Voices That Care

Say Hello to ... Mazuin

Every single person in Care2Run’s ecosystem is essential, and we’ve grown so much in three years thanks to all the different individuals who’ve played a part in getting us to where we are.

It is for this reason that we aim to hand this section over to our people – our participants, coaches, volunteers, parents, friends and loved ones – so they can tell you what Care2Run means to them.

This week we say hello to ….. Mazuin Murtadza, mum to Mikhail, an incredibly intelligent young man who’s gone from reserved teen to confident Junior Coach.

ON July 21, 2019, 16-year-old Mikhail Raul took to the stage – in front of peers, coaches, parents and supporters – and spoke with passion about how Care2Run has changed his life. Just weeks earlier, young Mikhail hadn’t had the self-assurance necessary to speak in front of so many people.

Now, here he was, calm, composed and speaking confidently about wanting to give back to the community.

Mazuin, Mikhail’s mum, tells us that she’d enrolled her eldest son in the Junior Leaders Programme because she felt that he lacked focus. He’s certainly come a long way though, since then – from reserved teen to confident Care2Run Junior Coach.

Here’s Mazuin on what Care2Run has meant to her and Mikhail …

Hello there, Mazuin. Could you share with us how you learned about Care2Run and what made you want to enrol Mikhail?
Hi! My friend Kok Meng, whose son Hahn is also with Care2Run now, actually told me about the programme. I’d known Kok Meng from our involvement in the Inclusive Outdoor Classroom (IOC) and we got to talking about programmes that would benefit Mikhail. At the time, Mikhail had been getting a little bored with the programmes he was attending, and he didn’t appear to have much to focus on anything. When I spoke with Kok Meng, we discussed that and I mentioned how I was looking at for a programme that could possibly open up a career path for Mikhail. That’s when he mentioned Care2Run.

Was Mikhail excited to about joining Care2Run?
Actually, because of the name – Care2Run – he thought we’d signed up for a run. And to be fair, I didn’t actually know much about Care2Run then. So I said to him, “Well, maybe there is some running. I don’t know.”

Mikhail seems to have enjoyed being a part of the Junior Leaders Programme. Do you feel he’s benefitted from the programme?
He did enjoy it. He’s definitely more confident now. The JLP and the bridging sessions for junior coaches has helped him grow. He loves what he’s learned, especially the first aid training, which he was so excited to tell us about. His new role as a Care2Run Junior Coach has also been a motivating factor for him to maintain his focus.

What was Mikhail’s developmental journey like? Did he attend a mainstream school?
It was challenging. When he was much younger, he was in a mainstream school where the teachers were all right with him sometimes running out of class and things like that. It was good because they tried to understand his differences. The challenging part wasn’t so much that, but the fact that he had a hard time with the other kids. There was a lot of teasing and stuff and it was not easy on him, and us as a family. You know, sometimes I used to think, I’m not asking for much, just for parents to teach their kids to be nice to one another.

At the moment, Mikhail doesn’t attend school. But he is attending coding classes. He does have an aptitude for computers and computer games. And he gets excited at the thought of being able to monetise his interests. So that’s what he’s focussing on at the moment. To me, if these things can present viable career options, then why not. Let’s give it shot.

What does Care2Run mean to you, Mazuin?
I love Care2Run because I’ve witnessed how much Mikhail’s grown. He’s able to communicate with everyone at the sessions, whether they’re young kids or adults or are differently-abled. And I love how he never forgets his manners when he interacts with people, regardless of who they are.

Care2Run is also special to me because of its diversity, not just of people with different abilities, but of the different cultures too. And everyone is accepted. I’m very particular about wanting my children exposed to and interacting with people from various backgrounds. Mikhail is someone who’s always been quite oblivious to race and ethnicity. He never describes people by race because, until quite recently, he never noticed it. He’ll say “the boy with the glasses” or “the girl with the ponytail”, not “the Indian boy” or “the Chinese girl”. At Care2Run, Mikhail gets to be himself, because no one focuses on differences like race.

What are your aspirations for Care2Run?
I try and encourage as many people as possible to give Care2Run a shot. As a parent, I’ve seen how passionate the coaches are and how much care goes into the programmes. So I hope Care2Run can reach more people and touch more lives.

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