PETALING JAYA: Some are born with life-altering obstacles, while others may not be aware of just how fortunate they are.
With this in mind, the students of Hua Xia International School in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, are championing fellow students who may never know a “normal” life like theirs: those with special needs.
The Hua Xia Fun Run 2023, a charity event to be held in Serdang in December, is aimed at providing better resources and facilities for children at the Orlin Special Needs School in Putrajaya.
Speaking with FMT Lifestyle, Hua Xia International School head Robabeh Zabihzadeh explained that they wanted their students to “realise their privilege and understand the challenges faced by other children in this country”.
She shared that the idea was planted before the pandemic, when Hua Xia organised visits for its students to other special-needs schools.
The lockdowns and resultant sedentary routines further fuelled their determination to hold a large-scale event.
“When we visited Orlin, we immediately felt it was the right place, that this school and its children were where our contributions need to go,” Robabeh said.
Established in 2010, the Orlin Special Needs School caters to about 40 students aged two to 18. Going beyond quality education, it serves as a holistic care centre that even provides physiotherapy sessions for the children.
Its founder, Norlinda Maso’od, shared that she was “surprised and overwhelmed” by the idea for the Fun Run. “They’re the first organisation to extend a hand with funds for us,” she told FMT Lifestyle.
Monies generated from participant ticket sales will go towards establishing a sensory light-therapy room, named “Snooze Land”, which will “make a huge difference” for the special-needs kids, Norlinda added.
“Having a calming environment is crucial for children with special needs,” she further explained. “When they focus even on ceiling lights and relax for an hour or so, it improves their concentration while studying.”
These special lights, however, are very expensive, estimated to cost in the region of RM50,000.
“That’s why our target is to host at least 500 participants in the Fun Run so we can collect enough funds to help them set up this therapy room,” Robabeh said.
As of press time, approximately 150 students from Hua Xia are gearing up for the run, alongside many others from various participating schools.
“Our students are very excited and are even promoting the event among their neighbours,” Robabeh added warmly. “Some of our alumni are also returning to help out on the day.”
Hua Xia is inviting those aged 12 years and above, including parents and educators, to run alongside its students in support of the cause. For those who are less keen on running, there will be a lineup of enjoyable family activities as well.
“All in all, this event is designed to foster a sense of community and to encourage students to engage in physical activity,” Robabeh added.
“I hope it will spread awareness about special-needs children, and that, in the future, more schools can receive the support they need,” Norlinda concluded.
Hua Xia Fun Run 2023
Dec 9 (Saturday), 7am-11am
For further enquiries, contact programme manager Mageswaran at 016-250 0134 or email [email protected].
Finally, learn more about the Orlin Special Needs School here.