One Step at a Time
The Founder's Message
Helping children to receive education is no a pastime or hobby. I still recall myself, growing up with the support from my parents, family, teachers, friends and various individual and organisation to make me realize that your mind is who you are and anything is possible to achieve if you know what you want. I never thought I will do all my formal education because the world was evolving too quickly and I was always questioning myself by getting a formal education will provide me security or what I needed to live in this world. I was living life thinking during my younger days, I won’t be able to afford to study what and where I wanted to although my parents was able to support me to schools and the interest of study I wish for. Being active in sports and scouts showed me a life beyond classroom teaching. My patriotism towards Malaysia and to do something back one day was always in my back of my mind. Days flew and I choose to begin my life after high school by working and saving money towards discovering my interest.
My parents always reminded me, formal education is not everything in life however, it can create a life how you want it to be. It makes you understand the purpose of life and it may help you in your future when you realize what it can do for you. "The choice is yours! although deep in their heart wanted me to further my studies!" Many wise words from various caring people, made me to push myself to pursue my higher education finally. It was surely a challenging journey and with many wonderful life time experience during my studies. Working, studying and venturing into entrepreneurship at age 19 is surely an unforgettable journey I had. When I completed my training from one of the world top university which I never ever imagine, I further realized that "Education is not about Qualification or Papers only". It is about understanding that learning life itself is an education. Placing a tile down is also a type of education. It is about using what you have learned to help others and also yourself. It is about not ignoring the needy or poverty and doing our part where we can. It is about understanding the purpose that can bring the changes for our future generation.
As anyone who always looks for what they can do next, I begin to realise that I am in the position to do back something for the children that needed support. I knew our schools systems needed a shift how our children are trained and providing them guidance that getting A’s is good but knowing why you getting it is better! I choose to embark my journey to give back to society through education and schools in 2012 by reaching out to school children who was lack of opportunity. I still recall, most people I knew question me why are you choosing to become a teacher in schools when you have qualifications that can take you further. My answer was simple, I wanted to do something back from my country when I was young. Now I am able to do it, so I am doing it and reaching out to more children not only in Malaysia but whereever it takes me to.
By keeping my focus and keep saying one step at a time, made me to discover SASTRA Education Development in Malaysia to support Malaysian schools with the support of FEEM and its partners. I was very clear that SASTRA should support education projects around the world. SASTRA should be ready to serve the next generation who are neglected due to poverty or lack of opportunities. I have further realize that SASTRA should be able to support in creating genuine social entrepreneurs to be part of larger eco systems to address various issues and create employments and fix this world to be a happier place and not for those who are only interested in gaining name, fame and awards. It should always ensure the funding generated is making direct impact for the needy and individual that put the children first before them.
SASTRA is founded with principles of being transparent and integrity. It should be operated by trusted people who can help to shape this world better. SASTRA will not take shortcuts no matter at present or future. It will always be an organisation that will take one step at a time to bring the difference we need in education for all human that we can reach to. As long we are around, we will do our best out there. It's been an amazing 6 years of my life where I am able to give back what all gave me during my younger days. I look forward in my life to meet more genuine wonderful people whom I am able to work with towards building human capital and ending poverty.
S. Ananda Devan