Zurraida Abdullah, CEO of Yayasan Mendaki, believes in empowering the disadvantaged through education. The Straits Times, a Singapore-based news agency, tells us a touching story about Zurraida. When we she was just in Primary One, she came home one day with her Math test result – she got 20 out f 100. Zurraida’s mother, even though busy managing her work and family, immediately tried to seek for help. She found an older student who was willing to help her daughter with Math.
Instead of teaching Zurraida the traditional way, the young man used a method that was fun and interesting. After several sessions with her tutor, Zurraida already knew how to do Math. In her next test, she got a better score – 80 out of 100. It is because of this reason that one of the ways on how she helps the disadvantaged is teaching.
Zurraida Abdullah’s positive childhood experience has led her to fight for the cause of the disadvantaged. She shows us how simple things can make a big difference. I’m sure that the young man who taught her when she was still in Primary One did not imagine that the simple act of kindness that he has extended to Zurraida will inspire her to do heroic acts years later.
One thing that I’ve learned from the life of Zurraida Abdullah is that it is never too early to encourage kids to make a difference. They should be taught how to be more sensitive to the needs of the other kids in their community. We need to help them to willingly share their time and possessions to those who are disadvantaged.