Kampung Sungai Chiong Gerik Perak: Many would have not know and or forgot that the orang asli community are also badly affected by the first and second wave recently. For example in Hulu Perak alone, the department of the development of Orang Asli J-K-O-A’s record shows some 48 orang asli settlement are badly affected in that district and this involves 12 thousand 124 residents.

These settlement are at the shoreline of Temenggor lake and the geographic position is seen one of the reason why the orang asli was cut off from receiving help when first and second wave hit Perak and 7 more states. The only way to keep in touch with them is by using boats.

Among the orang asli settlement situated at the shoreline are…Kampung Sungai Chiong, Kampung Aman Damai,Kampung Sungai Kejar and many more. Kampung Sungai Chiong has the highest residents summing up to 250 people and among the worst hit by the flood. The impact of the flood was felt seriously by 55 kids aging 3 to 6 years old. Their one and only pre school got washed away and since then the early eduction supposedly commencing latest 2nd week of this month sees a death-lock.

Taking into consider the future of the orang asli kids, Institut Onn Ja’afar IOJ a non profit agency NGO launched September last year came forward to extend immediate help to the preschool here. After studying the situation and discussing with the kampung chief..IOJ start to extend their help. The decision made was to upgrade,clean up and set up a temporary pre school for the kids at the existing traditional multi purpose hall which is made from bamboo. IOJ trust that this intiative will bring benefit to the pre school kids. Its patron Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein Onn said the flood does not know its victim and every group of victim should be helped.

“The flood does not different shade your skin colour,the flood does not know your background,the flood does not know wether you are muslim,christian,hindu or budist. Flood does not see your are rich of poor,minister or not. That is a reality,why not the post flood situation ,we (IOJ) might be small minority now,we might be a small wave can turn into a tsunami in a good way in a good sense”

Some 30 volunteers from IOJ.. mainly university students came forward to be together with IOJ to make this noble intention a reality. They are from University Kebangsaan Malaysia UKM, Universiti Malaya UM, Universiti Utara Malaysia UUM and Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara UITM.

The journey starts on Monday,after 6 hours of journey in the bus,the volunteer reached Gerik, the only district that is connected to the Temenggor lake. They were then transferred into a ferry together with all the goods which was brought to set up the pre school. It was a 3 hour journey crossing the lake to reach to Kampung Sungai Tiong. The ferry was moving very slow at 20 kilometer per hour,it tested the volunteer’s patient’s but they took it easy.

Reaching Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Chiong was much awaited by the volunteers. The guys and the girls was given different task in setting up the pre school. The residents upgraded the multipurpose hall by using their own creativity. They repaired the roof and put a wall made by buloh,while the volunteers was divided into groups to paint the hall, cleaning,putting up white boards and charts,setting up education columns and arranging books.

The books,uniforms and the equipments to set up the preschool was sponsored by IOJ and some generous people from Klang.

“We see a lot NGO are concerntrating in cleaning up the schools and housing areas,so we wanted to do something different and we know that the orang asli affected by flood might be forgotten. We should remember them”. Says Charles Mohan the CEO of IOJ.

As for the volunteers it is a agony to see the kids which falls under the poor family category facing the post flood situation. Its means a lot to them to devote their energy only for few hours in order to set up the temporary pre school.

“It’s for a good reason. I benefit from this project by IOJ and I trust the orang asli kids will benefit too. It’s a fun activity.” said Faisal Yahya from UKM.

Meanwhile another volunteer from UKM Wan Farah Hamidah Wan Hamid… said immediate post flood help must be extended to the orang asli affected.

“most of the time we see help only goes to places where there is majority victims,but the minorities like the orang asli are out of mind. So it’s a good initiative by IOJ to extend help to the orang asli community.I hope they (orang asli) don’t feel ignored’.

The Kampung Chief/Tok Batin Ramli Aaing was very touched by the temporary help from IOJ.

“I didn’t think an NGO headed by Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin choose to extend help to our Kampung. You see the kids now,are just passing their time playing football. It is very important to put them in order. This temporary pre school will help them.”

The orang asli from the Kampung Sungai Chiong are from the Temiar tribe. Most of them are small gardeners,fisherman and collecting items from forest.

Before this IOJ extended their immediate help to the flood victim, Pengkalan Chepa, Manik Urai Kelantan. IOJ also mobilized its volunteers to help in the collection sub center for flood victim in Melaka.

Institut Onn Ja’afar IOJ is a non profit agency. The patron is defence minister of malaysia Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Onn. IOJ was launched on 7th of September 2014. Its mission is to help out the poor and vulnerable.

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