Walkabrella sets a new Malaysian record

Hundreds of people gathered at Central Park 1Utama last Sunday, as early as 7am to participate in a walk-for-a-cause called "Walkabrella".

Organised by Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU) students in conjunction with Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah (PPKKCTM) to create awareness on Cerebral Palsy and to enter The Malaysian Book of Records for a walk with the most number of people participating in this walk-for-a-cause with their umbrellas open during the event

Walkabrella drew 1,321 people who participated in a noncompetitive 4km walk within the vicinity of Bandar Utama, breaking Malaysia's record for the largest number of participants in a walk-for-a-cause with umbrellas open!

Yet the essence of it all was centred on creating awareness on Cerebral Palsy, particularly highlighting the plight of children at Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah (PPKKCTM) who suffer from it.

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain abnormality that restrains the child's mobility, balance, posture and muscle control.

Statistics show that an estimated 47,044 children in Malaysia suffer from the condition. In support of the cause and leading the walk were Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua. Also gracing the event was KDU College Sdn Bhd CEO and principal Dr Chia Chee Fen.

"What we have today is a highly symbolic event. From the exceptionally unique name 'Walkabrella' to the white and blue colours on the umbrellas, the embedded meaning is highly significant to the objective, which serves to enlighten us on Cerebral Palsy, a common neurological disorder that occurs in approximately two out of every 1,000 newborn children," said Chew in her keynote address.

"More often, children with disabilities have been excluded and segregated from the mainstream of society.

Some of them are even abandoned or neglected by their family. Due to their special needs, children with disabilities encounter myriads of physical and social barriers and challenges that impede them from having equal rights and opportunities like other children."

Earlier in the semester, the KDU students conducted extensive research to identify and shortlist deserving NGOs in the Klang Valley.

After much deliberation, the class appointed PPKKCTM as beneficiary of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) project. The decision was largely based on locality, health status and multi-cultural background of the children.

Following the appointment of the beneficiary, the class transformed itself into a public relations consultancy named DEMi, where each student assumed a specific role within their classroom-based consultancy.

"Our approach to learning public relations goes beyond the conventional classroom setting. Lectures were in the form of formal boardroom meetings to simulate the corporate setting and tutorial slots were utilised for field
work such as discussions with sponsors and parties associated with this CSR project.

"By creating a realistic environment, students are exposed to real workings of the industry and they are graded based on their competency in dealing with a myriad of situations or issues," said Hardip Singh, KDU public relations lecturer and advisor of the Walkabrella project.

The walk was followed by an array of activities at Central Park and giveaways sponsored by Tupperware, BodyXpress, Tetra Pak and One World Hotel, to name a few.

Everyone grooved to the music that filled the air by local acts like John's Mistress, the Bus Company, Effigy, Senioritas, Stalking Shannon and An Honest Mistake.

Families also gathered at the bazaar for food, games and a live CPR demonstration provided by first-aid medics of Puteri Malaysia Ambulance.

A booth was also set up, dedicated to the beneficiary, where representatives of PPKKCTM and four physiotherapists were stationed to give first hand exposure on Cerebral Palsy and educate the audience by communicating directly with them.

This event marks one of KDU’s many causerelated initiatives that stem from executive chairman of Paramount Corp Datuk Teo Chiang Quan’s vision in nurturing the community through education.

Entry fee is only RM10, you will get an umbrella and goodie bag that is worth more than the money you paid.. All funds raised will go to PPKKCTM. For further info, please visit www.walkabrella.com.

Source - The Malay Mail



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