The Maharani Learning Lab, a Vijayaratnam Foundation initiative conceptualised by our very own Datin’ Sri Umayal Eswaran, celebrated a year of accomplishments yesterday. What started off as a three-day ‘Maharani Camp’ for soft skills has now evolved into a year-long intervention programme for young girls from underprivileged backgrounds.
Serving as a home away from home for about 257 girls between the ages of 11 to 16, the Maharani Lab facility is a safe haven and a platform to complete their school work and assignments, pick up various skills such as baking, and house-keeping. The young girls also have the opportunity to learn flower arrangement techniques, handicraft making, and attend Bharatanatyam and modern dance classes.
Maharani Lab also supports the development of computer skills, creating opportunities for self-development and skills improvement. Raising the self-esteem of these young ladies and supporting their growth is one of the key aims of the project. Full-time dedicated counsellors are always at hand to support their emotional needs.
“This facility is intended to nurture and groom teenaged girls in rural areas through activities and experiences which will help them acquire skills and knowledge which will aid their future life choices as well as support their transition from adolescent into adulthood” noted Datin Sri Umayal in her speech at the anniversary celebrations.
Datin Sri Umayal also handed out awards to the achievers from the first two batches of the Maharani Camp while certificates were given out by Puan Karimah Tan Abdullah, the Chief Executive Officer of PINTAR Foundation, a subsidiary of Khazanah Bhd.
Also attending the first anniversary celebrations were teachers, parents, and undergraduates of Quest International University Perak (QIUP) who played a role as facilitators as well.