By Najmi Mamat
GOMBAK, 24 February 2018: Despite improper venue setting and inadequacies, Yasmin Zaini, 23, never considered her initiative to make the lives of 11 cleaners more meaningful a real obstacle, as she has a strong determination and good intention to teach them English language.
Believe it as a rewarding deed, she was resolute in kicking off this project a few months ago at Human Sciences building.
“You are teaching people who do not have that kind of knowledge and skill, and learning English is an important in this university campus. The cleaners are dealing with international students, so if the university does not equip them with this skills who can they rely on?” she told IIUMToday.
“It makes you feel good and it gives you the satisfaction to teach somebody without expecting any payment from them,” Yasmin added.
Besides difficulties in getting the Daya Bersih to allow these cleaners to attend classes, Yasmin said she was unable to get a proper classroom for them due to certain requirements as the class could only be conducted during weekends. The only thing she could do was to seek their supervisor’s permission for her to conduct the class during lunch time.
“They were eager to learn as they spread their words to other colleagues to join, at the end, it has now become a big group,” she said.
Having had some experience tutoring kids as part of her life, Yasmin, an English Language and Literature student, said it was quite a similar experience teaching the elders as they had a lot of questions and the session became more lively when they started to laugh and joke around.
Asked about common form of charity activities usually conducted by students for the community outside the campus, Yasmin felt that the Daya Bersih staffs, as part of the IIUM community, should not be neglected.
She believed that the first charity to be done at home and should be prioritised to the people nearest to you. “They need this kind of language enhancement classes but are not getting from us, instead our beneficiaries are those people outside who already had enough attention.”
As part of a project to fulfil her course on Language for Occupational Purposes, Yasmin was determined to turn her assignment into proper cooperation with the Daya Bersih.
She said quite a number of students had contacted her to join this project as her posting on social media regarding her experience and intention went viral on Twitter a few months ago.
“My message is that everyone can do it as the budget would not be much of a problem or if we can turn this into a longer term project with more donation, then we can do it properly or even at less cost,” she added.
She expressed the hope that the IIUM community would be very supportive of such project. ***