Donors, Volunteers Step Up to Help One of Malaysia’s Worst-Hit Areas

SHAH ALAM, MALAYSIA – In Malaysia, volunteers are collecting donations to help a part of the country that has been hit hard by COVID-19.

At a storage site, volunteers tape and stack boxes of donated food and personal protective equipment, or PPE, from face shields to sardines.

It is being sent from Malaysia’s biggest metropolitan area to one of its most remote — Semporna, which has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

Thousands of people are under lockdown, and some live in communities that can be reached only by boat.

William Cheah, co-founder of a social enterprise called Kembara Kitchen, helped organize the donation drive.

“You do not need to be a very big person to have a very big impact,” Cheah said. “If everybody comes together, the unity involved in people coming in to help each other out, you create a lot of effect.”

Zach Ho and his wife, Ivy, dropped off powdered milk formula.

“We feel that every contribution helps,” Zach Ho said. “Even though it’s a very small amount, we hope that it helps the situation in Semporna.”

Volunteer Tan Mei Ling is a piano teacher whose music school is currently closed because of the pandemic.

“I thought I would just come and help, since I was free,” she said. “I couldn’t teach, so I just came to help, and it feels good.”

Altogether, more than four tons of aid was donated. The supplies were flown to the airport nearest to Semporna before being distributed by government agencies and nongovernmental organizations.


Source: Voice of America