When I told my students about the run, one of them asked, “Why would people want to come and run with us?” It struck me really hard. I said, “Because there are people out there who care about you.” – Nigel Sim
Nigel is a 2014 Fellow who teaches English in Sekinchan. He constantly thinks of ways to expose his students to the world beyond the little town they live in. Nigel signed some of his students up for the Sekinchan Paddy Run because they love sports. But he didn’t stop there.
Inspired by the #RedCampaign, Nigel came up with an idea to get mentors to “Run with the kids, for the kids”, to give his students the opportunity to share their dreams with people who will hopefully inspire them to realise their potential.
XtraMiler, Alexander Au Yong, and pilot, Ram Pillay, caught Nigel’s vision, and came on board to help mentor the students for a day.
Chan & Ram
Meet Chan*. He is a Form 2 student in a school near a paddy field. Chan is a soft-spoken and outgoing young man. His teachers describe him as a proactive individual, always taking the initiative for his own growth. When asked of his ambition, Chan says that he wants to be a pilot when he grows up. This is because he dreams of going to different places around the world, especially Paris, his favourite city.
Running alongside him at the Sekinchan Paddy Run, was Ram Pillay, a 27 year-old pilot from Firefly airlines. Ram was Chan’s mentor for the day. While they ran together under Sekinchan’s clear blue skies, Ram and Chan bonded over their shared passion for flying.
“I’m really thankful that Ram came all the way to Sekinchan to run with me. He told me that I need to get 5Cs in SPM to become a pilot. So I have to study hard.” – Chan
Chan has never met a pilot before and no one in his family shares his passion so he was extremely excited to meet Ram. He asked Ram many questions and listened attentively as Ram shared how he overcame various struggles and challenges to be where he is today. Ram then encouraged Chan to never stop pursuing his dreams, and also gave him his old aviator badge to keep him motivated.
“What I learnt from Chan today is that he is a very dedicated and enthusiastic boy who aspires to be a pilot. Being a pilot is something I dreamt about since I was very little. To learn that there are kids who want to be in this profession is really inspiring, and it makes me want to groom them to become the best they can be” – Ram
Chan’s story shows us that what seems to be the smallest of actions can create a significant impact in a child’s life. Whether you are a teacher like Nigel or someone who believes in our mission like Ram, we can all play a part in shaping the future for our children.
You can help us impact more lives too. Start a #RedCampaign at redcampaign.my
*Student’s name has been changed to protect his identity.