by Joanne Sin
20 May 2021…..
I am missing community service projects.
Although post pandemic, my fellow volunteers and I struggled with timelines putting plans in place and desperately looking for funding and sponsors for service projects, so much so it was mentally draining. I am kind of missing the action now.
I think many of us have been shoved out of our comfort zones and now looking for new opportunies that might offer us some social relevance.
One of the last projects we did was the painting of the mural in an Orang Asli (indigenous people) village kindergarten, including an interior new coat of paint and some maintainence work (the ceiling was falling).
We have worked with the villagers from Kampung Chang, Bidor (in the northern state of Perak) many times before; built a water tank, provided kindergarten school supplies, and a major village clean-up.
It is hard to believe that a village just 8km from a major town was only connnected with electricity supply just a few years ago. Water supply is still unreliable and water pressure constantly low. The ill effects of political discrimination is shameful and disgusting.
It is through such projects, I learnt…. great things cannot be achieved alone. My artist friend, Debbie (always with the spirit of giving and sharing ❤️) jumped into the opportunity immediately.
It was a weekend project. Some of us had to stay a night at a nearby motel. First the cleaning and scraping off of old paint, then the sketching done at night on Day1 and the painting proper done on Day2. Thanks, to adults and youth volunteers, it was completed over the weekend.
The kindergarten teacher, Azizah (who is also our liason) is just paid a token sum for her tutoring services. She isn’t professionally trained but does what she can. The Village Chief truly believes education paves a better path for the village kids. Thus the kindergarten double up as a pre-school and school-going kids can hangout to study and do their homework.
How can WE not support that vision?
Special thanks to our project sponsor, Dato’ Desmond Ng.