Last month, Fonterra Brands Malaysia (Fonterra) and non-profit organisation Yayasan Salam held its flagship Back to School event with the Orang Asli children in Kampung Pertak, giving out school supplies and holding a graduation ceremony for students.

At the event, Fonterra distributed school essentials, including school bags, stationery sets and books, to more than 30 students, and also celebrated the graduation of students who had completed their course of studies at the ENHANCE learning centre.

Established by Fonterra and Yayasan Salam in 2013, the ENHANCE (Enhancing Health, Nutrition and Education for Children) centre was created to improve the Orang Asli children’s education, health and nutrition in the Kampung Pertak community.

Manisya Ismail, Co-operative Affairs Manager, Fonterra Brands Malaysia, said the annual Back to School event has been a key part of Fonterra’s programme to uplift the well-being of the Orang Asli community in Kampung Pertak, and provide children with educational opportunities.

“Education is key to creating opportunities in life and employment, and we believe every child should have access to good education. Through the Back to School event, we have been able to help reduce families’ financial burden and more importantly, help lay a strong foundation in education for the children.

Cikgu Atiq, who has been teaching at the ENHANCE centre since it was established, said the school supplies have been essential to the students’ development and have provided greater access to education for the Orang Asli children in the Kampung Pertak community.

“Over the years we’ve seen more children join the ENHANCE learning centre, and this couldn’t have been possible if they didn’t have the basics such as textbooks, stationery and school bags.

“We’ve seen tremendous progress in the children’s learning abilities and personal development. Some of them couldn’t even recognise numbers, shapes and colours before they had joined the programme. We are grateful to Fonterra and Yayasan Salam for all their help and support, which have provided these children with so many more opportunities.”