“We are a rich tapestry woven with threads of various cultures. True beauty lies in the differences that surround us,”- EAP Family Day 2023.
It was that time of the year again where EAP organised our most-anticipated Annual Family Day to celebrate every single one of our children and their families! On the 29th of July 2023, our Family Day was held at British International School Kuala Lumpur! It was such an eventful day, buzzing with excitement, happiness and love where everyone came together to honour our kiddos and their families!
As families arrived, our EAP team transitioned our kiddos to the show waiting area to go through final preparations before the show began! Upon arrival, each family received a beautiful batik-customised tiffin carrier in line with our Malaysian theme for the day as their door gift.
While waiting for the official show to begin, we had multiple booths outside the school theatre including a grand grazing table filled with Malaysian childhood snacks hosted by our boys from the Life Skills Group where people could take anything they wanted for a minimal donation to our non-profit arm, The Hope Project! We also had the honour of having Tea Thambi as one of our booths and they served thirst-quenching drinks to our guests too!
The Hope Project’s booth this year was a great hit as aside from our merchandise sale, we also had a silent auction of artworks graciously donated by some of our very talented EAP kiddos! Two of our EAP teenagers, Sinan and Sharleez also set up their very own booths selling their artwork on canvases and tote bags respectively! Proceeds from these booths are also channeled to The Hope Project to make world-class services for autism accessible to all! An instant photo booth was also set up for families to take family pictures and capture these exciting moments!
Our guests were ushered into the theatre with a grand opening performance by our EAP team. The event started at 9.30am in the morning, with speeches from our Director, Jochebed Isaacs, our Head of Clinical, Charmaine Koay and Senior Supervisor Rachel Gomez as they shared highlights of all that has happened at EAP throughout the year! They also presented Long Service Awards to team members who had served for 3 years, 5 years, 7 years and 12 years long! We also presented The Hope Project Award to 2 families for their notable contributions in helping to raise awareness and funds for autism and The Hope Project! Congratulations to everyone receiving awards!
This year, our Family Day was themed “Oh Malaysiaku” in conjunction with Malaysia’s 60th birthday this year! The production surrounded the story of a young lost traveller boy, Arthur McDowell, who landed in Malaysia and was mesmerised by its beauty especially in the diversity of cultures. His Malaysian friends led this journey of exploration to the Kampung, Chinatown and Little India! Each culture showcased their uniqueness in their food, traditional activities, language, music and dances! Arthur Mcdowell was then introduced to our East Malaysian culture through a fashion show of their traditional costumes by our kiddos and we also had the honour of having a surprise special guest, Miss Wenanita Angang (Miss World Malaysia 2022) as she graced the stage in her East Malaysian costume as she is also a Sabahan herself as well!
Arthur McDowell was then asked to choose which was the best culture but he needed some time to think over some Malaysian kuih and drinks – with that, we commenced the “In-kuih-dable Awards!” – a special, proud moment of celebration and honour for each of the children and their families. The awards were to acknowledge and appreciate their efforts in overcoming various challenges and struggles, while striving for success in life. Given the obstacles our kiddos have to go through in life, we want to be able to provide that space to celebrate their unique and diverse strengths and to be loved.
The storyline ended with Arthur McDowell not being able to choose the best culture because they are all unique in their own way. He thanked his friends for bringing him around and showing up like a light in the darkness – like a flashlight! Our kiddos and team then ended the show with a finale dance entitled “Flashlight” while lighting up little flashlights in hand as well – it was truly a heartwarming moment!
What an amazing time we had at Family Day 2023! We were so proud of our children being able to tolerate the new place, changes and generalising their flexibility targets as well!
Here are some fun facts about 2023 Family Day!
- The EAP team started planning for this Family Day production in April 2023 – it is a large- scale effort that took a lot of planning and careful consideration.
- 60 of our kiddos participated on stage, appeared in videos, received awards and practiced hard for their scenes – a team effort to ensure all our kiddos have a space to shine!
- Some of our kiddos had to work through 12 different tolerances in preparation for this production such as Tolerance to Lights, Tolerance to Crowds and Tolerance to New places to name a few!
- There were more than 400 social stories and visuals prepared to make this production possible.
- In addition to their comprehensive therapy programmes, our kiddos have been rehearsing every day for 6 weeks, and have also had 3 full dress rehearsals at BSKL before the actual production day!
Here at EAP, Family Day is to celebrate our kiddos, as well as their family, for the hard work and effort put in to achieve every milestone, revealing their unique strengths, talents and skills. We also want to celebrate the families that had been such a precious support to each of our kiddo. We also honour all parents and caregivers who show up like flashlights every single day to each and every one of our kiddos – in guiding the path and moulding them into who they are today! Thank you for all that you do! We were humbled by their sacrifices, hardwork and love.
We sincerely thank all the parties involved in the production, for making this year’s Family Day a successful one!