Building a legacy in Dalat | KPMG | SG

Building a legacy in Dalat

Building a legacy in Dalat

Over 160 KPMG volunteers have gone so far; programme will be extended to Moms & Pops at KPMG, staff of Malaysian member firms.

Building a legacy in Dalat

Over 160 KPMG volunteers have gone so far; programme will be extended to Moms & Pops at KPMG, staff of Malaysian member firms. 

By Lim Wei Chean

 

Up in Dalat's Elephant Mountain, a group of children in Elephant Village eagerly keep their eyes peeled for the weekly arrival of their 'teachers in blue'. Ms Suong, the village school's teacher, said: "The children look forward to learning something new from their new teachers every week."

These 'teachers in blue' that the Vietnamese children welcome with such open arms each week are volunteers from KPMG Singapore. Since April 2013, the firm has been sending volunteers to the remote village school in Vietnam as part of its Regional Outreach Programme (ROP). Even though the volunteers are different, the consistent theme is that all are from KPMG, continuing the legacy of education that the firm is building for the community. 

The ROP to Dalat, run by KPMG's Corporate Citizenship (CC) team, is a long-term commitment to help improve the lives of the local community in Elephant Village. KPMG volunteers teach English and Arts and Crafts every Friday and Saturday at the village school. 

To date, over 160 KPMG volunteers have been through the programme and touched the lives of the locals. And many of the KPMG volunteers say they, too, return with their lives changed – for the better. 

The last group for 2014, a team from Audit's Financial Services business unit, visited Dalat from Dec 11 to Dec 14, and had an early Christmas celebration with the children. Senior Associate Glenn Lee, who was there with Adalyn Yeap, Siddarth Khanna and Kuang Jern-yang, said: "December is the month of giving, so we thought that it would be great to spread the joy of Christmas with the children in the village. We felt that it would be the perfect respite from work before our audit peak period commences. 

"At the end of the trip, in some respects, we thought we learnt more from the children than they from us. They taught us how to appreciate the simple things that life has to offer." Glenn said his team was also touched by a thoughtful Christmas and New Year card that the teacher, Ms Suong, made for them. He said: "She made the card for KPMG to express her appreciation and gratitude to the firm and all of us who have visited the school. We could tell that she was sincere and she was moved by our help." 

Besides volunteers from KPMG Singapore, last November and December, the ROP was open to four participants from KPMG Malaysia as well as a team of parent-and-child volunteers from Moms & Pops@KPMG (MAPS) for the first time. One of the Malaysian participants, Albert Lim, said: "Even though the same team may not get to repeat this journey, knowing that we are connecting the dots in a sustainable programme brings about joy in us." 

The first MAPS team, led by Partner Harvey Koenig on the weekend of 6 Dec, saw KPMG parents with their children coming together for the community volunteer experience. Both trips took off very well, which is why CC Head Lee Sze Yeng said the programme will continue to be extended to KPMG Malaysia to foster greater bonding and to the MAPS parent-and-child volunteer teams during the school holidays. 

Last year, besides teaching, KPMG volunteers also helped with repairs to the school building and built two new toilets for the school.

 

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