The Origins of The Dignity For Children Foundation
Way back in the late 90’s (1998 for those who want to know), Pastor Elisha Satvinder and his lovely wife Petrina, saw the plight of the underprivileged children in the Sentul area. Seeing the children’s situation moved their hearts and they decided that they must help these children somehow. Through the New Covenant Community Church, they reached out to the community through basic home improvement services, grocery distribution, arrangement of free medical check-ups, raising support for school supplies, job placements and counselling.
Nevertheless, they quickly realized that this alone would not be enough to have the lasting impact they so wanted to see. Believing that the best way to break the chain of poverty was education, they focused their efforts on educating the children. They started small with 20 students attending daily tuition classes. They gave these children the proper education they deserved and showed them how their newfound knowledge could empower them and help them get out of their situation.
Later in 2003, they officially took the name of Harvest Centre, and the first Montessori Preschool for the underprivileged opened to 30 students in January 2004.
As their organization grew, they gradually expanded their horizons. In 2010, they became the revered charity organization that we all know and love today, The Dignity For Children Foundation.
Their Vision and Mission
As enshrined in their name, the Dignity for Children foundation was made to help underprivileged children.
Their vision is to build a life where these children are able to break out of the cycle of poverty by empowering them with quality education and care, positively transforming their lives and the lives of the community around them.
Their mission is to create one-stop learning centers for the poor, implement specialized learning environments that help children develop their academic and social skills, and empower them to become productive members of society.
What They Do
The Dignity For Children Foundation offers a few different education programs which cater to the needs of children and the underprivileged. Children enrolled in Dignity’s programs receive breakfast, lunch and snacks according to their session, participate in sports development, and receive hygiene care, medical checkups, and even therapy sessions with trained professionals. Their programs include:
Early Childhood Education Programme
- Early Childhood
- Primary Education
- Secondary Education
- Special sporting and event activities
Dignity combines academic studies with skills training that are based in a real-world context of an enterprise. Students learn a particular skill and design/ produce items that are subsequently sold in order to generate income through these products. A skilled professional trains and guides the students through production, marketing, sales, customer service and other entrepreneurial steps.
Currently, Dignity is developing students in:
- Café management and F&B training
- Sewing & Design
- Early childhood education
- Urban Gardening
- Graphic design
A Special Interview With Someone Who Cares
With 20 years’ worth of experience, Dignity for Children has some great stories to tell about the people who work there and the children they take care of. We talked with some people from Dignity For Children , and asked them about some of the things they have seen during their time at the Foundation.
How long have you worked here? Is there any experience you would like to share with us?
I have been with Dignity for 13 years. I remember my first assignment was to teach primary students and then I moved to secondary student’s years later. Four years ago, I joined the Fundraising & Communication department.
What made you decide to join this industry?
Working in Dignity is truly an inspiring journey for me, especially the people I meet, the stories and testimonies I hear, the families we get to help and the children that we empower. That is what made decide to join.
What are some of your most memorable activities in the past year?
As a very active learning center, there are many memorable activities that have happened during the year. Two significant events stood out in 2017 — two of our transformational enterprises which teach the students life skills were launched. They are the Cut x Dignity, a hair salon to teach hair dressing skills, and Sew x Dignity to teach sewing and dressmaking skills.
Would you like to share with us some of the stories about the children you have helped?
Over the years, around 7000 children have passed through Dignity and have been transformed to responsible young adults who have become contributing members of the community.
What are some of the problems you face and how would you like people to help?
Dignity depends on private and corporate funding. It is not funded by the government. Our needs are many and varied. Just to name a few regular urgent needs – food, transport costs for the children to come to Dignity, operational costs and costs for special new projects and events.
2018 is dignity’s 20th anniversary and there will be a anniversary dinner on 29 September in which we need supporters to buy the tables/attend, and contribute to a building fund. The funds raised to set up a Urban Youth Village.
(Visit their Facebook page to find out more: https://www.facebook.com/dignityforchildren/)
How The LoveRun will help Dignity For Children
As was stated before, Dignity for Children depends entirely on private and corporate funding, they are not funded by the government. The organization needs to generate at least RM 500,000 every month in order to finance their daily activities to enable them to continue to help the children in their care.
In order to help their noble cause, LoveRun plans to finance the set up of their woodwork training premises and the first 3 months of their operational costs.
The people in the Dignity for Children foundation are simply the most caring and generous people you can ever meet. They have many more stories to share and their work helps hundreds of children every day. It is no exaggeration to say that they help make this world a better and more loving place.
Every little bit counts. We at LoveRun hope that the public will join us and take part in playing a crucial role in changing the lives of those in need and helping those who cannot help themselves.
We plan to do our very best, and you can too. Come and run with us, join the LoveRun.
Be a part of change, visit their website to find out more about the work that The Dignity for Children Foundation does and how you can help them.