Yayasan Generasi Gemilang (GG) was an organization I've heard of but never thought I would ever intern at prior to this, mainly because I did not see myself doing social work at the time. However, my university required the students to search for an internship and GG happened to be on the list of companies the university had already established contacts with, so I decided to apply.
My first on-ground visit was to Rumah Kanak-Kanak Tengku Budriah (RKKTB), where I carried out most of my internship in the Children Services department, and this turned out to be one of the highlights of my time with GG.
GG has been running programs to care for the babies and children in RKKTB for the past 10 years. These programs aim to develop their cognitive, motor sensory and other skills; but most importantly, we go in to show them that there are people who love and care for them outside of the home. The volunteers engage with the children to ensure they receive tender loving care, and the children love and welcome the volunteers in return. This goes to show how progression, effort, love, and help really can transform lives.
Besides that, I also visited the PPR flats in Sri Pantai, right next to the up and coming Bangsar South area.
It was my first time visiting a community such as this and it was mind boggling to see the state of the place mainly because it is not the most suitable environment for living, let alone to raise a family. Imagine not having enough food to eat, not having enough clothes to wear, and you don't have a comfortable shelter like the one you have now. It shows how difficult life can really be given the different circumstances.
In order to build resilience in the children, GG runs programs and activities that expound financial education and values such as "working hard & earning it honestly" and "saving for rainy days" to the children. We trust the children will be able to have a better overview of what money is, its benefits and how to manage money well. This gives the community a much needed helping hand that encourages them to raise their children with the right mentality, and to let them know that there is hope in their situation.
Upon every entry, the team had to go through a body inspection and no electronic devices were allowed on the premises unless permitted by the authorities. It was a nervous event for me as I have never been to a jail, let alone meet juvenille students who were almost identical in age to me. The team was there for a week, teaching different batches of students that were pre-selected by teachers. They often speak about how much they miss their parents and want to make them proud, saying they want to be a better person by the time their sentence is completed.
Joseph is a psychology student from HELP University college and was an intern for the Children Services department in Yayasan Generasi Gemilang (GG). He is now back in college to pursue his degree and hopes to share more about his experience with other youth who are looking to make a difference.