NOREEDA REDHWAN, a disabled person, loves the scouts movement because it has helped her be independent.
Her determination was evident when the 16-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, made the long bus trip from Penang to Negri Sembilan to take part in the 11th Malaysian Scout Jamboree.
“This is the first time I am taking part in something like this. Of course I want to be here because I want to gain experience,” said the excited Noreeda, who is with the Penang Cheshire Home.
“I like scouting because it teaches me to be independent and it is challenging. I am okay. The illness is not painful. It is just that I cannot walk.”
Mohamad Hasan (right) meeting Noreeda as the others look on.
Noreeda became a scout three years ago and recently took part in an “agoonoree”, which is a jamboree for special scouts in Penang.
“I went canoeing … I do what I can. Besides, there are always friends around who are willing to help me,” she added.
Noreeda also met with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who visited the site for a final inspection.
She is one of the 6,084 scouts who gathered at the Ulu Bendul Forest Reserve for the jamboree, which is held every four years.
This is the first time that the event is being held in Negri Sembilan. A total of 454 foreign scouts participated in the jamboree, which started on Dec 13.
Among the activities planned for the scouts were canoeing, a trek up Gunung Angsi, rafting and flying fox.
Assisting Noreeda during the jamboree was Penang Cheshire Home therapy assistant Salinder Vathi Mohandas, 27, who said those with special needs were able to participate in activities like the tele-match, flying fox and canoeing.
“They can do a lot. All they need is the chance to try,” she said.
Source : TheStar.com.my