Further to SIPJ’s donation to the flood-hit villages in Kuantan last December, we wanted to see how the village was doing six months later. We liaised with SI Kuantan as to an appropriate day for us to visit and bring some essentials for the villagers. Datin Dr Phang from SI Kuantan coordinated with Sharon Saw from SIPJ and the date of 31 May was set for our visit. SIPJ had also received funds from the Malaysian Finnish Association for flood relief and with those funds, which were supplemented with a donation from SIPJ, we brought toothbrushes, toothpaste, nail clippers, cream crackers and an eco-bag for each of the 32 families in the village.
Bright and early on Sunday 31 May, Sheela Chandran, Emma Harris, Siti Aishah, Sharon Saw and a friend, Susan Lim, drove to Jerantut. We arrived at 11.30am and had a lovely lunch with SI Kuantan’s President Siti, Datin Dr Phang and Teh, as well as the Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (JAKOA) – Department of Orang Asli – liaison officer, Shahrol, and a few other officers from JAKOA. The Orang Asli are the indigenous people of Malaysia.
After lunch, we proceeded to the village, which was called Kampung Orang Asli Paya Lintah, roughly translated as the marshy and leech-filled village of the indigenous people! Fortunately, the village was dry and there were no leeches! We learned that seven homes had been destroyed during the terrible flood but three have since been rebuilt in higher ground. Four more houses will be rebuilt during the remainder of this year, also on higher ground in anticipation of a possible repeat of the floods.
We were introduced to the headman, Tok Batin, and then distributed the items we brought to the families. We also distributed feminine hygiene items sponsored by Gaea, Kao/Laurier and Kotex, as well as washing powder samples from Kao.
We also distributed two pieces of fabric per family. The fabric was donated by Pn Hjh Wan Lotfiah Latiff, the president of PEWANIS (Persatuan Wanita Islam Malaysia) and sponsored by JAKEL Malaysia.
After distributing the items to all the families, SIPJ walked around the village to see how the rebuilding was doing. Some of the houses were also cracked and needed to be fixed.
It was fulfilling to see how our donations were spent and also to ensure that the villagers had some essentials. A big thank you to Datin Dr Phang and SI Kuantan for organising this visit for us. We enjoyed the great fellowship too.
Thank you again to the Malaysian Finnish Association for your donation, SIPJ’s supporters and our sponsors, without whom we would not be able to have given so much today.
A special thank you also to Susan Lim for driving and taking photos of the event!
More photos here: