Life Skills Workshops at Perkata School
PurpleLily Director, Ginette Collin, reflects on facilitating life skills workshops to our first group of women in Kuching.
Perkata School is a special needs school in Kuching. The school has several classes and the children’s needs vary from Down Syndrome, autism to different physical and mental issues. It’s a non-profit organisation, always operating on a tight budget. The school fees are very low; however every child in need is accepted regardless of the family’s financial situation. The teachers and assistants are completely dedicated to their students and they work very hard each day. They have created a school where there is an atmosphere of joy and care, and children can safely develop physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. The whole staff puts in a tremendous effort and, as a result, the school is a great success.
When we first met the Principal, Ms. Doreen, she was very interested in our life skills workshops and mentioned that the school’s staff had very few professional and personal development opportunities. In general, the school cannot afford to provide additional perks to the staff other than their normal wages, which sadly are already very low. We therefore decided to get involved and support the school team by offering a series of life skills workshops. Ms. Doreen was very pleased with this idea.
We have been working with Perkata School and all their female staff on a monthly basis since May 2012 and have delivered workshops on self-confidence, goal setting, mind mapping and stress management. We are just about to facilitate presentation skills. The response from the Perkata staff has been positive with high attendance and participation rate. Our workshops are interactive and we try to make it fun too! The participants seemed to enjoy coming to our workshops and most importantly, learning some life skills as well.
Perkata staff became our first group in Kuching and they unofficially became our ‘pilot group’. Being involved with this wonderful group of women, Rita and I have learned so much about the culture, the activities that they enjoy and the issues most important to them. We also realised that, at the end of the day, whether women are from Italy, Canada, UAE or Malaysia, we all have similar concerns. It has been, and still is, a fabulous experience for PurpleLily to work with this group of women!
PurpleLily is delighted to be involved and support such a dedicated staff for really special children. We will continue to work with the staff and start a Financial Compass Club soon. We hope that developing their financial skills will empower and help the teachers to improve their situation. We are proud to be able to contribute in our own small way and support such a wonderful school!