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Monday, 03 September 2018 00:00

Love to Jelebu Rainstorm Victims

Written by  Lee Heng Lun, Jelebu / Translated by Lee Hui Yieng

Volunteers presented cash relief to the victims. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]

A rainstorm in Jelebu blew off the rooftops of some residential and shop units; furniture and other stuffs in the units were dampened. Tzu Chi volunteers from Seremban visited the affected families to assess the situation and comfort the victims, before holding a cash relief distribution at a community hall.


It was not unusual for people living in Jelebu to encounter a few floods in a year. But the strong wind and rain that lashed several areas in Jelebu on September 1, 2018, caught the residents off guard. Roof tops were lifted, and furniture and other items in the affected residential and shop units were dampened.

Visits to each affected family

A Tzu Chi volunteer from KL & Selangor and hometown in Titi, established communication with a volunteer from Tzu Chi Seremban, who runs a business at Kuala Klawang. As it was already late in the evening, the volunteers could only start gathering information over the Internet and from local residents they were familiar with.

The following day, a few volunteers were mobilized to assess the damage. The name list provided by the government showed some 50 households were affected. Thus, ten volunteers from Seremban formed into three groups and visited each of the affected household to offer their care and find out their losses. Through the visits that lasted for three hours, it was discovered that the victims faced different degree of damages to their dwelling – some with fallen ceilings, some, the rooftops were blown off.

Cash Relief and well wishes

On September 3, a cash relief distribution was conducted in a community hall for the 54 affected households. The volunteers hoped that the victims can feel their sincere care and well wishes and also know that there are people who are ready to lend a hand in time of needs.

At the relief distribution, volunteers explained to the victims the spirit of Tzu Chi’s bamboo bank era, of how little kindness can go a long way to help others. Volunteers also informed the victims that Tzu Chi’s funds come from the donations of countless kind-hearted individuals. After that, volunteers read the letter from Master Cheng Yen and performed sign language interpretation of the song, “Love in the World”, to let the victims feel the love from Tzu Chi. Haji Md Isa bin Setawan, who has stayed in Jelebu for 20-plus years, heard about Tzu Chi for the first time in his life. He had a positive impression towards Tzu Chi and was grateful for the help rendered.

Delivering aid together with the government

State Assemblyman of Adun Klawang, YB Tuan Haji Bakri bin Sawir, visited the affected areas and made arrangements for the units where the rooftops were blown off to be covered with canvas sheets, as a temporary solution to prevent rainwater from pouring in. He also attended the aid relief distribution event, and was invited by volunteers to join them in presenting the cash to the affected households.

He had not heard about Tzu Chi prior to this, and was thankful to Tzu Chi for giving out cash relief to the affected households. He also commended Tzu Chi for extending aid regardless of boundaries; which is in line with the Islamic teachings. He said, “Racial discrimination should not exist. I hope that we can establish good working relationship with NGOs to make Malaysia a better place.” He urged the victims to patiently seek help through various channels and assured them that he will render help fix their rooftops.

Some of the victims, who are Tzu Chi donors, were aware that Tzu Chi’s funds are pooled from the public hence, they donated the cash aid back to Tzu Chi. Among those who did so was Ng Yew Thai, who believed there are others who needed the money more than she does.

 

 

The victims showed volunteers the damage on the ceilings. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]   Pieces of broken roof tiles scattered in the alley behind the houses. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]

The victims showed volunteers the damage on the ceilings. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]
 
Pieces of broken roof tiles scattered in the alley behind the houses. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]
 
Volunteer Tan Poh Seng (2nd right) spoke to the victims to understand more about the situation and their losses. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]   Volunteers helped the victims with registration. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]

Volunteer Tan Poh Seng (2nd right) spoke to the victims to understand more about the situation and their losses. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]
 
 
Volunteers helped the victims with registration. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]
 
State Assemblyman of Dun Klawang, YB Tuan Haji Bakri bin Sawir (2nd right), interacting with volunteers. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]   A victim, Ng Yew Thai, donated the cash aid back to Tzu Chi, to help those who are more in need. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]

State Assemblyman of Dun Klawang, YB Tuan Haji Bakri bin Sawir (2nd right), interacting with volunteers. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]
 
 
A victim, Ng Yew Thai, donated the cash aid back to Tzu Chi, to help those who are more in need. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]
 
Volunteers led everyone to sing along and perform sign language interpretation of the song, “We Are One Family”, before expressing mutual gratitude for one another. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]  

Volunteers led everyone to sing along and perform sign language interpretation of the song, “We Are One Family”, before expressing mutual gratitude for one another. [Photograph by Lee Heng Lun]