Desks & Projector for Malaysia

Dear Friends and Family,

I need your help!

As most of you know, I am currently teaching English on a Fulbright grant in Malaysia. I am teaching at a public high school called SMK Kuala Lanar in the small town of Kuala Lipis. A bit of background on my school: it is a boarding school, with 80% of the students at the school being 'Orang Asli,' translating to "Indigenous Peoples." More specifically, they belong to the Semai tribe and live at a hostel at my school because their homes are in villages in the rainforest and jungle several hours away. 

SMK Kuala Lanar (classrooms + courtyard):

Some 'Form 1' students (13 years old) and I

I am raising money for three purposes
(1)  Desks for my school
(2) A Projector for my Classes
(3) A Field Trip to Kuala Lumpur

First, I am asking for donations to buy new desks for my school, something that the school desperately needs. Many of the desks we do have are in bad shape:

And tragically,  there are three classrooms that are currently empty and going unused because we do not have any desks for them:

These unused classrooms are causing scheduling issues for the school. Due to lack of funding from the Malaysian Ministry of Education, the school has been forced to turn to parent and outside donations and has started a 'cash' fundraiser to raise money to purchase new desks. Given that most of the parents of the students at my school are low-income, the Principal has told me he is not optimistic about this fundraiser.

Fortunately, your dollar goes a long way as the new desks we are buying only cost 137 Malaysian Ringgit, which equates to $34.97. My goal is to buy 60 new desks, which will cost $2,100. 

Second, I am asking for donations to buy a projector. There are currently only two projectors at my school, one of which is in the teacher's meeting room.  A new projector will allow me and the other teachers to greatly expand the way we teach lessons and interact with students during class. In addition, I have started an "English Club" as an after school activity, and a projector would enable me to show movies, videos, and deliver a more enriching educational experience for my students! The cost to purchase a projector and have it shipped to Malaysia is  ~$450.
Finally, I am asking for your donations for a field trip to take my students to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital and largest city. Most students at my school have never been to a city before (and even less have been to Kuala Lumpur) so this trip will be transformative and incredibly exciting for them. My plan for the field trip is to make it a 2 Day 'University & College' weekend to help my students think a little bit about their future and begin to question their assumption that "University is not for students like me." I have spoken with two universities that have agreed to host my students on their campuses for a campus tour, cafeteria meal, and mock classes. We will have workshops on financial aid and applying to college to help students see university as a tangible and attainable goal rather than an intimidating, abstract concept. I refuse to let the trip be too boring, however - we will be going bowling the one night we are there and I am leaving time in the schedule to take the students sightseeing and let them enjoy being in a big city!

After working out a budget (mainly transportation, food, and lodging),  it will cost a little over $3,000 USD to take 50 students and 5 teachers for the weekend. I will be applying for a grant from the U.S. Embassy to fund part of this field trip, but we are required to have a secondary source of funding, so most Fulbright teachers use GoFundMe! Any money I raise above $2,450 ($2,100 for desks + $450 for projector) will go towards this field trip. 


I am extremely grateful to be here in Malaysia and am striving to achieve Senator Fulbright's stated purpose of the program: "to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into the world."

I believe that receiving a quality education, which historically has been a luxury only afforded to the privileged in society, is the inalienable right of every child. Your financial contributions will help to improve the education my students are receiving and help me convey to them that they are loved. I am extremely grateful for any support you can provide.

Benjamin (BI)


BI Hanes

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