Wednesday, Aug 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 02 May 2015 11:43

Street Fundraising by Nepalese Workers for Earthquake Victims in their Motherland

Written by  Yong Siew Lee, Melaka / Translated by Goh Hwe Yong

From embarrassment to feeling at ease, Indra and Vija bowed deeply to a young donor. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

When Yo Bee Kiow decided to participate in Tzu Chi’s street fundraising for the quake victims in Nepal, she invited her factory manager and Nepalese workers to join her. In the course of soliciting donations on the streets, the Nepalese began to see hope for their folks at home.


 
“Are you from Tzu Chi?” a lady on the street asked. When volunteers nodded in reply, she put a RM50 note into the donation box.
 
After a short while, the lady returned and asked volunteers the purpose of the fundraising. When told it was for the earthquake victims in Nepal, she put in another RM50 note. She also beckoned to her friends, who happened to pass by, to donate as well.
 
Volunteers at various fundraising locations on the streets were asked similar questions. When the public members learnt that their donations would be channelled through Tzu Chi, they donated without hesitation.
 
An Indian lawyer came personally to Tzu Chi’s office to give his donation. He said he trusted Tzu Chi because it really puts words into actions; and he had also witnessed what volunteers do at the Tzu Chi recycling centre.
 
Malaysians have shown their kindness through their generous donations for the earthquake victims in Nepal. They knew that their donations would reach the victims through Tzu Chi.
 
No reason to feel shy in doing kindness
 
Nineteen-year-old Sua Ren Yong took part in this street fundraising for the first time. He overcame his initial shyness to solicit funds from the public when he thought of the dire situation in Nepal in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake; and he wished to share his merits in helping others with all sentient beings.
 
He was particularly touched by an old lady who donated RM100. Despite her age, she was still very generous towards strangers in another land. And, when he was puzzled with some passers-by who only pretended to put money into the donation box, volunteers informed him that this group of people had clearly shown their intention to help even though no actual money was donated. So, they should be thankful.
 
Despite his initial shyness and the few times his pleas were ignored, he still kept his smile and soldiered on. His mother, Toh Siew Luan, was very proud of him. She said, “I told my children that we are very blessed living in Malaysia, so we should help people in other lands when help is needed.”
 
Siew Luan is the Operations Manager of Uni1 Food Industries. At the invitation of her boss, Yo Bee Kiow, a Tzu Chi volunteer, she took advantage of the May 1 Public Holiday to partake in the street fundraising, together with several Nepalese employees and her son.
 
Helping their own Motherland
 
There are some 40 Nepalese working in Bee Kiow’s factory, and four of them had lost contact with their family members in Nepal. Thinking that they should take part in the street fundraising during the May 1 to 3 holidays so that they feel more at ease knowing that people from other parts of the world were helping their folks at home, Bee Kiow sent a mass invitation to them. However, the response was less than desirable. Thus, Bee Kiow went to their quarters and shared with them Tzu Chi’s international disaster relief aid.
 
Thirty-two Nepalese workers responded to her genuine call. They went in several groups to various points on the streets to join Tzu Chi volunteers in seeking donations.
 
Prem Bahador Rok Magor had worked in Malaysia for quite some time, and could speak some Malay. With encouragement from volunteers, and as his folks were affected by the earthquake, he started to say out loud, “Help Nepal”, and gave a deep bow whenever passers-by responded to his call.
 
“Malaysians are safe from earthquakes, yet they are so willing to help my country at this time. For that, I am truly thankful. Therefore, as Nepalese, we must make the effort too,” said Prem, who did his part diligently, praying in his heart for a safe Nepal.
 
Learning to be humble so as to help
 
On May 2, Bee Kiow and Siew Luan led another group of Nepalese workers to Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) to raise funds. Bee Kiow briefed the workers to smile and show gratitude to donors, while Indra translated the message. 
 
Indra and Vija had lost their appetite and were unable to sleep since the day of the disaster. Their hometowns were near the epicentre of the earthquake that destroyed 90% of the areas around Kathmandu; and they were still unable to get in touch with their folks in Nepal. Despite their worries, they responded to Bee Kiow’s call, thinking that it should be their duty as Nepalese to help Nepal.
 
People passed by, and they donated. Eventually, four other Nepalese workers at MITC joined them after finishing their work. They spread out in a straight line, put their palms together, gave their deep bows, and their smiles. “I am so happy to see the young and old giving generously towards Nepal,” said Raju. 
 
“We are touched to learn of the efforts you have put in for Nepal, so we thought we should come,” said a Nepalese worker, who came to help his country even though his folks back home were not affected by the disaster.
 
In the process of fundraising on the street, Indra and Vija’s worries had dissipated as they began to see hope in the donors’ kindness for their people back home. Both of them could finally smile.
 
 
“I hope they could feel love and see hope in what they do,” said Bee Kiow, who echoed the sincere wishes of all donors and volunteers.
 
 
A shy Suo Ren Yong bravely faced the crowd with his smile, standing alongside his mother to plead for donation. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Tzu Chi volunteer, Yo Bee Kiow briefed her Nepalese workers on things to note when facing the crowd to ask for donation for Nepal. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

A shy Suo Ren Yong bravely faced the crowd with his smile, standing alongside his mother to plead for donation. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Tzu Chi volunteer, Yo Bee Kiow briefed her Nepalese workers on things to note when facing the crowd to ask for donation for Nepal. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
A donor gave his donation after confirming that he was donating through Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Nepalese workers working at MITC joined in to raise funds for Nepal. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

A donor gave his donation after confirming that he was donating through Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Nepalese workers working at MITC joined in to raise funds for Nepal. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]