Sathya Sai Village Improvement Program in Borneo
The youth force and senior members from the Sathya Sai Baba Central Council of Malaysia and Singapore participated in a four day village improvement service program. This program has been going on since 2004. The current project focuses on those villagers dwelling in the jungles of Borneo.
The activities this year saw the launch of several Sustainable Action Initiatives (S.A.I) with the aim of promoting a healthier environment and to alleviate the suffering of these villagers.
30 participants from West Malaysia, 15 from Singapore and 25 from East Malaysia took part in this National Gramma Seva Program held at Ulu Lemanak, Sarawak. The volunteers consisted of professionals such as doctors’ engineers, lecturers, businessmen, etc.
The program was conducted in two of the most remote villages namely Perkampungan Bawie and Perkampungan Sepayak, both located close to the Sarawak – Kalimantan border. All activities carried out during this trip focused on ensuring proper nutritional needs for the villagers as their natural resources were depleting year by year.
A Medical Camp was also organised as the nearest hospital is about 100kilometers away.
All in all, 300 villagers from Long House Sepaya and 200 villagers in Long House Bawie benefitted from this program.
The following is a summary of activities that were carried out:
1. Health Care
- Professional Medical doctors performed check-ups to the villages (when necessary, drugs were prescribed)
- Vitamins were distributed to all the children
- Rain Coat for villagers sponsored by Kuching Centre
2. Hygiene care
- Educating them on the importance of proper personal hygiene
- Treating their hair with medicated shampoos (for scalp care and lice)
- Hair Cutting – we got professional hair stylist to perform hair cutting for the villagers
- Teaching the kids and adults on the proper method to brush their teeth
- Distribution of 300 pairs of children slippers
3. Games with the children
- Face painting
- Indoor games
4. Cultural Performance
- Volunteers and the villagers shared cultural heritage by singing and dancing in the evenings once all Seva activities were completed
5. Mass cooking
- Cooking for the villagers and volunteers – our Cooking team prepared 3 meals per day in the jungle
6. Facilities Upgrade
- Installation of a parabola to allow them to have infotainment for educational purposes
- Installation of solar power lights for the Community Hall in Kg. Bawie – to allow the children to use the Balai Raya for studies. Project was accomplished with the assistance from Mitsubishi Electrical Asia Pacific (MEAP). One of our GS volunteers, Sis. Yap Thong Mei from MEAP helped us source the materials and the installation was completed with the guidance of Bro Andrew Leong.
- Setting up a library to allow the children to have good access to books in the Balai Raya
7. Dry ration -45 families
- Providing each family with the basic necessities like rice, potatoes, onion, garlic, gingers, rice vermicelli, oil, flour, bathing soap, hair shampoo, sarong, towel, etc.
- Educating them on proper cultivation techniques to ensure they have good nutritional food. Plant and vegetable seeds were given for each and every family to cultivate and to sustain themselves. Various Fruit trees were also distributed to each family.
- Each child was equipped with books, pencil cases, pencils, eraser, sharpener, ruler etc.
- 6 bicycle was donated for the children
- Villagers received sarong, towel, etc.
- Installation of a Library at Kg. Bawie – Material and Design done in KL, shipped to Sarawak including Books etc.
- Sathya Sai Avathar (2) T-Shirts distributed to each family – this was a personal request from the villagers themselves
- Items from China and shipped direct to Sarawak-Sponsored by Sai Edmark Company