Phase one of the new module of the educational Maharani Camps, a Vijayaratnam Foundation initiative conceptualised by Datin’ Sri Umayal Eswaran, was recently hosted at YMCA in Ipoh, Malaysia. The three-day camp, which was the first of a three-phase module, was attended by 28 students from three secondary schools in Perak.

Developed for girls aged 13 to 16, the camp aimed to set the participants on a journey of self-discovery in the form of group activities that included games, role-playing sessions, and group discussions. The interactive activities focused on critical developmental aspects such as self-identity, gender identity, cultural appreciation, and sexual and reproductive rights awareness.

Students lauded the Maharani Camp for having taught them the importance of goal setting, and giving them the tools they need to stay focused on their ambitions, and to make life decisions prudently. Maharani Camp Commander Barathy Devi Murugaya encouraged the students to always face challenges head-on, saying, “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the changes you miss, when you don’t even try.”

Head of Vijayaratnam Foundation Jayamalar Samuel And Camp Trainer Betty Yeoh conduct one of the many group activities.

The Maharani Camp was first introduced in 2010 with a small number of female students from Peninsular Malaysia. At the latest count, over five thousand students from seventy-five schools from Malaysia have successfully participated in the camps, with many more camps in the pipeline. Constantly innovating to make sure the students have the most streamlined and productive camp, this year has also seen the introduction of Betty Yeoh, a trainer with over 30 years’ experience in training and development.