From laggard to leader

When Sundra Mohan, 13, first walked into the Hiichiikok Foundation Home for Children Care in March this year, he was suffering from low self-esteem and largely kept to himself. Some half-a-year as one of the Home’s first residents, Mohan is now class monitor in his school, SM Methodist Sentul, and beams with self confidence.

Mohan’s transformation did not happen overnight. It was the persistence and care showered by the Home’s caretakers that helped instill that self-confidence in Mohan, who is studying in Remove Class.

“When he first came, he was very reserved and kept sticking to his sister, who came together with him,” said Diana Ooi manager for the Hiichiikok Foundation. “He only spoke very basic English and Malay and at that time, he was already not schooling for three months.”

For the first two months, the siblings kept plotting to run away from the Home, and even staged a sit-in, to protest against being sent there. Eventually, they realised it was pointless joining their homeless parents who lived under a highway.

This was when Mohan started to change his attitude. He started to open up and reached out to the other kids and care-givers. Seeing the improvement, Mohan was tasked with supervising other boys, including making sure that they perform the duties they had been assigned to, like watering plants.

Whenever there was an event at the Home, he would clean up the area without being told. That sense of responsibility saw him being recommended for a year-long motivational and leadership programme by My Shinning Star Foundation, which started last June.

His grades in school also started to improve and teachers in school were full of praise for Mohan. “One day, after his mid-year examinations, he rushed to the Foundation’s office after school to say that he had passed his English subject. He had never passed the subject before. He was so happy!” said Ooi.

From being a laggard in class, Mohan now a class monitor, said he could now see himself graduating from university one day.

Mohan’s success story underlies what the Home stands for – it does not just provide a roof over the heads of the underprivileged. It is a place to shape these children so that they have a better future and to bring out the best in them.

The Home not only provides shelter for the kids, but also moulds them into becoming a better person 

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