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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:22

Distributing Cash Aid to Kuching Flood Victims

Written by  Chin Shu Chien, Kuching / Translated by Jacqueline Khoo

The genuine care and warm hugs from the volunteers had warmed the hearts of the victims. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]

On January 27, after three consecutive days of home visits, Tzu Chi volunteers in Kuching reported to their KL & Selangor Branch, via video-conferencing, the statistics and current situation in Kuching. On January 28 and 29, cash relief distributions were carried out, with each family receiving a different amount of cash based on their losses and number of family members. It is hoped that through the cash given, the flood victims would be able to overcome their difficulties; and through volunteers’ care, they would be able to heal the pain in their hearts.


 
During the cash relief distributions, volunteers introduced Tzu Chi and the spirit of the “Bamboo Bank Era” to enable the attendees to understand where the cash aid came from. Tzu Chi volunteers also explained and performed the hand gestures for the song, “We Are Family” along with the attendees to enliven the atmosphere.
 
Repaying society with gratitude
 
On January 28 afternoon, 25 Tzu Chi volunteers went to Dewan Serbaguna Batu Kitang Jaya for the first cash relief distribution that benefitted 21 families from Kampung Batu Kitang Lama and Kampung Batu Kitang Jaya.
 
Zhang Xing Guang has always been grateful to Tzu Chi volunteers, who had extended their care and provided cash aid to flood victims in that area in 2003 and 2004. On this visit, he took volunteers to the homes of families who really needed help. He had also indicated his willingness to offer a helping hand whenever the need arises in the future, as he knew that the cash aid did not come easily and thus, should be utilized to its optimal benefit.
 
Xing Guang, who had donated RM200/- to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan said, “I was helped when I was in trouble. Now that I am able to help others, I want to repay the kindness and help those in need. I am very happy to receive Tzu Chi’s assistance this time; it would really help us to overcome our difficulties. Whenever there is a donation drive in the future, we will certainly make a donation, as this is the gratitude all of us should have.”
 
Mohamat bin Moyan, a Malay resident, kept nodding as he read the brief report on screen. He shared, “I hope I could still help others even when I am the one being helped. But I am very sad as I do not have the ability now. I really do appreciate the true meaning of helping, thus I read the information on the screen carefully.” He mentioned that he was very happy and relieved to receive the cash aid; and he also felt the volunteers’ love and care.
 
Great Love without borders
 
Mahyuddin Hafiz bin Mohamad, a student, who received the cash aid on behalf of his family, hoped to use the money to restore his family’s livelihood. Upholding his religious teaching of “doing good and helping others”, he also donated part of his savings into the bamboo bank and gave his love to help those in need. “I have many Chinese and Malay friends, and during our interactions, I could really feel their kindness. It’s like a family,” added Mahyuddin.
 
Surati Rosli, whose house was badly affected by the flood, kept taking photos of the volunteers using her phone so that she could share about Tzu Chi with her friends and relatives. “This organization is really great; and the members care about our plight and problems. Most importantly, they helped us all regardless of race and religion. I am very grateful for this,” she said.
 
Cash aid sent to the doorsteps
 
The following afternoon, 13 volunteers delivered cash aid to four families in Kampung Sungai Maong Tengah.
 
Suptuah was surprised to see the volunteers. She said, “We are really thankful for your help. We can buy food and our children’s school supplies with the money.” Her husband, Saldon, who stood aside and showed his gratitude with his palms together, wished for a chance to repay this kindness.
 
Masni bte Ayub could not stop smiling as she interacted with the volunteers. She expressed her gratitude and said happily, “The damaged kitchen is our most important basic need. With this cash aid, we can now repair our kitchen. Thank you for your concern. Although we are of different race and religion, we are living in the same country. This is the true spirit of ‘One Malaysia’.”
 
A jolly cash relief distribution
 
After waving goodbye, volunteers left the busy town and headed to a quiet village for the next relief distribution. After meeting up with another 3 volunteers, 16 of them reached Kampung Segobang, located by a riverside.
 
As they reached an Ibanese long-house, the venue for the distribution, they were welcomed warmly by the local Ibans. Tables and sofas were set up for volunteers to use when verifying details; and residents also gathered around the volunteers to talk about the previous days they spent at the evacuation centre.
 
They related that they were all excited and had looked forward to the volunteers’ visit to the long-house, as they could still remember the volunteers, who had provided them with care and material aid at the evacuation centre. They even invited the volunteers to join in their harvest festival enthusiastically.
 
Volunteers also showed Da Ai TV’s news about the flood in Kuching. When the villagers saw themselves on the news, they laughed heartily. Accompanied by drums, the Iban elders and volunteers even started performing the traditional tribal dance, instantly creating a warm and joyful atmosphere.
 
After the cash aid distribution, the villagers and volunteers took a group photo together. After several interactions, it was obvious the gap between the villagers and volunteers has become closer. They were like one big family sharing their precious feelings and memories together; and the volunteers’ genuine care and warm hugs had warmed the hearts of the victims. With that, an exceptional distribution had come to an end, with echoes of blessings and gratitude.
 
Disasters are ruthless, but the human world is full of love. When everyone treats one another with sincerity, the world would be filled with auspiciousness. Positive, uniting energy could create a more beautiful world and a better future for all.
 
 

 
Volunteers handed the relief cash to the flood victims respectfully. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]   Mohamat bin Moyan, who loves to help others, read the brief report on screen carefully. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]

Volunteers handed the relief cash to the flood victims respectfully. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
Mohamat bin Moyan, who loves to help others, read the brief report on screen carefully. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
Mahyuddin, one of the flood victims, responded to the spirit of the “Bamboo Bank Era” by contributing his kindness in cash. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]   Surati was happy and grateful to feel the Great Love, which transcends borders, race and religion. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]

Mahyuddin, one of the flood victims, responded to the spirit of the “Bamboo Bank Era” by contributing his kindness in cash. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
 
Surati was happy and grateful to feel the Great Love, which transcends borders, race and religion. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
Volunteers headed to Kampung Sungai Maong Tengah to distribute the cash aid house-to-house. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]   Masni felt that volunteers had demonstrated the true spirit of “One Malaysia” through their Great Love. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]

Volunteers headed to Kampung Sungai Maong Tengah to distribute the cash aid house-to-house. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
 
Masni felt that volunteers had demonstrated the true spirit of “One Malaysia” through their Great Love. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
Accompanied by drums, the Iban elders and volunteers even started performing the traditional tribal dance, instantly creating a warm and joyful atmosphere. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]    

Accompanied by drums, the Iban elders and volunteers even started performing the traditional tribal dance, instantly creating a warm and joyful atmosphere. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]