From Programme Chairman

A Note from the Programme Chairman

My family tells me that I seem to be busier as JEWEL Programme Chairman, than I was when I was President. I suppose it is so.

Kempen TinDAK was all-consuming these past few months. Our members and the Johor State Education Department’s District Education Officers deserve a shout out for seeing through a state-wide community service programme such as this, dedicated to the prevention of child sexual abuse. Eleven District Education Departments, over 906 school counsellors, in the hope of reaching 328,000 primary school children in Johor. And we saw it through in a timely manner

Meanwhile our Johor Peace Sub-Committee contributed to the successful running of Karnival Aman Johor at Taman Merdeka, held in conjunction with the anniversary of the Royal Coronation.

There has been no let-up either with our Documentation Taskforce work, as Nithiya, Anniee, Aunty Thana and team invest time and energy in helping families sort out their papers.

How does a team of 21 women carry out all this work? It is by leveraging on the strengths of our members, and capitalising on the social equity that we have built over the years. Teamwork, strategic planning, creativity, and goodwill. We are grateful for the support of the public and various agencies in generously assisting us.

Still, volunteer energy has its limits. This year, we regret to have had to postpone our annual International Women’s Day High Tea. A much-anticipated, stylish event which shines the spotlight on issues affecting women on a global level. Regrettable, but our focus had to be on Kempen TinDAK.

Early this year, we also made a collective decision to slow down our work in the area of domestic violence. It was a matter of logistics. We do not have enough properly trained volunteers, as our experienced members are turning away from DV work to focus on helping families move forward post-crisis. New volunteers also need rigorous training and the right aptitude (check your JoHari Window, we say), lest we do more harm than good when helping victims. Hence for now, it will only be sign-posting and some telephone counselling to help victims.

Our focus now is on helping the children of DV victims as best we can, and we will be stepping up our work in the area of documentation.

One delightful project we are working on is equipping the library of SJK (T) Ladang Kelan, in Kulai. Looking forward to joining Ammie and the decorating!

May I offer a thumbs-up to our Sue Divine for doing such a great job of coordinating the regular Tuesday Counselling Classes for NGO reps, led by Dr Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar, the Director of Hospital Permai.

JEWEL is all about rights, not blind charity. And our programmes are all about content and substance, not meaningless fluff. Our members are a delight to work with. I expect to be busier than ever in 2017.

 

Thanam Visvanathan-Suresh

Programme Chairman, JEWEL

 

May 2017