My Starfish Foundation - Theraplay 2.0
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Theraplay 2.0

Helping the Underprivileged Community

Pusat Jagaan Warga Istimewa Kempas is a home for the special needs community. The organisation was established in 1993. Currently, this charity home consists of two double-storey houses that accommodate 25 beneficiaries with the age range of 13 to 98 years old. It provides shelter, individual care, health well-being  and self management to the beneficiaries with multiple incurable disabilities such as autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, mentality retarded and learning difficulties.  Through the interview with the founder, we found that most of the beneficiaries are mentally challenged and face difficulties in social interaction and daily activities. These beneficiaries are lacking physical activities due to insufficient equipment and a conducive outdoor environment. They only have light exercise which might not be sufficient to improve their physical and mental health conditions. Besides that, no professional equipment or consultancy that can aid their therapy. Furthermore, the founder hopes that the beneficiaries are able to live happily with the support provided by the charity despite the harsh life they are living. Hence, we hope to transfer landscape architecture knowledge to improve their outdoor environment in solving current problems. In short, we proposed a landscape master plan for the charity home to restorate an outdoor environment by providing relative benefits of therapeutic and healing activities to the unprivileged community. 

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University/College
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
RM 1,100.00
Goal: RM 501.49
Fund Approved by MSF: RM 5,000.00

Overview of Issue / Background

Pusat Jagaan Warga Istimewa Kempas is a home for the special needs community. The organisation was established in 1993. Currently, this charity home consists of two double-storey houses that accommodate 25 beneficiaries with the age range of 13 to 98 years old. It provides shelter, individual care, health well-being  and self management to the beneficiaries with multiple incurable disabilities such as autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, mentality retarded and learning difficulties. 

 

Through the interview with the founder, we found that most of the beneficiaries are mentally challenged and face difficulties in social interaction and daily activities. These beneficiaries are lacking physical activities due to insufficient equipment and a conducive outdoor environment. They only have light exercise which might not be sufficient to improve their physical and mental health conditions. Besides that, no professional equipment or consultancy that can aid their therapy. Furthermore, the founder hopes that the beneficiaries are able to live happily with the support provided by the charity despite the harsh life they are living.

 

Hence, we hope to transfer landscape architecture knowledge to improve their outdoor environment in solving current problems. In short, we proposed a landscape master plan for the charity home to restorate an outdoor environment by providing relative benefits of therapeutic and healing activities to the unprivileged community.

 

Project Objectives (Vision & Mission)

Vision:

This community project aims to provide happiness and contribution to implement sustainable  approaches for a therapeutic landscape.

 

Mission:

  1. To provide a platform to aid the underprivileged special needs community through engaging the public and in collaboration with the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (Social and Welfare unit) to execute a therapeutic landscapes.

  2. To spread awareness and foster a spirit of community participation among students and the public to support the special needs of underprivileged communities.

  3. To establish a Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) team and sustainable strategy into a collaboration between the university, industry and society. 

Project Details (Activities and Tasks)

Site visit, Appraisal and Research phase 

  • Gather the information related to the special needs community to understand their needs, behaviours, difficulties, learning method etc.so that we can integrate them in the design.

  • Review reference studies.

  • Site visit to understand the condition of Pusat Jagaan Warga Istimewa Kempas and the community’s needs to facilitate our design process.

Design Development phase

  • Brainstorming design ideas 

  • Develop design concept and consult with supervisor

  • Finalise design plan of therapeutic landscape

Construction and Implementation phase

  • Purchase hardscape and softscape materials 

  • Construction designed landscape elements

  • Involve the children in planting process 

Expected Project Result & Outcomes

  • The beneficiaries will have a pleasant and green outdoor learning environment with assistive equipments to support special needs health and social. 
  • A platform is provided for the community to develop themselves through informal learning skills. The children may also gain healing effects through outdoor playing and learning. For instance, regular gardening activities can encourage active lifestyles among the special needs community. 
  • The beneficiaries can develop their fine and sensory psychomotor skills through the sensory walls and sport equipment

The elements in the outdoor physiotherapy area can act as the learning and developmental tools for the community which can increase their physical strength and address some of their physical issues.

  • A green outdoor space is provided for their daily activities.

The children have the opportunities to explore and get close to nature in a safe environment. This also encourages them to carry out more physical activities to improve their overall well-being. 

  • Public awareness of the special needs community increased.

Awareness campaigns about the needs and conditions of the special needs community will spread through our social media. Our social media platform can serve as reliable sources of information related to therapeutic landscapes and special needs communities.

 

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RM 1,100.00

219% of RM501.49 Goal

  19 Supporters
  0 Days Left

Project Information

University name   :   Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
Project leader name   :   Celine Chiow Jia Yee
Facebook link   :   https://www.facebook.com/TheraplayDesign
Instagram link   :   https://www.instagram.com/theraplay_design/
Project implementation date   :   2022-08-01
Location of project held   :   Pusat Jagaan Warga Istimewa Kempas | 2, Jalan Banjaran 6, Kampung Kempas Bahru, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor
Beneficiary   :   Special need community in the organisation
Number of beneficiaries   :   42

Section I

Section I

  1. Project Goals: 

This project aims to create recreational opportunities for the special needs community in Pusat Jagaan Warga Istimewa Kempas by transforming their outdoor space into a lively and therapeutic environment through landscape design. 

 

  1. Fund-raising support & Other external sponsorship:
  • UTM Top Bidder : Cash RM4000
  • Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia : Cash RM500
  • Nature Landscaping Design SDN BHD : Softscape Sponsorship
  • Nature at Works SDN BHD : Top Soil Sponsorship
  • Far East Landscape : Top Soil Sponsorship
  • Asian Esteem : Furniture Sponsorship

 

  1. Project Implementation:
    Our project consists of a diligent and adaptive team, equipped with various hard and soft skills that make the project successful. Along with the guidance of our project advisor and support from sponsors and experts who believed in the benefit of the project.

     
    1. Jul - Aug 2022
  • Crowdfunding 
  1. 1 - 2 Aug 2022
  • Materials purchasing
  1. 3 - 9 Aug 2022
  • Site clearance and preparation
    • Weed and debri clearing
    • Safety measures 
    • Site marking
  • Building of furnitures
    • Recycled tyres seating
    • Recycled pallet seating
    • Constructing, sanding and polishing physiotherapy equipments
  1. 10 Aug 2022
  • Edible Garden Building
  • Building planter boxes and fencing
  • Filling in topsoil  
  1. 11 - 13 Aug 2022
  • Site preparation and facilities foundation building
  • Digging and removing soil for Zen Garden planting
  • Concrete Foundation Casting
  1. 14 - 16 Aug 2022
  • Equipment and furniture installation
  • Planting activity
  1. 17 Aug 2022
  • Site decoration and cleaning
  • Interview the staff of special children home
  1. 16 - 19 Oct 2022
  • Indoor calming area building and instalment
  1. 20 Oct 2022
  • Handover Ceremony
  • Photo Session

 

  1. Difficulties
  • Health treat of heat stroke caused by hot weather 
  • Budget control on purchased construction material.
  • Work overtime on the last few days to accomplish the construction progress.
     
  1. Language or cultural barriers

We had a good engagement with the special needs community and staff. They are happy with our visit to the centre. The staff also treated us with food and beverages when we were constructing.

 

  1. Project Implementation Process

Overall, each of our team members gave full cooperation and hard work towards the project which made the whole project implementation go smoothly and efficiently. Besides, the financial support given by the public and organisation had helped us in getting needed materials to complete our project. We were pleased that the centre are satisfied and happy with the project outcomes. 

 

On the other hand, the lack of experience and detailed specification for the construction of the fitness elements has somewhat delayed progress because of unforeseen issues such as misfits. Besides, we faced some difficulties during the irrigation system installation as the existing pipe water pressure was not as expected. However, we managed to figure out another method to solve the issues. 

 

  1. Beneficiaries

The special needs community residing in Pusat Jagaan Warga Istimewa Kempas (PJWIK) will benefit from the project as they have a space for recreational activities. Other than that, the space has therapeutic benefits that contribute to the well being of the special needs community and their caretakers. 

 

Besides, this project provides a great opportunity to be involved in the design and build process which were learned in the landscape architecture program and contributed to the community. Different form previous project, our team had expanded, taking in members from other field such as engineering and architecture field, encouraging multidisciplinary working environment.

 

  1. Post-project

The completed project is permanent and requires low maintenance, therefore it does not burden the management in terms of maintaining the garden. If the owner wishes, there are opportunities for further improvement. Moreover, this project also encouraged people surrounding us to be concerned about the importance of the therapeutic landscape for special needs communities.

 

Section II

Section II (a)

 

How does or will your project contribute to happiness? Short-term? Long-term?

 

In the short term, the final project provides them a outdoor space that has therapeutic impact on their lives and brings variety into their daily routine as they have opportunities for more outdoor activities. This provides opportunities for them to exercise, urban farming, and walk around that supports their physical health, supporting good and stable health which in return benefits them in the long run. Increased physical activity among special needs will lead to a myriad of benefits such as improving attention and memory, increasing muscular fitness and brain health, which can reduce risk of depression and negative emotions.

 

Theraplay 2.0 aimed to bring happiness to Pusat Jagaan Warga Istimewa Kempas to improve their daily live quality through landscape design. Through interviewing and observation, we realised that the beneficiaries have a monotonous daily routine and lack of outdoor activity. Given the potential of the unused green space in the centre, we decided to make full use of it by constructing therapeutic gardens, outdoor gardening areas, calming rooms and physiotherapy facilities for them. Thereby, the therapeutic garden provides a safe, stimulating, sensory and conductive playing and outdoor learning environment.

 

In short, Theraplay 2.0 project supports outdoor learning and provides a variety of activities through having different outdoor areas in the short term. Whereas in the long term, this project can improve the physical and mental health of the children and provide therapeutic and healing effects.


 

Has your project changed the way you think about the world? How has it changed you?

 

Through Theraplay 2.0, we managed to learn and discover new things through exposure to different fields of work which lead to self improvement. Throughout this 3-week project, encouragement and determination from our team pushed each other to be determined to finish the project. What we do is create hope to the people who might be suffering but also make us realise that we can use our hands to bless others even if we are students. It seems impossible, but we did it. 

 

Along the way, we were inspired by the other selected teams as all of us as youths are working on something in different fields to improve and help society.We believe that change on a global scale comes about through this process of self-reformation in the lives of individuals, from fear to confidence, from destruction to creativity, from an empty land to a therapeutic garden.







 

 

Section II (b)


 

Jia Er:

“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. Plan and try it out.”

 

Huey Xuang:

“We have the strength to help and influence others.”

 

Celine:

“Glad to be part of this, where everyone has the same good intention to create an impact.”

 

Buncho
“ Learning how to take and give back to society is the best life lesson.”

 

Suh Jing:

“We can make a difference even the smallest acts of kindness.”

 

Hui Ching:

‘’Nothing is more enjoyable than contributing to society with a bunch of like minded friends. Theraplay mantap”.

 

Jing Jie

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

 

Daniel

"Trust yourself, be brave in making a step.Enjoy your life"

 

Hui Yen

“No matter how little contribution you think it is, it can actually bring great happiness to others.”

 

Nadiah

“More you give, the more you get. Nothing is impossible to do without starting.”

 

Pika

“There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”

 

Sheng Shao

"Changing the world might be hard, but what we need now is just a starting step from you and me."

 

Vikee

“The secret to a robust life force? Hope.”

 

Adriana

“A thrilling adventure!”

 

Section III

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