In conjunction with the inaugural Leaps of Knowledge talk featuring world-renowned speaker Nick Vujicic, FrogAsia hosted 500 students and teachers at an exclusive, intimate afternoon event with the inspirational speaker. Held at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre and sponsored by the YTL Foundation, Inspiring Dreams: An Afternoon with Nick Vujicic was a great opportunity for students and teachers from schools all over the Klang Valley to be inspired by Nick’s life story and his example of rising above challenges.
Imagine living a life without limbs - that is the everyday reality for Nick Vujicic. Born in 1982 without arms and legs, Nick has challenged and overcome expectations of what he can and cannot do. Today, he’s an author, musician, actor, and his hobbies include fishing, painting and swimming. Nick’s story is a heartening one of what it means to believe in yourself and to have faith to keep pushing on.
Believing that Nick’s message was an important one to hear, especially for students who face many disadvantages and setbacks that they have little control over, we invited over 100 underprivileged students from the Dignity for Children Foundation, the Home of Peace, The Edge Foundation and SMPK Setapak, one of the only schools in Malaysia dedicated to education visually impaired students who are completely or partially blind. Over 90 students from high-need Teach For Malaysia schools were also invited to this special talk. The rest of the audience comprised of teachers and students from FrogAsia’s 1BestariNet Champion Schools, staff from Teach for Malaysia and students from the six Interact Clubs that make up the Interact Coordinating Committee Petaling Jaya (ICCPJ).
The audience were captivated by Nick as they watched him deliver his talk, which touched on many important issues that students could relate to, especially on the bullying that occurs in schools everywhere. Students were urged to treat each other with respect and love, to forgive those who have bullied them and to be an encouragement and a friend to their peers instead of being bullies.
After his talk, a few students were given the opportunity to tell Nick what they learnt that day.
Ishan of Catholic High School stood up to thank Nick, saying that he had learned how to overcome his fears and be more thankful of the people in his life, before choking up in tears. It was a moving moment when Nick invited Ishan down to the stage to give him a hug.
Nick and Ishan from Catholic High School
“I used to think of myself as a lazy person. Today I told myself, hey Aliza, if Nick can do it, so can you. I learned that in order to be successful, we must not stop at the first step. All the big things in life start at the first step,” said Aliza from the Dignity for Children Foundation.
FrogAsia also managed to speak to a few of the students after the event, to find out what they thought. Among them were the students from Home of Peace, Shammiah and Susanna.
“What impressed us most was that Nick told us to love our enemies - because when we went to public school we were bullied a lot,” said Shammiah and Susanna. “We were really angry and hated the people who bullied us but now we will try to love them because we don’t want to be like that.”
“I realised that in life, we should endure all the challenges that come to us,” said Nur Effah Syafiqah, a visually impaired student from SMPK Setapak. “Once we get through it, we will have a brighter future. Though I am visually impaired, it does not affect my future. I want to succeed in my studies.”
Nick closed by challenging the audience to take the initiative to show kindness, mutual respect and self-confidence to others and to be the change they wished to see.
Read more about Leaps of Knowledge, a special evening attended by over 1,600 students, parents and children that took place on the same date and also featured Nick Vujicic.
What is Leaps of Knowledge?
Leaps of Knowledge is a series of talks, seminars, workshops and conferences presented by FrogAsia that aim to inspire and enlighten Malaysians with a focus on how education can be transformed through the use of technology and the Internet. The series will see the world’s leading educators, technologists, thinkers and personalities share their thoughts and ideas to foster public discourse on education in Malaysia, and to encourage students and teachers in Malaysia to make the most of the information age.
The first talk held on 30 August featured motivational speaker Nick Vujicic who was born without arms or legs. Nick shared his experiences in overcoming challenges and leveraging technology as a platform to spread positivity and encourage others. Stay tuned for the next Leaps of Knowledge session featuring Professor Sugata Mitra, conductor of the Hole in the Wall experiment, coming your way in December 2013.