Since its official launch in May this year, Kechara Food Bank has been distributing food items to families living under the poverty line and to lesser-known charities. Some of the items include rice, cooking oil, biscuits and cheese.
On 15 September 2012, in the spirit of sharing, 325 members of the community of indigenous people (Orang Asli) in Bentong received 30kg of rice per family and lunch for all. Kechara Food Bank contributed three tonnes of rice in total! We also arranged a carnival for them and they had a very good time playing games. This event was held on the field of Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Sungei Dua.
These Orang Asli are from two aboriginal settlements, namely Kampung Sungei Dua Hulu and Kampung Sungei Dua Olak, about 10 km away from Bentong town. They started making their way to the school field as early as 9:30am even though the event was scheduled to begin at 11am. Police trucks were also deployed to ferry them.
Besides having fun and games in the carnival, the Malaysian Ministry of Health has also set up two booths to promote awareness of health related issues and to provide free medical check-ups. There was also a mobile clinic that had been set up to treat outpatients. The Pahang’s Director of Health was present to lend his support. In the interests for safety, the Fire Department of Bentong was there to demonstrate how to put out a fire.
The Minister of Health and Member of Parliament of Bentong, Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai graced the event together with Dato’ Ruby Khong. They gave away prizes for the winners of the telematch and distributed rice to each family. Dato’ Sri also approved the construction of 10 houses as well as supplying electricity and the replacement of water pipelines for the two Orang Asli settlements. During lunch, the Orang Asli approached Dato’ Sri with their well-prepared request letters to highlight their plight. How wonderful to know that Kechara facilitated this for them!
The success of this event is attributed to the collaboration of several departments: the Office of the Minister of Health Malaysia, the Office of the Member of Parliament for Bentong, the Bentong Fire Department, the Bentong Police Department, the Head/Penghulu of Orang Asli and Kechara.
On behalf of Kechara, we would like to thank our dedicated volunteers who worked very hard in making this event a success, especially to Chua Siong Woan and Justin Cheah who worked patiently and tirelessly for months with all the departments involved. And last but not least, to our President of Kechara House, Datuk May Phng for joining us in this eventful day.