Ride for Sight 2013

December 28th, 2012 @

Riding for the right to choose!

This year’s Ride for Sight (RFS), the annual charity bike – a – thon jointly organised by St. Nicholas’ Home Penang and the G – Club Penang Cyclist, saw 26 blind and visually impaired (BVI) trainees on tandem bicycles, accompanied by 1200 enthusiastic cyclists from all over Malaysia cycling for an important cause. With the sole purpose of raising awareness and opening the eyes of the public to the rights of the blind and visually impaired community, the cyclists started their 20km journey from Straits Quay, riding all the way to and through the Penang Heritage area, before heading back to Straits Quay.

The previous two Ride for Sight events were so successful and made such huge impacts as it served as a clarion call for the blind and visually impaired to lead a life of independence without any restrictions. The BVI community are more often than not pigeon-holed and faced with barriers that are typically an outcome of low expectations from people who have a poor understanding of the abilities of the blind. Therefore, events such as Ride for Sight provide the perfect avenue for the BVI community to champion for their rights.

This year’s event saw SNH exceed its expected number of registrations, with more than 1200 participants taking part in this unique ride! With generous sponsor such as BSG Property leading the charge in making this event a rousing success, SNH also managed to raise more than RM150, 000 because of all our generous supporters! BSG Property has long been a strong supporter of St. Nicholas’ Home Penang and when approached to be the main sponsor, they came on board with full force.

Many other corporate Samaritans such as Sunway Grand Sdn Bhd, Fastron Sdn Bhd, Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd, Fairchild Semiconductor (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and L’occitaine En Provence (Malaysia) also contributed a significant amount of cash in support of the event. For the second consecutive year, Giant Bicycles also returned with a exceedingly generous sponsorship of 5 new bicycles for the main Lucky Draw. A folding bicycle contributed by the Lions Club of Penang Komtar is another main lucky draw attractions.

To add some glamour to the event, Amee Philips Exclusive Jewellery came in with an award winning necklace to get the ladies excited. Various hotels, restaurants and beverage companies such as Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Lone Pine Hotel, G – Hotel, Equatorial Hotel, Cititel, McDonald’s Malaysia, The Delicious Group Sdn Bhd, Keluarga Utama Sdn Bhd and 100Plus showed their support towards the event by contributing vouchers and beverages for this year’s RFS 2013.

The overwhelming response of this year’s RFS can also be attributed to the efforts and contribution of FTG Media, Impress LED Advertise Sdn Bhd and Yes Media for their free promotional advertising and to the extensive coverage by the various members of the press. After last year’s success, Straits Quay also returned as the venue sponsor.

Various other entities such as BP Healthcare Group and Shoes Two Point Zero came in as first time sponsors to help make this event merrier. With the support of Metrobikes and their sponsorship of rental bicycles, many of the participants who were first time cyclists had the opportunity to join in on this meaningful ride. All proceeds from the rental charge were donated entirely to the event.

The encouraging response and continued support given to Ride for Sight 2013 shows that there is increased awareness among the public of the plight of the BVI community. This is indeed a positive step towards achieving the dream of equality for the BVI community and towards exercising the rights of the BVIs to choose an active lifestyle.

For more information, please contact 04 – 229 0800 or visit www.snh.org.my .

Nicky, the tapir!

November 22nd, 2012 @
One of the goals of St. Nicholas’ Home (SNH) is to be recognized as a multi-service institution catering to the visually-impaired community in Malaysia. To get a bit closer to this goal we would like to introduce to you the mascot of St. Nicholas’ Home, Nicky the Tapir. This animal is a distinctive species from the Malay Archipelago and has poor vision with very good olfactory and hearing skills.

The name Nicky refers to St. Nicholas’ Home. Our goal is that whenever someone in Malaysia and maybe in the future other countries see our mascot, they immediately know that it is the mascot of St. Nicholas’ Home, a multi-service institution catering to the visually-impaired community in Malaysia.

The tapir is a very independent animal and being independent and confident is something that we incorporate in our training and rehabilitation to our blind and visually impaired trainees. In addition to being independent, the Tapir is also an athletic animal despite its chubby and cute appearance. Just like our trainees here at SNH, the Tapir is an animal that teaches us not to judge a book by its cover as we have even had some of our former trainees scale Mount Kinabalu!

The tapir truly personifies the vision of a mascot for St Nicholas’ Home Penang and as we introduce Nicky to the world, let this be a new journey towards making St Nicholas’ Home known to the public!

All ready for the revelation!


SNH's new mascot - NICKY!

Greetings From Up North!

February 22nd, 2011 @

Expat Magazine February 7th, 2011

Greetings From Up North!

How are your New Year resolutions going? Really? Oh well, you can always set some new ones during the Lunar New Year this month.

You could say that the Lunar New Year is the festival of the year in Penang due to the significant proportion of the population being of Chinese decent and that the celebrations go on for 15 days. A custom started in Penang can be seen on the final day of the Lunar New Year – Chap Goh Meh, where unmarried ladies throw tangerines into the sea in the hope that their future spouse will pick it up. The Lambs will definitely be watching along Gurney Drive on the 17th to see if any ladies are using catapults as the water seems to be moving further and further out each year!

Love will be in the air this month as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Book your table early and you too can experience an intimate dinner with your loved one whilst listening to locals slurping their spaghetti (true story!).

On a different tack, we had the opportunity recently to have a tour of St. Nicholas Home that has been assisting the visually impaired since 1926 by offering occupational skills training and support. The reason the visit was initiated was to take a look at their Open Air Sculpture Gallery which contains a piece by Femke Ligthart (see Penang Personalities for more) following a request from the editor to do an article on Femke’s work.

Although we pass by the St. Nicholas Home many times a week we were pleasantly surprised at the scope of services that St. Nic’s offers and that may be unknown to the expat community. Did you know for example that St. Nic’s train masseuses and for a very reasonable fee you can go for a relaxing foot massage in their centre? Also, did you know that cakes prepared during the kitchen skills training are available for purchase?

One initiative that caught Colin’s attention is the work that St. Nicholas Home are doing in the field of Bahasa Malaysia to Braille translation. We were introduced to Dr. Peter Knox of L-Ex who, along with St. Nic’s staff, are developing a Bahasa Malaysia to Braille conversion utility that incorporates an Optical Character Recognition component to make visual translation all but seamless. Such technology is being harnessed to give complete literary translations that are invaluable in terms of interpretation and a hard copy is also created for their library.

Being an iPhone user, Colin was also impressed how Dr. Knox has a broader interest in developing phone technology for the visually impaired, which is like saying “the phone for the blind is like a car for the sighted”. We wish these initiatives well in terms of securing funds for development and their future implementation.

That’s all for February, hope to see many of you at the Quiz Night on 12th. Please email us at upnorth@theexpatgroup.com for more details. As always, suggestions for articles/information you would like to see are most welcome so please contact us at upnorth@theexpatgroup.com