Yayasan Suria JB (YSJB) – Follow-up of our visit to Orang Asli village at Kg Tewowoh, Mersing, Johor.
It was sometime in Oct 2020 when 2 NGOs from the IMSHA’s umbrella(Ihsan Johor & YSJB), IMSHA stands for Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Award, visited this Orang Asli kampong to render help to them after their houses were flooded, up to 13 ft of water, they have to abandon their houses and jumped onto a 20′ x 20′ rakit(floating house) to escape the floods and survive. 24 families were floating in the boat house for nearly a month.
These 2 NGOs decided to pull their resources together, with the help of Semporna Heroes and a few trips transporting 200l drums, nails, metal railings, zinc roofs, etc over a period of 1 year, this massive boat house measuring 20′ x 65′ was finally ready in Nov 2021 and we decided to make a trip there again, this time by road as the roads are now passable, last few trips were by speed boats due to impassable and bad road conditions.
On Sun, 14/11/2021, a convoy of 3 4WDs started from JB at 8.40 am, a 4- hour journey to Kg Tewowoh, we were ‘lost’ for about an hour on our way there, unfamiliar and with no hp signals, no Google, somehow we reached the Orang Asli kampong at 1.30 pm, with lots of ‘goodies’ (rice, potatoes, onions, coffee, mineral water, biscuits, eggs, condensed milk, instant noodles, bread, fruits, Promac milk and other food provisions, for them to stock up for the impending big floods in Dec 2021. All together, food for 28 families, last Oct 2020 it was 24 families, an increase of 4 families this time around.
We left there at 2.30 pm, after spending a good one hour with them, listening to their survival skills, their challenges and most of all, their bonds of friendship forged with us, grateful for our love, care and concern for them staying in such remote place.
We left them, with a heart so heavy, knowing that we have made their lives a little better, a little more comfortable. We have so much to learn from them – their simplicity, their friendship and their genuinity.
We were invited back by the Tok Batin(Headman) in Jan 2022 to stay overnight at the boat house, this time for BBQ with lots of Udang Galah in season then.
Quick stop in Kluang, together with the 14 volunteers, for the famous MyKluang coffee with my good buddy, Law In Hock who hosted us for the sumptuous high tea.
It was a long day, rained all along the way back, all arrived safety in JB at 8.30 pm.. What a day it has been!
With the Toyota Hilux all soiled up, it is time to go for a good car wash and check-up with all the bumps & humps along dirt roads.
All in, a 12-hour expeditionary, happy to see the many smiling faces of the people we helped, you have to be there to feel the warmth, gratefulness and sincerity of these indigenous people.