It was a day of laughter, delight and fun for the mentors and mentees of the Footprints programme when Vijayaratnam Foundation, the philanthropic arm of QNet Malaysia, facilitated a Diwali celebration together with the residents of Tuan Mee Oil Palm Estate, 50 kilometres outside the city of Kuala Lumpur in the state of Selangor.
The Footprints programme is an initiative that matches less fortunate children between the ages of 9 and 12 with caring adults made up of staff from the QI Group of Companies as well as QNet IRs, for the purpose of grooming them to excel in life.
For these children, one of the most precious things that they can receive is quality time. And more often than not, it is one of the most difficult things to give someone in this fast-paced, ever-busy world. The friendship that develops between the child and his or her mentor provides the child with a new chance to develop confidence, as well as learn about the world, by providing a positive role model.
During this event, the residents of Tuan Mee Oil Palm Estate played host to approximately 80 children and their mentors in celebrating the Festival of Lights. The children were taught the significance of Diwali: the triumph of good over evil, and that Diwali was a time of new beginnings.
As part of the programme, the children participated in making traditional Indian delicacies associated with the celebration, such as Murukku, Achi Murukku and Adhirasam. Laughter could be heard when efforts in making the Murukku turned creative when all sorts of shapes and sizes of the delicacies were created.
QNet Malaysia General Manager V. Navaratnam elicited cheers from the residents of the community when he announced that, as a token of appreciation, QNet was donating footballs and erecting goalposts in the community’s school. He said that it was his hope to see a resident from the estate grow up to play professionally in the AFC Champions League, where QNet is a sponsor.
The day culminated in an impromptu dance when everyone got up on stage and joined in. The joy of celebrating the moment and togetherness was evident on everyone’s faces. As the children said goodbye to the residents of the estate, it was clear that this Footprints event was a success, with the meaning of Diwali leaving an indelible mark on the children, their mentors, and the community of the estate.