Tara (Lady at the right with glasses) is teaching the kids on how to make wonderful craftwork with the Loombands
Tara Wong, who has been working in the hotel line overseas (as well as volunteering in those countries) came back to Malaysia for a break and wanted to continue her charitable work here. As she searched through the internet for an NGO to attach to, she found that SHELTER has repeatedly appeared in her search and was convinced to give it a try. “The moment I stepped into this home, I knew this is the place I want to volunteer” Tara recalls her experiences when she first set foot in Shelter 1.
Despite the awkward first experience with the kids,Tara was persistent. Since then, Tara decided to commit 6 hours a day, every week, as she expressed “I really want to work with these children.” So she used several games like UNO cards, LEGO (Tara herself loves LEGO), Loombands (those colourful rubberbands that are used to make bracelets, anklets etc), Play-Doh and even movies to build rapport with the kids and also as tools to shape their behaviour and thinking skills (and of course creativity too).
But before she starts the activities, this is what she does. She will first ask the caregivers, “Have the kids been behaving well?”. Depending on the answer, she would schedule her day accordingly. If the kids have not been behaving well, she would not allow them to play with the games just yet as she will sit them down and talk over their behaviour first. Besides that, what Tara does, which is really amazing, is that she would get them to watch a movie and after the movie, she would facilitate a discussion with them, asking questions like “Which character did you like or dislike? Why?”, amongst other questions.
Sometimes she would also throw in a competition with the games she brought. She would help the kids to learn the valuable lesson of winning gracefully and taking losses well, and to also take ownership of their prize (LEGO toys). If they lose their toys, when she comes the next time, she would refrain from giving them a prize on that day!
We just want to really thank Tara for taking her time to plan, analyze and spend time to build our children together with us!