Friday, November 16, 2012

Latest Updates on Mentari Project

This is the 5th year Mentari Project has been up and running and thankfully, with the generosity of our donors and the everlasting support from our fellow volunteers, Mentari Project is still going strong packed with classes and fun activities! We currently have 50 active students ranging from 7 - 17 years old. 

This school holidays, the classes are going to be a little different because the theme this year end is "Respect and Responsibility". It is quite interesting to explore the many aspects of respect and responsibility and teaching it to these kids. We will learn together with the kids the true meaning of these values and the importance of applying it in our every day life. 

We hope to have more volunteers joining us too this year end! Please do inform us if you are interested in coming to the weekend classes. 

On another note, we realise that this blog has not been updated for quite some time. However, you can find all the latest updates of Mentari Project from 2011 on our facebook page:

In the next entry, we will give a quick re-cap of all the activities Mentari Project has conducted for the kids since 2010. 

Thank you for support and remember, Let's Do It For The Kids! 

God bless. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mural Painting with Phil Yeah

On the 27th of February, Phil Yeh along with his lovely wife Linda and a few of his KL based friends Glen and Jill paid the Mentari Project a wonderful and artful visit. They came with the intentions of painting a Mural on the shutters of the new Mentari Project Center and also 4 canvas painting for the kids to paint.

Before we start on the event, here is a small introductions to the artist, Phil Yeh.

Phil Yeh is and american cartoonist that travels the world promoting arts and literacy for over 20 years. He does Murals at schools, museums and other locations and talks to the kids about the importance of reading. He has many books under his years of illustrations wheree his main character is the Winged Tiger. you can check it out at;

The day started of wih Phil creating the drawings on the canvas for the kids to paint.

As Phil was drawing on the canvas, the other volunteers helped to apply the varnish on the shutters.
Above are Glen and Jill who along with Afif was the architect of this event.

A few volunteers from CIMB hard at work painting a sun on the fully varnished shutter.

As the volunteers busied themselves with the Mural outside, the kids are busy with their own pieces of art inside the center.

On your marks, get set, Start Painting!

Every kid has a turn at the brush. Its all about teamwork by taking turns.

Phil donating to the our modest library with his wonderful book featuring his favourite character the Winged Tiger.

Phil teaches the kids how to become a cartoonist by drawing

Phil took time off to tell the kids where he came from with the help of a world map.

Phil teaching the kids to add more detail to the work.

The girls very happy with their work of art.

We even had the time to teach the kids a song. above is Paulyn trying to teach the kids "Heal The world" by the late Micheal Jackson.

Group photo ending an amazing day with the one and only Phil Yeh.

Thank you to all the Volunteers, the kids, Glen, Jill, Afif, Linda and Phil for making this day a wonderful memory.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Mentari Project Center

Salam and hello everyone.

We've moved from the 10th floor; sharing premises with a kindergarten to our own place still at Block 8 but now on the ground floor in a shop lot. We remain true to our vision of providing a place where the Mentari kids can have a fun learning experience while becoming independent learners. we were very lucky to find a place that had tiled floors and walls with a dream location that was right in front of a drink stall owned by a parent of a Mentari Project pioneer student.

Here are some pictures of the Mentari Project Learning Activity Centre. 

Shelves courtesy of Mr KS Lau who donated them.

Our picture wall of past activities as arranged by the kids themselves
 (Yes, we need stronger adhesive!) 

Our main classroom where we will conduct our weekly classes. 

Finally our mini library / reading corner. 

Sadly the weather took its toll on our banner. Therefore there aren't any pictures from the front of the center. 

It is still a work in progress but at least it's a good start. Anyone who would like to contribute to make this place a better place for kids to come and study and hangout can just come over at No. 3 Block 8, Ground floor (B8-G-03) PJS 5/4 Desa Mentari or contact us at 

 We had our first class on Saturday 16 Jan for the Year 4, 5 and 6.  We started with a short BM Comprehension Mini Test and English Quiz for baseline and diagnostic measures and continued with an ice-breaking cum grammar session with the 'Tall, Taller, Tallest" game. Next time we'll follow up with exercises on comparatives and written sentences using the comparatives. 

We want to kids to listen actively and check their vocab in both BM and English so we played the Echo game which had the kids give the name of an animal. The child next to them will translate it into BM and then name another animal. The most unique animals named were "hyena aka dubuk (Irwan checked the dictionary for all of us for that one), dolphin,owl and kangaroo". Next time, we'll have categories and sentences. 

The main activity for the kids was one that combined a written task (writing a thank you note )  with creative thinking (designing a card) using both BM and English. The kids worked in groups and came up with different cards to thank our benefactors - those who donated furniture and materials and sponsored the centre and all our activities. 

The kids who finished early then gravitated naturally to playing board word games or reading the books at the mini-library. All in all in was a fun first session. Here's hoping that today's Sunday class with the older kids be an even better one. 

Special Thanks to Paulynn and Fei Yi for entering the fray with great enthusiam and gusto! Aidil, Syafiqah, Nad and even Hanif were the seniors who came to help out their juniors and they did a great job. Thanks kids!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mentari Project Open Day 2010

Salam and hello everyone, 

We now have come into our third year since the Mentari Project started. We sure had some ups and downs over the past couple of years and now it is time for the Mentari Project to encounter a new chapter. 

As some of you know, the Mentari Project has finally acquired our own premises for our weekly activities. This sunday on January 10th, 2010 at 2pm, we will be organizing our Open Day 2010. We will be registering new kids, introduce what we do to new volunteers as well as commemorating our new premises. 

Therefore, we invite everyone to come and join us and meet the kids of Desa Mentari. Also, we would really appreciate any suggestion that would make the Mentari Project a sustainable success. 

Below are the basic details of Mentari Project's Open Day:

The location : Taman Desaria, Desa Mentari, PJS 5/4 Block 8 B8-G-03.
The date      : Sunday (10/1) 
The time      : 2 pm until 5 pm

here is a link to a map of our place:

(look for PJS 5/4) 

p.s we do need a few volunteers to help us out during the registration of the new kids as well as the preparations before the Open Day. Anyone who are willing to help can contact me at thank you. 

Warm regards,
Yasir Osman.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A trip to Aquaria

Salam and Hello to everyone.

The Mentari Project is planning to have a trip to Aquaria for the kids and inviting everyone to come and join in.  We plan to have the trip on the 14th of November 2009 (Saturday) since all of the kid's exams will be finished and before their school holidays starts. Usually the kids will be going of to their respective Kampungs during their holidays. 

For those who are unfamiliar to Aquaria, it is a world class next-generation commercial aquarium situated in KLCC Convention Center (as said in the brochure). It houses many aquatic and land-bound creatures, it is highly interactive and educational, and also conducts feeding sessions where the kids will get to see them feed the sharks and other animals.  

Basic details:

The tickets will be paid for by us and all we need are volunteers to guide and keep the kids safe during the trip. Tentatively, we will bring about 30 kids to the trip therefore would need at least 8-10 volunteers (the more the merrier). The food will be taken care of by Dayana from CIMB and we will sort the transportation for the kids. We will use the buddy system and have 2 volunteers for a each group of 4-6 kids. We will also prepare a question paper for each kid to solve based on what they will see and learn in Aquaria.

We will like have the final tally of the number of participants by the middle of next week. Anyone who are free and would like to join us just confirm through email or call me at 017-6362047 (Yasir). Hope to hear from all of you soon. 

Warm regards, 

Monday, November 2, 2009

JUST Children update

Our apologies for the lack of updates this past year. This entry will have to suffice as a summary of the Mentari Voluntary Tution Project this past 11 months.

2009 has been a challenging year for JUST Children, the new entity for the Mentari Voluntary Tuition Project. JUST stands for Join Us to Serve and Teach Children, a non-profit organisation that is bound by the Company Act. However the kids of Mentari have chosen to retain the original name of the project. As the main aim behind the Mentari Voluntary Tuition Project was to provide learning opportunities for under-privileged kids so that they develop self-confidence and self-esteem, keeping the original name seemed only fitting.

Our aim is to generate enough funds from regular donations to rent a flat or a shop lot as permanent premises for an after-school self-access learning centre with books, educational materials , games and laptops and pay a teacher aide or tutor to attend to the students. We are still sharing facilities with a kindergarten as the owner of a shoplot we were eyeing backed out. We are currently looking for a flat in Block 8 that we can rent.

In the beginning of this year, we had an influx of students that exceeded our capacity to handle. We had a small number of loyal facilitators (esp Yasir, Afif, Zahidi, Imran, Yasmin, Aedi, Fadhia, Murni and friends) and opened two classes that ran simultaneously every Saturday to cope with the increased number of students. In June, the kids participated in Fiesta Femina by presenting a recital cum sketch of a poem by Usman Awang on unity from a child's point of view. We also had visitors from Turkey and USA who chatted with the children. Hopefully these visitors and sharing of experiences with Dr Iman who studied in UK and worked with children in Africa and Afif who travelled to Spain helped to open windows to the world for the children and inspire them to work hard at their studies.

Due to extra classes on Saturdays at their schools , exams and the festive break, the number of students eventually dwindled. We now have about 20 students coming on Saturdays with classes for a small group of Form 1 students starting at 12.30pm - 2pm and classes for Yr 4,5 and 6 starting from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. We are currently tutoring the Form 1 kids in specific weak spots as their final exams are still on. The Mentari class is the only tuition class they can afford to go to.

On the evening of 22 Oct, we talked to a group of bright young people from CIMB about the Mentari Project. We would like to thank Tarmimi for organising the talk and and TCBs who came and those who spread the word about the kids of Mentari. Since then, the past two Saturday classes have been stimulating ones for the kids with new facilitators (Erlina, Safwan, Kam Loong, Kuo Wei, Ah Seng, Nicholas , sorry if I've missed some names!)) coming in to spend time with them. It's great to see new faces and the energy and enthusiasm they brought with them and a relief for the kids as well. I'm sure they were getting tired of us! We hope to upload the pix onto our Facebook before the end of the week.

Thanks to the generosity of our donor, we used the funds to buy educational games and books for the kids and had them work in small groups with the facilitators. By rotating the different games/ cards, the kids were able to provide a variety of learning experiences. Without enough facilitators, we have to resort to 'chalk and talk' or classroom style teaching. At the same time. we've had to attract kids back to the Mentari Project especially as holidays are around the corner. The carrot we're using is a trip to Aquaria on the 15 or 22 Nov. Kids have to attend classes and qualify for the trip by completing a project or participating in a group activity like a 'Spelling Bee' or tell a story. We hope to have a 5 kids to 1 Faci ratio for the trip so if any one would like to volunteer, please register on Mentari Project's Facebook Group or email us.

The other activities we are planning before the end of the year are:
1. A Language Camp ( in collaboration with the Atmah Group)
2. An Appreciation Day ( our 'Speech Day')
3. A Leadership Camp
4. 'Donate Old Laptops' Campaign
5. A new website with time tabling features for our facis to register and book their slots

We ask for a basic fee of RM10 per child with a cap of RM 20 per family with more than two kids in our classes. In this way, it's not charity, more of a commitment fee for both sides. It keeps us honest - this small fee that represents a bond of trust between us, the volunteers and the children we hope we have inspired in some small way to work hard towards a better and brighter future.

Thanks to all our facis who have kept the light burning even though at times it felt like the wind was going to blow it out amid their hectic schedules, unexpected challenges , exams, assignments and travels. Thanks to our patron YB Nik Nazmi for his ideas, networking and writings. Thanks to our generous donor who have given us the opportunity to provide stimulating learning materials and experiences for our kids. May Allah swt Bless our efforts and all those who have helped to sustain this project.

2 November 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mini Projects

We asked the after UPSR year 6 kids to create a mini project. It was left entirely up to them on what type of project they wanted to create. Here are some of the things that they did. 

A group created a model volcano and also created a model cave. The volcano even erupted in red lava ( created by a combination of household items). They even had the time to create some paintings and a model of the twin towers of KLCC made out of straws. 

Another group made a presentation on the malay wedding tradition of " Hantaran". They researched the tradition of the "Hantaran" and presented to the class of its origins, the practise and the meaning behind it. 


It was a well written and informative presentation by both groups.  Congratulations and well done to Syarina, Aini, Syafinaz, Rashidah, Athirah, and Fareisha.  



Please give us your thoughts on how the sessions went- ideas on how to improve, what you gained after your session, your views on the children and any thoughts you want to share.