Volunteers set off for ‘Giving Hope, Sharing Love’ project
MIRI: It is almost mission accomplished for the humanitarian project ‘Giving Hope, Sharing Love’ ( GHSL) initiated by Hope Place Kuching, a nongovernmental organisation, for three Penan settlements in Ulu Baram – Long Si Ang, Long Rudin and Long Selulong.
Early yesterday at 5am, a total of 100 volunteers in 35 units of 4x4 vehicles from Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Brunei, Sandakan and Federal Territory of Labuan set off for their journey from Miri for the two nights and three days of GHSL from June 15 to 17.
Leading the convoy was Dr Ling Tung King, a veterinary surgeon in Miri, while Kelvin Wan, founder of Hope Place, coordinated the project.
Among other volunteers were three doctors, three dentists and six nurses from the Sarawak General Hospital, Sarawak Nursing Professional Association (SNPA) as well as from Sandakan besides a pharmacist, a hairdresser and technicians.
“Also joining the trip are technicians to set up the solar lights at Long Selulong. Everyone is hoping for good weather and no delays, as this is crucial for everything to be set up completely and on time,” Wan told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He thanked all those involved including donors and sponsors. Among the major sponsors were a Kuching based Japanese firm – LONGi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd which donated 38 solar panels while among the major individual donors was his schoolmate Kelly Lau Hong Eng, who donated 60 per cent of the foodstuff for the trip.
Lau, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, when interviewed said she was happy to be part of GHSL.
“I am glad to help Kelvin - a friend and schoolmate who does charity beyond borders and is very meticulous and efficient in channelling public donations to the target groups,” said Lau.
For GHSL, she said the foodstuff donated included those given by her own family members and close friends and hoped that more people would come forward to help the less fortunate in society.
For volunteer Tan Wei Kheng – renowned local artist who enjoyed a unique understanding and trust from the Penans – GHSL is like a prayer answered as it will greatly help these semi nomadic Penans.
“I am sharing the joy of the Penans, whom I have been visiting regularly as part of my social obligation helping the former deputy education minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim in his community project sponsoring some Penan students at SMK Marudi. I also help the Helping Hands, Brunei, another NGO helping the Penans there, buying generators and solar panels for other Penan settlements,” said Tan.
Tan hoped for continued help for the Penans from the new Pakatan Harapan government, especially in accelerating development in all aspects.
Wan (right) and volunteers getting ready the items for their trip.