By Alissa Rode
This was our largest expedition yet in terms of participating members and partners. A five-vehicle convoy made the journey up to Kg. Pos Musoh on 30 July 2011. We made the journey with our KL-based partner, the Orang Asli Outreach Project.
As Kg Pos Musoh is located high up in the mountains, the villagers do not have access to many of the infrastructure we usually take for granted. Fortunately the government has built a primary school there which is shared by the children from villages at the foot of the mountain. They travel all the way up for their primary education, and Kg Pos Musoh’s children must travel all the way down into nearby Tapah for their secondary school.
Cikgu Zul, the headmaster of SK Pos Musoh, accompanied us on his motorycle. This dedicated teacher makes the two hour trip from his home to the school every weekday. This is no mean feat, as the road up the mountain is narrow and winding, with a steep drop into the valley below one one side, and precariously perched trees on the other. It is dangerous after the rain. We heard that a week earlier, a man was hit by a falling tree. Indeed, we had to stop twice to clear tree-falls with parang!
We delivered a second Library in a Box to the Pos Musoh learning centre. We also included some boxes of flashcards as teaching aids for the pre-school teacher. Wak Linang, the pre-school teacher, was very happy to see us again and told us that the kids have been asking when we were coming to visit again. MKM’s last visit with the Outreach project was in December 2010. The children were as busy as bees around the Library Box and wasted no time exploring the new books. Volunteers, Alissa, Sabrina, Marc, Yuli and Farah spent some time reading with the children.
We also had a game of “gajah-kelapa” as an ice-breaker for the kids. Later, Alissa told the children a story about Bah Arul and the sun, adapted from a Japanese folktale. We then had a craft session for the children led by Lin. The kids had fun drawing and decorating paper plates into all sorts of funny faces. The googly-eyes we brought with us from Singapore was a hit.
In addition to the books, we are very excited about our new project providing solar lamps to villages without electricity. The lamps will allow children in places like Pos Musoh to read and do their homework after dusk. Altogether we delivered 22 lamps for the children in Pos Musoh and 6 for Lubok Gaharu (a nearby village, children from Lubok Gaharu also attend SK Pos Musoh). These solar lamps, which were purchased from IKEA, have batteries charged by solar panels, enabling the children to study at night. For every lamp we purchased, IKEA donates one to UNICEF to be distributed to children in Pakistan. It delights us that our project in Malaysia is also helping another community. When a supporter sponsors a lamp, they are helping with the education needs of not one, but two communities.
She can now study at night thanks to her solar lamp
We thank you for making this delivery possible and contributing towards their education. In particular we would like to thank sponsors for the solar lamps and the Library Box. We will be bringing more lamps to other villages in the future. If you are interested in sponsoring a solar lamp, please contact [email protected] or [email protected] The IKEA Sunnan lamps are RM69 or SGD29 each.
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