From a Wall of Kindness to “From Me to You” – SDSN Malaysia Youth Brings to Life SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
If kindness were a person, we make it our aim that she finds her permanent stay right here on Sunway Campus. Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Malaysia Youth are here to serve!
What is this project about? A heart-to-heart kindness postcard delivery service.
Six students banding together from the Victoria University Bachelor in Business (VUBB) programme bring to you their latest instalment of kindness intervention to instil the culture of kindness on Sunway Campus. You may have heard of their last initiative, the Wall of Kindness back in August 2022. This time it is “From Me to You”.
A remarkable initiative to encourage pen meeting paper as a channel for heartfelt words to be communicated from me to you, from you to them, from them to you, so on and so forth! For two weeks, passers by were enticed to join the cause to convey their heartfelt thoughts to the people who have made a difference in their life.
Once they finished writing their note(s), they would walk up to the post box and physically drop the note. The magic of receiving a note from someone you’ve known was a part of the project. Reading the words their mouth never quite mustered the courage to say. Once the postcard was dropped, a member of the team would collect them, as Santa would, and send a personalised message to inform the recipient that they had a surprise note.
A postcard, with all its simplicity, has a magical way of delivering the human touch. Some took a few minutes to write, penning down simple messages such as: “great Tai Chi instructor.” Others took some time to share their feelings towards cherished parts of their relationship.
Each postcard was sold for RM1. For this small amount, a person has to put in much more effort to think of a recipient, decide the message which is suitable, and put pen to paper. This was the hardest part. However, once they began writing, many participants were surprised that they ran out of space. Indeed we found that the heart contains far more than paper can ever hold!
One of the participants, an international student from Indonesia, was touched when asked about her experience writing the postcard. She and her friend opted to write an open message to a random stranger. They wrote well wishes, telling the recipient to persevere despite their current experience. She realised the project had an immense impact on her when asked to share one word to encapsulate the experience.
A simple intervention was carried out to find out how writing kind notes impacted people. As frequently as possible, SDSN Malaysia Youth asked postcard writers to tune into their immediate feelings before and after writing. Some said there was no difference. Some were speechless, finding it hard to identify a feeling or change in them. Some felt the fun in the project, and others were deeply touched, as was the student in the paragraph above.
The power of kindness can change a person’s state in an instant. This was seen in unparalleled thrill when participants picked up their post cards. Staff and students were asked about their feelings upon receiving a surprise postcard. The soothing quality from a physical note made the bid for connection felt more deeply than a text message or an email.
Internally, kindness was in abundance as well! SDSN Sunway was more than willing to provide the seed-funding to help kick off this project by covering the postcard material and printing cost. It was a huge aid in enabling this project to take off the ground. The kindness did not end there, the minds behind FM2U pooled their resources together and was able to form a contract with Giving Opportunities For Learning Disabled (GOLD). Utilizing the booth they had booked to also sell the products manufactured by GOLD staff while also promoting their cause to the masses at Sunway. Donations towards 58 jars of homemade cookies and 5 handmade notebooks amounted to RM1,094.
Running in tandem with the postcard sales, generous donors joined an Affiliate Programme where every sale of a postcard would be matched with a RM 1 being donated directly to GOLD (up to the donors determined amount). Through sheer generosity alone, RM 374 was donated to GOLD! The project also generated RM480 as seed funding for future SDG projects.
The SDSN Malaysia Youth team collected the feelings of students and staff before and after they wrote postcards.
By the end of the first week, all 240 cards ran out. Another 240 were printed for Week 2, which ran out on the final day. Kindness abounds on campus.
SDSN Malaysia Youth is guided by the SDSN Malaysia Chapter Secretariat, located within the SDSN Asia office, hosted by Sunway University. From Me to You is a Sunway Education Group Campus with a Conscience project.
The project organisers express a special thanks to the Facilities Service Department, the Branding and Corporate Communications Department, Karen Chand, Prof Alvin Ng, Karen Lau, Ng Beng Lean, Dr Jason Cheok and Victoria University Staff and Students for their invaluable insights and on the ground support. Special mention of Samantha Liew from Victoria University for her linking SDSN and Victoria University.
Professional Photo Credit: Darren Yoong.
It goes to show that you can become a part of something more, and it all starts with being a part of someone more! Let us press forward hand in hand, excited about what a sustainable future may hold for Sunway University!
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