Thursday, Jul 18th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 07 March 2015 10:30

Recycling in Kuala Tatau after Flood

Written by  Kee Wen Ling, Bintulu / Translated by Jacqueline Khoo

Residents of Rumah Lebong happily did recycling, and even thought of keeping the resources in a sack bag for easy carrying. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]

Following the aid distribution after the Bintulu flood on February 4, 2015, Tzu Chi has been extending help to Ruman Lebong. Its leader, Lebong Ak Luang shared that, “This is the third time Tzu Chi has offered their help to this longhouse, and I hereby express my deepest thanks on behalf of the residents. We can only reciprocate by doing recycling.” According to Lebong, they will try to carry out recycling at the end of each month to coincide with their monthly clean-up.


 
On March 3, Tzu Chi volunteers were invited by Lebong to join him and his fellow residents in cleaning up their longhouse. He wanted the residents to be educated on recycling and hopefully, they could all contribute together for Mother Earth as a way showing their gratitude to the volunteers.
 
Construction of bamboo tent for recycling
 
As it was a Saturday, many volunteers could not attend this clean-up due to work, but all available volunteers, numbering seven in total, accepted the invitation. On March 7 at 8 am, all seven volunteers met Lebong at the longhouse.
 
Also present were residents from Kuala Setiam and Rumah Belanda, who arrived on foot or by motorcycles. Although the residents from Kuala Setiam did not receive any help from Tzu Chi during the flood, they still participated willingly when invited by their friends and relatives. A total of 120 residents participated in the activity.
 
According to Lebong, the residents went to the bamboo farm to cut down bamboos for the construction of a tent, so that everyone could be shaded from the sun or rain. When volunteers arrived, the residents even organized a welcoming team to greet the volunteers, who were very pleased. They were also touched by the traditional Iban music, along with the dances and drinks.
 
Yong Chee Ing, person-in-charge of this activity, shared in awe, “When I arrived, I saw that everything was well-prepared. The only thing lacking were the volunteers. I was truly touched. We really felt the gratitude, respect and love from the residents.”
 
Recycling is not about collecting rubbish
 
In the past, the residents would discard all their “rubbish” everywhere, creating poor hygiene at the longhouse. However, after being educated by volunteers, the residents have a different idea for “rubbish”. On that day, they brought their collected resources to the tent, had a short praying ceremony, and then started doing recycling.
 
Throughout the process, volunteers guided and helped the residents, teaching them more on sorting of resources according to their types, and educating them to do recycling with wisdom.
 
Most residents brought their resources without cleaning them, thus volunteers shared with them that recycling is not about collecting rubbish. Recyclables should be cleaned before recycling to save time and energy, and promote hygiene of the environment. All the residents nodded in agreement. Through face-to-face education and guidance, the residents felt that the “rubbish” had instantly turned into “gold”.
 
Recycling journey starts with first step
 
“This is the volunteers’ fifth visit to Rumah Lebong. We are very thankful to Tzu Chi for lending us a helping hand during our hardest days. This time, you all even taught us how to do recycling. Thank you!” said Lebong.
 
Lebong bravely took the first step to join Tzu Chi and spread the spirit of Great Love. It was also an important milestone, making it the first time that volunteers in Bintulu had attended a recycling activity at the longhouse. It is hoped that more residents will be inspired to join.
 
The activity lasted for two-and-half hours. Even though there was no packed schedule or grandeur in the activity, all the residents, regardless of their different ages, were happy doing it. They also learnt a lot on recycling, and will be able to pass on the love to other suffering people. More importantly, both volunteers and residents realized that “giving is indeed not the privilege of the rich, but the reflection of a sincere heart.”
 
 
The residents prepared a simple multi-purpose bamboo tent for the activity. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]   The residents welcomed volunteers with traditional music and dance performance. [Photograph by Chan Yet Seong]

The residents prepared a simple multi-purpose bamboo tent for the activity. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]
 
The residents welcomed volunteers with traditional music and dance performance. [Photograph by Chan Yet Seong]
 
Under the companionship and guidance of volunteers, the residents slowly became familiar with sorting out the resources. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]   Volunteers accompanied the residents to feel the happiness of recycling. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]

Under the companionship and guidance of volunteers, the residents slowly became familiar with sorting out the resources. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]
 
 
Volunteers accompanied the residents to feel the happiness of recycling. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]
 
Volunteer Yong Chee Ing shared with the residents about sorting the recyclables. [Photograph by Chan Yet Seong]   The leader of longhouse, Lebong (in white and blue striped shirt), turned his feelings into actions by organizing this recycling and educational activity, thus allowing the residents to experience recycling and protect the Earth together. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]

Volunteer Yong Chee Ing shared with the residents about sorting the recyclables. [Photograph by Chan Yet Seong]
 
 
The leader of longhouse, Lebong (in white and blue striped shirt), turned his feelings into actions by organizing this recycling and educational activity, thus allowing the residents to experience recycling and protect the Earth together. [Photograph by Yong Chee Ing]