After construction delays and the Covid crisis, the Hevea nursery school in Kuala Lumpur has finally opened its doors. Built a few hundred meters away from the French high school LFKL, the brand-new facility caters to children from 3 to 8 years. With a capacity of nearly 400 students, the building complies with French regulations and includes a swimming pool, a shaded playground, and a playroom for the youngest children. Each bright and soundproof classroom has a private garden and a small courtyard.
The success of this project is largely due to the efforts of Cyril Quenneville, head of AGS Malaysia. “I approached the school in 2013 with the desire to help expatriate families from all communities and support them during their stay in Malaysia,” says Cyril Quenneville, who has been running the branch for eight years. Since then, Cyril Quenneville and his team have supported the school’s major sporting events and intra-Asian tournaments, offering AGS-branded jerseys and lending trucks, tents, and other canopies. He never skips a school fair and always sets up a bouncy castle in the shape of a removal truck for the children.
An essential partner
When the school needed renovation in 2017, it was only natural for Cyril Quenneville to volunteer the necessary funding. Initially, 10 000 euros were used to renovate the French high school, LFKL Gymnasium, more particularly the floors and ventilation systems. Subsequently, he provided another 10 000 euros for the construction of the nursery school. To show their appreciation, the school administration installed two plaques in honour of Cyril Quenneville and AGS, one in the kindergarten and the other one in the gymnasium. In total, the high school and preschool accommodate 750 students from early childhood through to high school. “Being the main partner of these schools gives us a high visibility in the expatriate community,” says the manager. “Our contribution shows that we are present during the essential activities of daily life and that we are fully committed to the community.”
Supporting families in Malaysia
The AGS Malaysia branch manager notes that, with nearly 3 500 French nationals in Maylaysia, supporting the only French school in the country by becoming one of its main partners was essential. “The family unit is part of the AGS group DNA, which is itself family-owned,” says Cyril Quenneville. “We want make a difference for local families by improving infrastructure where necessary and helping to organise events that bring community together. “
The French school serves as a community hub as well was a rehearsal space of the amateur expatriates’ theatre club, of which Cyril Quenneville is a member. Cyril is similarly involved in local life and is a member of the French-speaking association in Malaysia. He organises various family events, such as pétanque tournaments, go-karting, barbecues, and Christmas parties. And every time, the group’s tents and equipment are erected. In 2019, Cyril Quenneville also supported the organisation of the Bastille Day celebrations in partnership with the French Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance Française of Kuala Lumpur. The day is important for all expatriates who come to meet and get to know each other.
There is no doubt that the upcoming events that Cyril Quenneville has organised, such as the pétanque tournament or the Highlands Games in September, will be much appreciated by the expatriate community who remain grounded due to the pandemic-related travel restrictions. According to AGS Malaysia’s director, “this involvement in the expatriate community allows us to create strong ties with the families.”