Photo (above): Elephant sanctuary trip with F&N
Name: Sarah Tan Li Ern
Course/University: AUSMAT in Methodist College Kuala Lumpur
Experience: Facilitator in F&N’s corporate social responsibility activity visit to Kuala Gandah’s Elephant Sanctuary, with Rumah Ilham
I initially signed up as a facilitator for what was not the purest of intentions; it was mainly due to my love for elephants. However, what I took away from our trip to the elephant sanctuary was much more than I bargained for, as I learnt many precious lessons from the 39 boys of Rumah Ilham.
Here are a few of them:
As one of the stationmasters for the games, I was a first-hand witness to the extraordinary teamwork displayed by the boys. Most, if not all of them, were efficient in lining up together and communicating to one another – something that was especially evident to me as my game required great cohesiveness as a team. I noticed how the older ones would immediately guide the younger ones patiently and was struck at how natural responsibility came to them.
After all the fun and games, our group was brought to see the elephants. Once the feeding session was over, the boys were finally allowed in to bathe with the elephants – supposedly the highlight of the trip. However, due to some complications, only half of them were allowed in. Upset, our chief facilitator turned to the boys to explain the situation. Before he could provide any suggestions with how we could decide on which ones would go in, the older ones of the group volunteered to be excluded without much hesitation.
From the previously played station games, the points collected by the various teams were then tallied up and converted into monetary contributions by F&N towards the conservation centre. Alongside the boys, everyone was proud of the large sum that they had managed to obtain, as well as happy to be giving.
I personally felt that the qualities exhibited by the boys of Rumah Ilham were too admirable not to be shared.
It is so easy to speak of the good qualities that we need to possess, and in this case, I am reminded of the many impressive qualities I wish to possess. With that, I am reminded of the need to re-evaluate how I am practising these characteristics in my life and how I plan to walk the talk, just like these boys.
Related article: Of Elephants And Collaboration