PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia-based #StandTogether National Kindness Week school movement is inspiring organisations in other countries across the region to join in the “Kindness Revolution”.
Bullying Crisis Centre from Indonesia, Coalition Against Bullying with Children and Youth (CABCY) from Singapore, Childline Thailand and Hong Kong’s Young Post – the youth section of South China Morning Post – hope to bring the campaign to schools in their respective countries.
“It’s a really impactful campaign, and having seen how much effect it’s had in Malaysia, it was a no-brainer to bring it to Hong Kong,” said Young Post deputy editor Karly Cox.
The campaign was initiated by R.AGE and property developer SP Setia in 2017 to counter rising bullying cases in schools and create a new culture of kindness across the country.
The main aim of the campaign is to have an annual National Kindness Week on the first week of April in schools, where students can be empowered to run their own kindness projects.
Over 700 schools registered for the programme in its first year, and it is now fully endorsed by the Education Ministry.
“I was particularly inspired by the idea of a National Kindness Week. We don’t have that in Indonesia, which is why I wanted to bring it over,” said Lufti Arya, head of Bullying Crisis Centre
“Hopefully in time, we’ll be able to make our schools a safer and kinder place for children.”
Both teachers and students can contribute to National Kindness Week.
Teachers can register their schools to be part of the campaign, after which they will receive a free Kindness Week programme developed by experts.
Students can participate in the Kindness Competition by submitting their own Kindness Project ideas. The best ideas will receive grant funding of up to RM1,000 or US$250 to implement the ideas.
Ethan Seow, executive committee member of CABCY, said he has already received interest from teachers in Singapore.
“Teachers really like the idea and are excited because the topic is so relevant,” he said.
“Around the world, we’re seeing less and less regard for kindness in our world leaders, so it’s important to discuss these topics with our children – what constitutes bullying?”
However, Seow predicted that bringing the campaign over and implementing it within their countries will be no easy task.
“Coordination will be the biggest challenge. There are already seven of us working on the project, but we’re looking for more people who can liaise with the schools and get this conversation started.”
Still, he, Lufti and Cox are eager to join the kindness revolution.
“It’s such a wonderful thing to encourage this environment of positivity, and if we can be a small part of this campaign, I think we could make a big difference,” said Cox.
For more information on the #StandTogether campaign and the Kindness Competition, go to www.standtogether.my or www.standtogether.my/international for schools outside Malaysia.