SEMENYIH: The Christmas spirit this year arrived early at Nottingham Malaysia Campus, albeit in the form of an unconventional Christmas tree constructed entirely out of small plants; which are added to its metal base with every donation of RM50 or above. This innovative take on the average Christmas tree is now steadily gaining size and greenery outside the Trent Building – growing to reach the heights that the Faculty of Science’s Carol D’Cruz had hoped it would.
This construction, led by D’ Cruz, is The Christmas Tree Project: a charity project to raise funds for Yayasan UNMC and support deserving children in pursuit of higher education. Officiated on November 7th by Provost and CEO Professor Graham Kendall before a small crowd of Provost Office members, staff, students, and our very own President Linur Chubaev, the Christmas Tree Project became a physical testament to just how generous people can be in this season of giving. Although relying on human sentiment may be naively optimistic, this hope has yielded excellent results for D’Cruz, as her construction of the far-from-traditional Christmas tree has come to closely resemble just that.
D’ Cruz’s charming nobility doesn’t end there. According to her, the donations will contribute to Yayasan UNMC, which may then award a scholarship to deserving marginalised students who want to further their studies at UNMC. At the same time, parts of the proceeds will also be channelled to a shelter home for girls, Rumah Kasih, run by the NGO Persatuan Kebajikan Kasih, which D’ Cruz works with in her spare time. She says,
I want to raise the awareness that education is very important; regardless of your level in the society, whether you’re rich, middle class or marginalised, everyone needs an education.
Optimistic, D’ Cruz hopes that by Christmas time, with the help of all on campus, we can expect the construction to be filled with enough plants to mirror a beautiful green Christmas tree. After all, tis’ the season. Thus, on a sentimental note, it is heart-warming to know that a child’s future will take shape as the tree does.
Hence, anyone interested in helping the cause can contact D’Cruz at Carol.Dcruz@nottingham.edu.my, or visit the Faculty of Science administration office from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays. Students may purchase the RM50 plants individually or as a group of 5 people, anytime from now till Christmas. By the end of the project, all plants will be planted on campus grounds together with the donor’s names to recognise those who have contributed.
By AMIRAH QISTINA HAZRIN
Photographs by Ahmed Afrah Ismail