Fifty Vale volunteers, comprising Vale employees and their family members, ran a 5-km race from Sekolah Semangat Maju, Sitiawan and back, to raise awareness on the importance of keeping a healthy lifestyle before heading on to develop a ‘sensory room’ at the school. The room is aimed to promote learning and development for the 60 special needs school children.
The volunteer initiative was carried out in celebration of the Global Vale Volunteers programme’s 10th year anniversary and their annual V-Day celebration, an event where Vale Volunteers around the world gather to make a difference to the lives of others.
In setting up the ‘sensory room’, the volunteers utilised the toys and facilities donated by Vale’s employees and contractors aimed to enhance the interaction, discovery and communication of the special needs children through increased awareness of their surroundings. These environments encourage stimulation of the senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, which are crucial elements in daily life.
Maintenance manager of Vale in Malaysia, Alexandre Carneiro said, “We hope that with the setting up of the ‘sensory room’, it could create a stimulating and enjoyable yet calming atmosphere for the children.” He added, “Vale has always been emphasizing the importance of educational activities in its volunteer and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in contributing to a better quality of life, and we do hope that this little contribution of ours will make way for better learning and development for these children.”
K. Muthu, chairman of Sekolah Semangat Maju, Sitiawan, said that “I’m very grateful to Vale, who took the initiative to organise this event as it creates awareness on the needs of children with intellectual disabilities, which unfortunately is still quite taboo in today’s society. This kind of realisation and contributions of an organisation like Vale makes this planet a better place to live.”