works in the first and second phase of this initiative. In the final phase, they were divided into even smaller sections in charge of meticulous tasks such as cooking dishes like white rice, soy sauce chicken, mixed vegetables; baking brownies, making sandwiches, arranging canned food, packing food, preparing toys and goodie bags, and taking charge of transportation to downtown,” explained Julie. 

The students were evaluated throughout the entire journey of this project. According to Julie, “Students were first evaluated as a group, to see if the work delegated to them were well accomplished. Later on, they were reviewed individually on the contribution and attitude towards the tasks. The students were also evaluated based on the timeline and deadlines given.”  

The students also successfully garnered sponsorship and collaboration from different parties, namely Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (FAMA) and Need to Feed the Need (NFN), a non-governmental organisation.  The students worked with NFN to coordinate the distribution points, and ensure that the items are well-packed and ready to be given out to the needy. FAMA played a sponsorship role in the project, by contributing food items and ingredients worth more than RM2,000, according to Abdul Ghariff Ramin, the State Director of FAMA. 

On the day of the grand finale, students reported for duty at different working stations from early morning. With excellent team work and high discipline, the food preparation and production went on smoothly, at SHTCA’s culinary kitchens, without a hitch. As the evening drew near, the groups of students worked even more tirelessly and vigorously in getting the food packed into meal boxes. Upon completion, all the necessities and charity items were then safely hauled up to different vehicles, and the students then made their way to the distribution point, arriving at the location at 8.30pm. 

At the distribution point, hundreds of poor and needy were seen queuing up outside the premises, patiently waiting for the commencement of this Samaritan work. In swift working rhythm, students unloaded, carried, sorted and staged a big volume of the relief items under the guidance of their lecturer. 

With warm greetings and amiable smiles, KDU students extended sincere help to the underprivileged. The students worked up a sweat distributing more than 500 meal boxes on the spot. Not only that, they also gave out 600 canned food and 50 goodie bags, which contained brownies, packet drinks, balloons, sweets and plain water, for kids. Clothes, collected during the first phase and amounting to 800 pieces, was disbursed earlier on to Living Hope, another NGO. 

Representatives from Need to Feed the Need (NFN) as well as (FAMA) were also there working together with the students and observing the flow.

“I realised that I am so blessed, as I have never had to beg for anything. Tonight is definitely an eye opener for me, as there were so many people relying on these handouts and some even asked for more because they couldn't afford to feed themselves for the next day,” said Zati Iman Binti Zainudin, a second year Bachelor of Culinary Management student.

I Gede Anggara, an Indonesian student from the same programme, said, “This is not my first time doing charity work, as I have similar experiences back in my country. But this is the first time I’m taking a lead role in food preparation. It means a lot to me, as my hard work has benefited those who really need it.”

Alif Zulfitri bin Awang Haji Hassan, also from the same programme, chimed in with his classmates, “This is my first time handling a big crowd of people, and knowing that their earning is not enough for their daily life really saddens me. While giving out the meal boxes tonight, it almost brought tears to my eyes seeing their smile when they received the meal. In the future, I want to have my own NGO and I want to help them.” 

Seeing these receivers walking out of the centre with contented smiles, the students were very sure that their hard work had paid off. The SHTCA CSR Initiative 2016 serves to highlight its mission to inspire and nurture students and staff to lead, share, serve, and to be ethical, responsible citizens.