KUCHING – Children from Peryatim, or Sarawak Orphans Welfare Association, were treated to a breaking of fast dinner at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, recently.
The 37 children, from age five to 15 and mostly smartly dressed in baju kurung and baju melayu, joined the staff and students of the university as well as other invited guests to end the day’s fasting.
Professor Helmut Lueckenhausen, the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Swinburne Sarawak, started off the event by giving out vouchers of a popular fast-food restaurant chain to the children.
The gathering was organized by university staff and members of the student council. The committee was headed by Haji Hussain Bin Taiban, who is the Registrar and Director of Student Operations.
“This is our annual event where we invite our business partners, schools, students, staff and welfare homes to the breaking of fast at Swinburne Sarawak followed by terawikh,” said Haji Hussain.
He said that besides experiencing the local culture the gathering also helps to make the university’s international students feel at home.
For many of the children from Peryatim, it was the first time they set foot on a university.
“The gathering is a nice opportunity to visit a university. It’s my first visit here and it’s been an eye opener after getting to know the students and staff, and especially the international students. It has taught me that although we may be different in race or religion, the most important thing is to have respect for each other,” said 15-year-old Natasha Binti Luffti.
“I have learnt quite a lot about Swinburne Sarawak although I’ve only been here for a short while and I will cherish this moment. My dream is to go to university one day so this is a motivation for me to study hard and to achieve that dream,” said Nur Sidqi Hidayatul Faizzah Naruddin, 15.
Also present at the breaking of fast with the Peryatim children were Syeed Mohd Hussien Bin Wan Abd Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Modern Management, members of his staff and representatives from various schools in the city.