BOLD was launched with funding from the Penang State Government. Our first focus was awareness and outreach through talks and workshops. Starting with "Learning To Learn" series of workshops by Brother John D'Cruz, 12 more talks/workshops were held throughout the year on topics such as Dyslexia, Speech Development, Maths Can Be Fun, Multiple Intelligences, Brain Gym and Techniques Of Teaching Bahasa Malaysia.
We started a series of meetings with parents and children to better understand their needs.
BOLD produced the first edition of Infosheets on ADD/ADHD in English.
British Council sponsored a visit by Ms Pamela Deponio from Edinburgh, Scotland. Ms Deponio conducted a week long training course on Dyslexia for teachers and a half day workshop for parents. Dyslexia became a major focus of work for BOLD.
BOLD began working closely with the Education Department of Penang - with talks on Dyslexia to Education Department officials and several schools in Penang.
BOLD produced the first edition of Infosheets on Dyslexia - in 4 languages. Infosheets on ADD/ADHD translated into Malay, Chinese and Tamil.
BOLD was invited to participate in a series of workshops on Multiple Intelligences, organized by the Curriculum Development Unit of the Ministry Of Education.
We began our first intervention program - 8 volunteers engaged 9 children in one-on-one weekly sessions, using play to stimulate development. This program continued until 2006 when it changed to Play Group mode.
BOLD together with SERI conducted the Study On Learning Difficulties Among Standard 1 Pupils in Penang with funding from Penang State Government. Survey covered 13,332 students from 121 schools, representating 50% of all Standard 1 children in the state. 9.41% (or 1,254 students) were identified as having learning difficulties of various types. Copies of the study are available from SERI and BOLD's Resource Centre.
BOLD's major focus was the Pilot Intervention Project which was funded by Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives, with additional support from the Penang State Government and Penang Education Department. 21 volunteers were specially trained to work as learning Support for 43 children in 10 primary schools in the state. All the children showed significant progress though the Pilot Project lasted for only 12 weeks.
As part of the project, 3 other volunteers ran a Therapeutic Playgroup for 8 children from 2 children's homes.
The experience gained from the Pilot Project helped BOLD to identify intervention programs in the next few years.
PSDC pledged an annual grant for BOLD which enabled us to expand our work. We recruited our first full-time staff - Ms Leong Min See, a qualified Play Therapist, trained in United Kingdom. Play Therapy became a major part of BOLD's intervention services.
23 talks/workshops on a wide range of topics were organized throughout the year.
In a follow-up to the 2003 Pilot Project, BOLD personnel trained 3 volunteers to start a Learning Support Program at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bayan Baru, working closely with the headmistress and remedial teacher of the school. The volunteers ran the program for the next 3 years, helping small groups of children with reading difficulties each year.
7 BOLD volunteers started weekly sessions in 2 Children's Homes, providing Learning Support to Children with Learning Difficulties in the homes. This program continued for the next 3 years.
BOLD initiated another Pilot Project with the cooperation of the Special Education Unit of the Penang Education Department. 2 teams of Occupational Therapists (from Hospital Pulau Pinang and Hospital Seberang Jaya) made fortnightly visits to 5 Special Classes. They identified the specific needs of children with motor coordination problems, worked on upgrading the skills of the teachers of the Special Classes. The objective was to establish a model of collaboration in which specialized personnel from Ministry Of Health can enhance skills and services for Children with Special Needs. This Pilot Program continued into 2005.
From 2005, the Penang State Government provided BOLD with additional funding to support our intervention Programs.
Funding from Wawasan Education Foundation enabled BOLD to recruit its second full-time staff - Mr Tan Kien Hooi.
Under Mr Tan's leadership, the Learning Support Program became the Focus On Literacy Program.
Mr Tan trained a group of 6 volunteers recruited by Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Mak Mandin Headmaster. The 6 volunteers began teaching students with reading difficulties in Tamil, using materials specially developed under Mr Tan's guidance. 5 of the 6 volunteers have continued working at this school for the past 4 years. The Focus on Literacy Program at SJKT Mak Mandin is still ongoing with some new team members and the full support of the school.
In 2005, 11 volunteers helped children with learning difficulties in 2 schools and 2 Children's Homes, 12 volunteers ran Play Therapy or Play Intervention Sessions, and 3 volunteers ran a Therapeutic Playgroup.
BOLD realized its vision of 2 Activity Centres. PSDC funding supports a centre on the island and funds from Pertubuhan Bunga Tanjung support a centre in Seberang Jaya.
With the Activity Centres as our base, BOLD's Intervention Programs became more focused. 4 intervention programs target children of different ages, with different kinds of Special Needs.
Play Therapy expanded under Ms Leong's leadership with recruitment and training of 4 volunteers, Play Intervention was re-organized as Play Group; Focus On Literacy grew with a new group of volunteers at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaaan (Cina) Min Sin. A fourth initiative - Transition To School - was tried this year.
Workshops to recruit and train volunteers were organized and outreach talks to schools continued to be part of BOLD's regular activities.
BOLD co-organized an 8 week Family Link Education Program on AD/HD with Psychiatry Department of Hospital Pulau Pinang.
BOLD was one of 20 co-organizers of Malaysia's First National Early Childhood Intervention Conference (NECIC) held in Penang in November. The 3-day conference was attended by 358 delegates, comprising parents, teachers, practitioners, policy makers. Dr Tan Liok Ee, BOLD Chairperson, was the Chairperson of the organizing committee of the conference. The Conference adopted a Memorandum on Early Childhood Intervention that was presented to the Malaysian Government. (see Attachments)
Some additional funding from Penang State Government enabled BOLD to organize a special program - Continuing Personal and Professional Development - a series of workshops by Mr Alex Chew, consultant and trainer from united Kingdom who has been BOLD's Play Therapy Program Adviser and Supervisor.
Ms Leong Min See and Ms Priscilla Ho attended UNICEF course on Coping With Trauma. This followed from Ms Leong's earlier participation in training Ministry Of Health staff in therapeutic skills for working with children who have experienced trauma, in the aftermath of the December 2004 Tsunami.
Ms Leong and Mr Brandon Leong, BOLD's Assistant Program Coordinator, were selected for a 3 week exchange program funded by Japan Foundation For Children's Future.
BOLD was registered as a society. Staff, volunteers, and committee members met for 10 year review and strategic planning for future.
In 2008, 28 children attended our Playgroup sessions; 18 families benefited from our Transition To School Program; 73 children attended Focus On Literacy Programs in various locations, including 40 who attended our Holiday Literacy Camps. Play Therapy touched the most number of children - 267 in all. This included 150 children in Hospital Pulau Pinang where a group of Play Therapy volunteers conduct weekly play sessions.
The highlight of 2008 was Creative Arts Therapy Week - a series of workshops and training programs conducted by Sue Jennings, internationally renowned writer, trainer and practitioner from the United Kingdom.
BOLD was one of the co-organizers of the 2nd National Early Childhood Intervention Conference, held in Kota Kinabalu in November.
BOLD began a partnership arrangement with Asia Community Service (ACS), another NGO in Penang that has worked with children and persons with Special Needs. First Step Early Intervention Program becomes the first joint ACS-BOLD project. First Step becomes available at ACS's new centre in Jalan Pemancar as well as in Pusat BOLD-Bunga Tanjung, serving more children and providing easier access for families on the island as well as mainland.
ACS First Step Centre
227 Jalan Pemancar, 11700 Penang
Telephone: +604-658 5396
BOLD was one of 5 co-organizers of the First Families Connecting with Family Conference, held in Penang in June. 111 participants attended the 3 day conference which brought families of Children with various Disabilities and Special Needs together. Special programs were organized for the children to enable full participation by their parents in conference sessions.
BOLD was one of the co-organizers of the first World Mental Health Day held in Penang on October 10, an important event in raising public awareness on the importance of mental health issues affecting both adults and children.
Other special projects in 2009 included:-
The ACS-BOLD partnership grew with 2 more joint projects - Inclusion of Children with Special Needs and Respite Care.
4 issues of “The Inclusive Link”, a newsletter in English and Chinese, were distributed free to ALL kindergartens. The objective is to promote inclusion by providing key information and practical suggestions on how Children with Special Needs can be included in typical kindergarten settings. (see Attachments) An experienced staff visited 9 kindergartens to assist staff and parents in the inclusion process.
Respite Care was launched in March. This new program, located in Pemancar House, serves families who are caring for a child with a disability by offering them the time to take a break, run important errands, or enjoy some quality time with other family members.
BOLD’s regular intervention programs reached over 400 Children with Special Needs. First Step, a joint project with ACS, had 40 children in Glugor and 30 in Seberang. Focus on Literacy helped 95 children progress in reading: 24 in BOLD’s 2 centres, 22 at SJKT Mak Mandin, 9 at SJKC Min Sin and 11 at Than Hsiang Kindergarten. 17 children benefitted from BOLD’s weekly Play Group sessions and 12 families benefitted from our Family Support Program. Play Therapy had 31 children in one on one sessions, 60 children and 14 teenagers in therapeutic group sessions, and counseling for 11 parents. Weekly visits to the Paediatric Nephrology and Oncology Ward of the Penang General Hospital touched another 105 children.
6 in-service workshops were organized to upgrade knowledge and skills of staff and team members while 7 workshops targeted parents and teachers. 2 Creative Counseling Skills Series enriched the skills of teachers, counselors and para-counselors.
As part of our advocacy work, team members gave talks or workshops at 8 schools and/or educational institutions. BOLD was co-organizer of World Play Day and World Mental Health Day in Penang. We joined other Penang NGOs in the Kempen Rakyat Pulau Pinang, a public awareness campaign to prevent Sexual Crimes against Children. Finally, we continued our role as one of the co-organizers of the National Early Childhood Intervention Conference – the 3rd Conference was held in Melaka from 2-4 December 2010.
2011 was a year of change and consolidation. The big change came in July 2011 when BOLD handed over all Play Therapy activities to the Centre for Creative Arts Therapy, Penang, a newly registered NGO formed by members of our former Play Therapy team. While the new organization will be growing more programs in creative arts therapy, BOLD’s focus will centre on Children with Special Needs and on consolidating our intervention programs through a stronger partnership with ACS.
Our 6 intervention programs reached a total of about 500 children, of different ages and with different kinds of special needs in 2011. Our Seberang Jaya centre moved to a bigger premise, in January 2011, to accommodate the growing numbers of children coming for First Step Early Intervention and Focus on Literacy programs.
IN 2011, 112 children with reading difficulties attended Focus on Literacy sessions. The program was conducted by 34 team members in 6 different locations, teaching in 3 different languages: Malay and Mandarin at our own centres, Tamil at SJKT Mak Mandin, Mandarin at SJKC Min Sin and Tadika Than Hsiang, and Malay at SJKT Sungai Ara.
Play Group served 32 children while First Step Early Intervention served a total of 135 children in 2 locations - First Step Gelugor and Pusat BOLD-ACS in Seberang Jaya. In 2011, JOM Mobile Toy Library made regular visits to 6 Community Based Rehabilitation Centres run by the Social Welfare Department, a Home for Persons with Disabilities, and homes of a few individuals with severe disabilities, in all supporting a total of 146 children.
3 issues of “The Inclusive Link” were circulated free to all kindergartens in Penang as part of our Inclusion Support Program and itinerant support was provided to 5 kindergartens. In 2011, BOLD and ACS conducted a survey of parents to better understand their experience of trying to have their Children with Special Needs included within the Malaysian school system. This formed the basis for drafting a Memorandum for submission to the Ministry of Education.
As always, we organized several workshops for teachers and parents and gave talks and awareness seminars to schools. Advocacy on behalf of Children with Special Needs in Malaysia has acquired a stronger voice with the formation of the National Early Childhood Intervention Council, a nation-wide affiliation of NGOs in 2011. BOLD is one of the founder members and our president is a member of the Council’s Executive Committee.
2015 Annual Review (pls see first two links below)