Ahmad Harith Ahmad Syauqi, a 12-years old student of IDRISSI International School, Setia Alam won the Tuanku Bainun Young Changemakers Awards 2019 with his proud initiative that began with the aim of seeking acceptance for his beloved autistic brother, Uzair and others like him. The Tuanku Bainun Young Changemakers Awards 2019 was organized by a non-profit organization – WOMEN:girls in cooperation with Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun and supported by the Ministry of Education Malaysia and Yayasan Gamuda.
Competed against 11 finalists, Harith was chosen as the winner in the individual 6-12 years old category, last Wednesday. The award was presented by Yang Teramat Mulia Raja Dato' Seri Azureen binti Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfurlah, Chairman of Pusat Kreatif Kanak-kanak Tuanku Bainun herself.
Harith who hopes to become an advocate for Autism in Malaysia initiated a project due to the misunderstanding that his brother received all his life. “When we go out, we see that some people are staring at Uzair and they do not understand. That is why I want more people to understand and accept the differences,” he said.
As the past 11 years were hard for Harith’s family, they have never stopped finding Uzair’s interests until today but after they found his passion and enthusiasm in cycling, Harith started spreading the awareness through his proud initiative Cycle Uzair Cycle supported by his whole family.
“When my siblings and I were little, we always cycle. It turned out that my brother, Uzair is the best cycler among us. After we found out, we started cycling around the neighborhood, and fun rides of 20km, 40km, 140km, 200km from Putrajaya to Melaka - that is how we carried Cycle Uzair Cycle project with us,” he explained about how the project started.
Cycle Uzair Cycle is hoped to inspire other families with Autism to never give up and to give hope that not only higher functioning children can excel. “My brother still cannot read, write and speak properly but he gets to shine in his own way. I wish to inspire other parents to expose their children to various activities, keep searching for their children’s interest, and to encourage siblings to be supportive,” he said.
This young advocate also hopes to empower his brother, Uzair. When he holds the flag up high and proud, he has hopes that Uzair will be empowered to chart his own future, and that the society supports him and others like him to shine where their strengths lie.
When asked about his future plans for Cycle Uzair Cycle, he answered, “I will go for more rides with Uzair. Along the way, we will spread the awareness to other cyclists at the pit stops.”
The Tuanku Bainun Young Changemakers Awards 2019 winner believes that awareness is not all, but acceptance is what all families with autistic children need the most.