Monday, Apr 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

After dismissal, a few students from Da Ai Educare Centre carried around donation boxes to collect donations from parents and fellow classmates alike. [Photograph by Yen Yu Chu]

Pictures of what seemed to be the sea, with vague objects sticking out here and there, gradually flashed across the projector. With the teacher’s simple explanations, the children of Da Ai Educare Centre could comprehend that they were actually looking at aerial shots of areas struck severely by the floods, and the tiny things sticking out of the water were the roofs of houses! They were blown away by what they had just seen and heard, but with the teacher’s help, they understood that despite the disaster, there is love everywhere; and that they could do their part to help.

Volunteer Chan Bee Peng (1st left) introducing the first Tzu Chi member in Kuala Krau, Yeong Kam Lin (2nd left) to a villager. Kam Lin vowed to set up more recycling centres in Kuala Krau and recruit more volunteers. [Photograph by Sam Pin Fook]

When the flood hit Kuala Krau, Yeong Kam Lin spent days visiting the victims tirelessly despite being a victim herself. The arrival of Tzu Chi volunteers brought hope to the town and eased the strain on Kam Lin when they started the cash-for-work programme, relief distribution and free clinic.

On January 11, 2015, Tzu Chi KL & Selangor held a large-scale aid distribution and free clinic at the hall of SMK Kuala Krau, providing free medical services, as well as, distributing Jing Si multi-purpose folding beds, daily necessities, and back-to-school financial aid for students. [Photograph by Lim Chin Tong]

Following the end of the four-day cash-for-work programme that saw a total turnout of 1,130 Tzu Chi volunteers and 2,638 flood victims, another batch of volunteers from Tzu Chi KL & Selangor were dispatched to Kuala Krau on January 11, 2015, to conduct aid distribution, free clinic and home visits.

Tzu Chi volunteers launched a cash-for-work programme on January 4, hoping to clean the school with joint efforts from all, so that children could return to school soon. [Photograph by Tee Kim Wooi]

On their return visit on January 10 & 11, Tzu Chi volunteers found the religious school, SM (A) Darul Naim in Kuala Krau, Pahang, clean but with some traces of mud. The thick layers of silt on the ground had been cleared, unlike a week earlier where the deep mud had made walking difficult.

Volunteers focused the cleaning effort along the 12 km riverbanks. They divided the cleaning area into eight sections and sponsored a work relief programme. [Photograph by Tan Ken Teik]

Debris along the submerged riverbanks of Pahang River was too voluminous to be cleared after the flooding; and villagers resorted to open air burning, which added a repulsive stench to the air. Six hundred Tzu Chi volunteers from KL and Klang then made a two-and-a-half-hour journey from Kuala Lumpur to launch a “cash-for-work” programme to clean up the neighbourhood together with the villagers.

Volunteers wore raincoats, held umbrella and poster in one hand and donation box in the other, and ventured on with the hope of helping the victims to return to their homes soon. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]

The major floods that hit Southern Malaysia in 2006 and 2011 affected the house of Tzu Chi volunteer, Chua Cho Koon in Segamat. She recalled, “I thought I suffered greatly then, but seeing the floods in the East Coast from newspaper reports, I felt they are suffering more as they have lost everything. I could feel for them.”

Rosliza (left), who rely on sewing to make a living, sought for Tzu Chi’s financial aid to repair her broken sewing machine. [Photograph by Lee Kok Keong]

Rosliza bte Mat Ibrahim, a single mother of five, who lives in Kuala Krau, Pahang, depends on sewing for her family’s livelihood. Unfortunately, the flood destroyed her sewing machine, cutting off her main source of income for three weeks. On January 10, Tzu Chi volunteers learnt of her predicament during a home visit. The following day, they offered emergency cash relief to repair her sewing machine.

A Malay lady, Ramlah, warmly welcomed a revisit by volunteers to Kuala Krau and her village for clean-up and care-giving.[Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]

In Kuala Krau, where the majority of its population are Malays and only 10% are Chinese, there is little interaction with Chinese-based Buddhist organizations. When Tzu Chi first launched the cash-for-work programme, it was misunderstood by the local Malays, who thought they had to pay Tzu Chi for the cleaning work.

The granny (middle) was delighted as Liu Xin Yin, a Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth, lovingly called her, “Granny”. [Photograph by Lee Kok Keong]

With her arms around a volunteer, 69-year-old Malay granny, held a Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth, Liu Xin Yin, close to her. When Xin Yin pressed her cheek against the granny’s and lovingly called her “Granny”, the latter joyfully said, “You all care for me genuinely, and I love you all dearly!”

Tzu Chi remained in the affected areas after the disaster, and returned repeatedly to care for the needs of flood victims, besides conducting house-to-house visits to provide comfort. [Photograph by Lim Su Nguan]

At 6.30 am on January 2, 2015, some 300 Tzu Chi volunteers from nine branches in Central and Southern regions set off for Kuala Lipis, Sg Koyan, Padang Tengku and Kerambit in 71 four-wheel drive vehicles. They carried out home visits that benefitted about 474 families.