Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Caring for the less fortunate

It's always wonderful to hear from BBGSians. Here's a letter from Lily Chan (Class of 1989) who continues to live the BBGS spirit in a very special way - by raising funds for underprivileged families. Very much in line with all the values we were taught in school. She has a great idea to help us stay true to the founding principles of BBGS...read on..
Hi Joanna,

I'm not sure if you still remember me. But it was great to read your blog. I was like you too, for the past 4 years, I've been goggling the web to find BBGS, but there wasn't much about it. I'm glad you started one and have kept it alive. This is something I think, many of us would love to see - BBGS, The Spirit Lives On...

I joined Facebook when I was told that's how many BBGS girls have kept in touch. Having left teaching, I went into fundraising for NGOs. We organise charity dinners and carnivals. Don't know where I learnt those skills in organising... hehehe... Well, it is not so much about organising nor about being able to sell a RM20k table to raise funds. It is more about having the heart for the underprivileged. Helping them gain an education and giving them a second chance in life.

I have met a lot of very very hardcore poor families who have many children but can't afford to send them to school. One family's eldest daughter had to leave school at the age of 11 because her parents are too busy earning money to put food on table and no one is home to look after the siblings. My heart was moved. I thought to myself, "It's already the new millenium and we still have parents with such old-fashioned mindsets?"

I met another girl aged 16 who was abused by her mother because she thought her daughter had been exchanged at the hospital during birth. She was made to stop schooling at the age of 13. She was made to do housechores and please the whole family. My thoughts came to me again, 'Cinderella ah?'

I began to be more and more thankful that my mom didn't think of this, despite not being very educated herself. She insisted that we go to this school she knows - BBGS. She said Ms Glasgow, didn't look down on her but gave my sister a place in the school. Many people in those days, said, BBGS is very much a controlled school, they choose their students. But my mom went straight to the Principal's office - Ms Glasgow and asked if she could register my sister.

These years in fundraising have made me feel very sentimental about how BBGS began. It was the passion and heart of the missionaries, who left their homeland, came here to give education to girls. Many girls throughout the century have been given a good education.

I have a very big plan in heart, which I don't have the courage to start yet. I've thought of starting a BBGS Foundation. This foundation will help underprivileged girls to gain education and thus, to have a chance to a better future in life. The missionaries who started BBGS had this in mind at that time, I'm sure. With the BBGS Foundation, we'll be able to keep the dreams and the spirit of all BBGSians alive in the lives of the girls we would be helping.

What do you think?

Hope to hear from you.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Dear Lily,

Our hearts are beating in one accord with your vision. BBGS pioneered education for young girls in Malaysia. There are so many stories of girls from poor families who have benefitted from the education given by BBGS. They have gone on to be successful women contributing back to society. We now owe it to our alma mater to continue the legacy even though our physical school has been torn down. Looking forward to working with you on this noble vision.

Nisi Dominus Frustra

Phang Sow Yoong