SALAM successfully implemented a fun educational program aimed at Orang Asli children at the Center for Education and Nutrition Development (ENHANCE) of Orang Asli Pertak children on the 19th and 20th of October, 2018. The program was assisted by Mr. David Costanza from San Francisco, California, a former United Nations development worker who is now working with the SALAM program in a volunteer capacity. The program included 4 SALAM staffers and 5 additional SALAM volunteers. The two day event included an evalution of teaching methodology at the center and various fun language learning activities for the children involved. This was led by Ms. Nurul Atiqah Bte Mohammed, current teacher at the ENHANCE center.
The learning activities at the center proper utilized by Ms. Atiqah and Mr. Costanza were at time spontaneous and had to utilize the meager supplies and books existing at the ENHANCE center. Using an English only approach seemed to interest the children, who are using basic English vocabulary from the workbooks supplied by SALAM and it is suggested that additional trips to the center could only work to more engage and stimulate the students ability to carry on basic English conversations. In addition, in the evening SALAM staffers brought with them technology that allowed the students to watch films in Malay with English translation and it was obvious to all that technology allowed the younger children to sit for a longer time with less hyperactivity. There was also built in fun games prepared by SALAM volunteers and staff such as water balloon tosses and the like, team activities to bring more interest in children too come to the center from the village in order that they too going in the educational programs to come.
Successfully, SALAM volunteers engaged the children in many fun games to stimulate their interest in the center, provided them with food and drink, and accompanied the SALAM staff and volunteers on a daylong trek to the Sg. Chiling area, about 5km from Kg. Pertak. The following day, after a night where the staff and volunteers slept in the village in tents which they had prepared beforehand, there was an additional visit to Kg.Orang Ulu Melaka to monitor the damage to Serendah’s mini library and youth center, which is in great need of roof repair, electrical re-wiring, and new technology. SALAM staff along with Mr. Costanza, discussed with youth during a rainstorm, about their wants and needs for the center, including their dreams of new technology to motivate and assist them with their schoolwork they are already involved with, These students, who commute to high school in the main city of the area, deserve a library that functions to the standard of any city library in the area, and some discussion is currently going on to make this a reality and to assist Orang Asli youth with their own educational goals.