Tag Archives: the netherlands

Make that change…..

For a minute there I was rather bewitched by my son – how he was swaying and entralled by one of Michael Jackson’s loved songs – singing along with the King of Pop and captivating each meaning of the verse whole-heartedly.

Inspiration

`Who am I to be blind… pretending not to see their needs…´

`If you want to make the world a better place… take a look at yourself and then make a change.´

Bless his soul for having such a caring heart! Bless his heart for having such a sensitive spot! It’s not usually common to find a little person such as himself – carrying that sort of personality and charisma at that tender age. My son has something most adults are lacking of in this modern world. My son has empathy.

I have a strong admiration for such charisma and powerfully drawn to his compassion and kindness toward others. Looking through a child’s lense make me realise how they don’t differ much from us adults apart from our mindset. They might be smaller in size but their capability to feel and love are no different from any of us. It’s miraculously flabbergasting to see how a child thinks even beyond our limited boundaries – pass the wall of segregation and hate, pass the painted coloured skins, pass the diversity in languages. I am, in fact, infatuated by his sense of innocence – wanting to ‘fix’ things if he is given the opportunity – even by means of heavy duty work after a few brainstorming.

I want it done

His passion and dedication drive him to want to give and keep on giving. Knowing how the world is not as perfect as most people portray them to be, his mind has a plan of its own. For him, no is simply not the answer, nor maybe. ‘I want it, and I want it done’ is usually his motto whenever determination kicks in. Stubborn as he is impatient, he longs for speedy results – which his lack of sense of the true picture of reality – being the child as he is, tends to frustrates him sometimes. Having to reassure the little one that sometimes good things come to those who wait and hard work does pay off at the end, seems not to be penetrating much through his skull. He doesn’t want to understand that not everybody feels and thinks the way he does. Such petit personage full of perseverance, he urges and urges if I can lean a hand. Not wanting to disappoint the little fellow, I just follow his instinct instead.

Such powerful drive pushes him to start his first collection of donations to the orphans. I have been participating – by carrying all shipment back to Malaysia on my own – twice (once with my husband!) last year. Our partner Hotel Abadi, Melaka has kindly enough volunteered to distribute this handful of collections to the needy.

Keep on going

This year is a different story. Since this is an on-going project, the little one – with the help of his older sister – keeps piling more stuff.. more toys, more clothing, more enthusiasm..! He wants to send more.. and more to the orphans. “I want them to have what I have, mom…” It’s disgraceful to see how an innocent child is able to open his heart endlessly to share to other children whom he has never seen in his life across the globe, whilst grown ups such as ourselves refuse to even share a half piece of bread with a starving neighbour next door…

Accumulating more than 110kg in the garage and up in the attic, I feel I am rather stuck in the gut – how on earth will I ever bring them all to Malaysia? Having the same determination and enthusiasm as my son, I keep on looking for sponsorships. Somehow along the dotted line, my best friend Norashikin Afifuddin (also the owner of Hotel Abadi Melaka) connects me to a circle of people who, at the end, produce an enormous pleasing result!!

A miracle….

With great honour, I am so pleased to announce that AirAsia Cargo has spread its wings and heart to sponsoring the shipment back to Malaysia this year!! However, their generosity goes beyond that. Not only they are sponsoring the shipment to be sent directly to Malaysia, they also arrange transportation for the donations to be picked up personally from our doorsteps to Schiphol airport for screening and re-packing. All this free of charge!

I am still overwhelmed by their prompt reply! Amazing how amaranthine determination can bring you a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

The shipment of donation will be in Malaysia in time for Eidul Fitr 2011


THANK YOU kind individuals who participated in this Project. Without you, this project will not be a success!!!

This one’s for the children

Jan 2010 : The Lingua Franca Foundation is proud to present a special club….

by the children for the children

Founder : Zacharia                             co-Founder: Maryam

“we want to make the world a better place for little people like us.” 

This one’s for the children

    

We will be… in MALAYSIA this August 2010 !

it’s time for us to reveal

 The Safety Net Project is a program associated between Lingua  Lingua Franca Foundation and Hotel Abadi Sdn Bhd (Hotel Abadi Melaka) to promote safe and harmonious ‘win-win’ international exchanges as well as diversity between nations. This project aims to deal with domestic violence against women from abroad and to help them to integrate in the welcoming country or to go back safely to their country of origin and to inform local authority, potential partners and contributors of the current situation and what plans for improvement. It is also a discussion platform for future collaboration from both sides to promote and maintain the durability of the project.

 ”  Somebody you know may need these information badly. The speakers are people with first hand experience on the subject, and have worked with people with similar predicaments. The lesson from their experience is that some problems can be prevented, and it is best if you are prepared before making that big decision! Read the brochure to find out more! “

    

 

 

REGISTER NOW TO SECURE YOUR SEAT

Click here if you wish to pay with the credit card

  

   

The spirit of giving is in everyone. Even the children!

”  You give but little when you give of your possession. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give ”      Khalil Gibran

 

A truly beautiful and worthy quote. Something we all ought to carve onto our hearts indefinitely. Plenty of hearts out there are blackened by the stubborness of penurious and greediness. This is hard to swallow but true in reality. Most people take things all for granted. Plenty of us totally ignore, and some even forget that countless of people out there are so unfortunate, naked and beggared from all the necessities which we humans need to survive. Sadly to say, most of them are children.

 It is not easy to lean a hand, or even to part with some of your precious belongings and (worse!) offer them to anybody who truly needs it. The first thought that usually comes to mind is that: hey, this belongs to me. I worked day and night for this, why should I give it to someone else?  There is a lot of truth in that sentence. People who genuinely work day and night to support themselves and families, they too, deserve to have ‘something’  in life.  Who’s to say that they shouldn’t? However, everybody deserves to have that little ‘something’ too. Nobody deserves any less. After all, part of life is giving…

One thing that all hard working people have in common is that they tend to accumulate material things. Yes, they do. They start spending what they thought they need and most of these ‘stuff’ are all piled up somewhere, either in the attic, or closets, or in the basement, or garages etc. The point is: they collect, they accumulate, they gather. Up to a point where there is no return for some people !

But, seriously! Do they actually need all of these things? Some say, yes, some say, not really, and some even say NO. Imagine, collecting all those things just to say NO at the end. NOPE, I don’t really use it actually. I have no freaking idea why I bought the thing. Shocking, isn’t it? To think that people spent enormous amount of money to buy things they do NOT need.

What about toys? Is that luxurious goods or neccessity? To the ‘little people’, toys are considered as a neccessity. I am not referring to the luxurious, too sophisticated, high-tech toys that only the children of the Rich and Famous could afford. I am talking about the real simple toys. Toys help children to grow and to nourish. Toys also build bridges between children no matter where they are. I am saying this because two of the co-founders of the kids4kids club (created under the Lingua Franca Foundation) have decided that they, too, want to participate in the act of giving.

In order to promote diversity and international exchanges, the Lingua Franca Foundation has gone another step further with it’s activities.  This time, the kids4kids club have decided to part with their beloved toys and give them to other needy children who are at the other side of the globe.  Besides parting with their own toys, they have also collected toys from other children who share the same idea and philosophy  – help and give to other needy children. The children have been collecting toys since January 2010 and have piled up over more than 50 kilos worth of toys (soft, wodden, plastic etc).

Finally, the Lingua Franca Foundation is very proud to annouce that…

On the 10th of  May 2010, the Lingua Franca Foundation has taken it’s wings and flown all the way to the eastern part of the globe : a country called Malaysia. There, Lingua Franca Foundation has marked it’s first donation by giving away their first batch of toys (collected by the kids4kids club) to the director of  Hotel Abadi – a hotel which is located in the state of Melaka.

 This hotel is conducting a special on-going campaign to help distribute used toys and clothing to the poor and needy children in Malaysia. This is an on-going project, therefore, the kids4kids club will continue to collect more toys and also chilren’s clothing for the needy children.

We are also calling for more volunteers who are willing to help gather more toys and children’s clothing in their area. We are also hoping for more collaboration with schools and other institutions for more help.

 If you, your child, your family, your child’s school, your workplace, or anybody who you know, want to participate in this noble project, please contact us by clicking here,

and if you want to support our work by donation, please click here.

 

 

A brief tragic encounter

A dying rose

I was in the city centre when I first met Mea Pia. She was actually a friend of a friend’s. By the look in her eyes, I could see that she was suffering intensely. I predicted it had everything to do with relationship but the subject was never brought up. My friend briefly introduced her to me, but most of my conversation were mostly engaged with my friend instead, until at one point she felt like talking.

“I found out you went through a painful divorce,” she said to me, trying to stir a conversation. All I did were raised my eyebrow and smirked. I didn’t feel like elaborating that topic so I kept silent. I guess because of my ‘cold shoulder’ she decided not to continue the conversation.

Suddenly, until, we met again in the city centre.

“Hi, remember me? Mea Pia…” she touched my shoulder and I quickly turned around. “Ahh.. yes! I remember you. How are you?”

“Not so good,” she sincerely told me. “I’m sorry but I need to talk to you about something. Do you think we could talk privately?”

Continue reading

The Safety Net Project chronicles

Many people are wondering about the progress of the Safety Net Project. Is it fully running? What are the steps the Foundation has taken to achieve its goals? Did we get any response at all? If so, how far?

As the Secretary of the Foundation, a huge part of my duty is networking. Yes, people! Networking. I have to say, these are one of the busiest times in my life – having to juggle my time and fulfill all my responsibilities, inside and outside the scope of Lingua Franca Foundation.

Continue reading

The Journey (5)

It was time. Dalilah looked at her house one more time, just to have the last glance. ‘I promise, I will come back again,’ she mumbled to herself. Then, she slowly pulled her last luggage toward the taxi. This was the last ride to the airport. Then, having to wave goodbye to all her dear friends and relatives before her final set-off to her final destination. She felt relief yet uncertain – intertwined with other mixed feelings which continually dragged her to down and down. Her stomach was twisted, yet again!

She wanted to console and convince herself, that this journey would be the best and the last ride of her life. Her search for true love has finally ended.  Dalilah’s body trembled a little. She smirked. Such a heavy feeling. She felt as if her lunch was reaching the tip of her throat. ‘I should be happy. I should be happy.’ She murmured again.

Continue reading

Piccolingo in the Netherlands?

The Piccolingo logo

As you have read about the Piccolingo – an European program aimed to promote early language learning for preschool children; I am wondering  and strongly hoping that this sort of project is achievable and manageable in the Dutch region.

The Lingua Franca Foundation (Lingua Franca Academy) – is seriously promoting such cause – wanting full exposure for very young children to adapt to more than one language. Having to master more than one language is considered a skill – and to be able to learn and sharpen one skill at a very tender age is a long lasting investment! Not many children having this unique advantage, but those who do, should be given full boost to further their knowledge in this field.

Continue reading

The Journey (4)

Dalilah waited some news from Maarten after he left to his homeland. They had had several contacts through emails and phone calls. Maarten reassured her that everything would be all right since he sensed some uncertainty from Dalilah’s voice whenever they talked. Not knowing what was happening on the other side of the world, Dalillah put all her trust onto Maarten. After all, he’s my husband now, she thought. What could go wrong?

After some legal arrangement in the Netherlands, Maarten told Dalilah to start preparing for her journey to a new home. During that time, Maarten persistently urged Dalilah to sell her business and her property – reassuring her that a new beginning awaited her there with full hope. It wasn’t easy to find a buyer to take over her business, nor to sell her property in a very short period of time. Dalilah didn’t understand either why she needed to sell her property – after all she would like to retire one day in Malaysia with Maarten by her side. Maarten did mention about that idea too over and over again – telling her that Malaysia would be the most ideal retirement place for him. She believed him because she knew there was a lot of truth in it. No doubt about that. Maarten had showed Dalilah that he truly enjoyed his life in Malaysia.

The pressure of wanting to be with her husband and simultaneously needed to sell everything she had made Dalilah very confounded. Some friends couldn’t comprehend her reactions because they detected something wasn’t right with the big move. Especially when she needed to ‘get rid’ of her ‘stuff’ in Malaysia in order to be with her husband. If the husband was understanding enough, this topic shouldn’t even worth thinking of. After all, it was her property, her belonging. Not his. Others took advantage by dragging her down to almost bankruptcy. They offered such ludicrous amount of money that she almost fainted! All in the game of ‘good business’.  Dalilah was desperate. Yet again.

Eventually, after all the troublesome and heartache of having to sell her business, Dalilah decided to keep her house and sold her car – for a ridiculously low price! She wanted to cry since she couldn’t bare to see the amount of loss she accumulated. How could this be possible? Nonetheless, everything she did was out of love. Perhaps this was the sacrifice people were talking about, she thought. Being single is one thing, being married is another, she thought even more.

moving small

Continue reading

The Journey (3)

It was now a matter of confusion. Or rather a matter of insecurity. Almost everybody Dalilah knew settled down after a serious relationship. At least most of them. She didn’t understand what it was so difficult to have a commitment with Maarten. She wanted it, but Maarten seemed to hesitate a lot, especially earlier in their relationship. She didn’t dare to ask nor to mention the word. She was afraid that might drove Maarten away. Far away. Maarten reminded Dalilah over and over about his failures in the past and that gave her the impression that he might not want to settle down for good.

Maarten had had so many relationships in the past. Few were serious but mostly one-night stands. Maarten only targeted women from the same nationality – Malaysians.  He found them sexy and alluring. Their tiny body attracted him so much. Maarten’s too many unsteady relationships gave Dalilah the ugliest impression about himself. Nevertheless, she still wanted to continue being with him. Perhaps the fact that she desperately wanted to be loved so much by a man, the slightest attention from Maarten brought her to another world. Despite the fact Maarten wasn’t really the best man for her, Dalilah thought she could settled for second best. Dalilah didn’t want to spend the rest of her life alone.

Living the life in Asia, Maarten had had it all. He had the idea that Asian women were easier to maintain – on monetary wise, that is. He strongly believed that Asian women were so easy to please and very obedient. He saw how easy it was for him to get free love. Especially being a white man – it was rather convenient to him, as he thought.

Dalilah, on the other hand, who was brought up in such a religious background, didn’t believe in getting or receiving free love. She was constantly haunted and muddled by Maarten’s mixed behaviour. Nonetheless, surprisingly Dalilah got so many positive reactions from her friends and her children that made her wanted to stay with Maarten. His charms wooed her many times over, especially when her children were so fond of him and kept telling Dalilah that ‘he’ is the ‘one’.

At a certain point in their relationship, Maarten decided to seal their rocky turmoil journey by asking Dalilah’s hand in marriage. Shocked, yet excited she immediately replied – ‘yes’. Maarten took Dalilah to choose an engagement ring to tie her down.

Wedding rings

Wedding rings

Continue reading