Home Lifestyle Touch ‘n Go Touch ‘n Go Group Empowers Children with Learning Disabilities Through Volunteer Efforts
Home Lifestyle Touch ‘n Go Touch ‘n Go Group Empowers Children with Learning Disabilities Through Volunteer Efforts

Touch ‘n Go Group Empowers Children with Learning Disabilities Through Volunteer Efforts

In a heartwarming initiative and recognising the importance of community involvement, Touch ‘n Go Group has taken the lead in rallying volunteers to make a positive impact on the lives of children with learning disabilities by assisting in the regular hippotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions organised by IDEAS Autism Centre for their members.

Volunteers from Touch ‘n Go assist the children from IDEAS Autism Center during a hydrotherapy session held at Kompleks Renang Sri Siantan, Batu Caves. The therapy session is fundamental for autistic children as it helps with sensory stimulation, motor skills development, communication and socialising, and relaxation.

With the mission to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for these children, these volunteers have become champions of change through their compassionate efforts. Besides fostering an atmosphere of trust, empathy, and love, they also forged meaningful connections with the children by helping them mount and dismount horses during their regular hippotherapy sessions and supporting or simply providing companionship throughout their hydrotherapy sessions in the swimming pool.

The IDEAS Autism Center serves as a haven for children with various learning disabilities, providing them with specialized education, therapies, and resources tailored to their individual needs. The hippotherapy treatment is beneficial in promoting sensory stimulation through rhythmic movements, as horse riding initiates a certain pattern that activates the pelvis located down the spine. It helps to expand their paraspinal muscles, as well as improve their overall motor skills given the activity’s requirement of maintaining balance and fluid adaptability, while hydrotherapy or water therapy helps to regulate their motor and sensory inputs, in addition to improving their sense of balance and strength.

“Touch ‘n Go Group has always been passionate about supporting the neurodivergent community. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and achieve their full potential, regardless of their challenges,” says Lum Joy Deng, Chief Corporate Development Officer of Touch ‘n Go Sdn Bhd. “Our volunteers have embraced this belief wholeheartedly and demonstrate unwavering dedication in creating a brighter future for these children”.

The impact of their efforts resonates not only with the children but also with the families who entrust IDEAS Autism Center with their loved ones’ well-being. The volunteers’ commitment has not only enriched the lives of the children but also created a culture of understanding and acceptance that will become a source of inspiration for the broader community to get involved and create lasting change.

Touch ‘n Go Group began collaborating with IDEAS Autism in 2022 through the development of a pre-vocational programme spanning over a year, where they focused on increasing vocational training and employment access for youths aged 10 to 14 on the autism spectrum, predominantly from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, the Group also participated in spreading awareness about the organisation’s services and their emphasis on empowering children on the spectrum, in accordance with World Autism Day in April 2023.

“We look forward to having more collaborations with IDEAS Autism and providing further resources and opportunities for autistic children from underprivileged backgrounds,” Lum continues. “Regardless of their backgrounds, every neurodivergent individual deserves to live a fulfilling life without any worries of ableism and other sources of discrimination.”

At the hippotherapy session in Rubinga Heritage, Gombak, volunteers from Touch ‘n Go assist the children from IDEAS Autism Center with putting on safety gear, carrying them on and off the horses, and entertaining them to ensure they stayed within the permissible boundaries of the park.

The Touch ‘n Go Group’s sustainability framework is aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that centers around four pillars – Tech 4 Good, Treating People Fairly, Digital Inclusion, and Our Planet. Under the Treating People Fairly pillar, the Group places social inclusivity with utmost importance, with hopes of raising the voice for the voiceless and providing opportunities for the underprivileged.

In a similar breath, the Group has established a long-term collaboration with the United Voice, an NGO that focuses on individuals with learning disabilities. In September 2022, the Group launched a set of limited edition specially designed Touch ‘n Go cards incorporating paintings by United Voice’s artists, and in January 2023, initiated the first corporate social responsibility (CSR)-linked Visa prepaid card and featured one of the artists’ paintings on its card design.

The Group also collaborated with the Spastic Children’s Association of Selangor & Federal Territory and fully funded the construction of the Sunshine Cafeteria, which provides a safe space for individuals with cerebral palsy to develop basic entrepreneurial skills and empower themselves in entering the labour force. Other projects involving the differently abled included bringing the students on a shopping spree, celebrating World Cerebral Palsy Day together, and assisting the teachers in conducting storytelling and recycling activities.

The Group has partnered with Yayasan Gamuda's Enabling Academy since 2022, allocating internship opportunities in Touch ‘n Go for their graduates who are on the autism spectrum. To exemplify its ongoing commitment to uplifting the differently abled, Touch ‘n Go has initiated hiring neurodivergent individuals, in collaboration with T8 Capital, Infinite Minds Academy, and Enabling Academy.

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