Yayasan Suria JB(YSJB) - Where do I begin!

Where do I begin!

Yayasan Suria JB(YSJB) – Where do I begin!
Familiar? Yes, it was a famous/familiar song by singer, Andy Williams during my childhood days.

I am trying my best to piece together so many things that happened before these 2 busy days (1st & 2nd Apr 2022).

Some 2 months ago, we were allocated some funds by YUEM (Yayasan UEM – United Engineers Malaysia’s Foundation) & Scientex Bhd to be part of their CSR’s initiatives. Both companies wanted us to help the people affected by the recent floods in Johor and we have chosen Segamat & Kota Tinggi.

We couldn’t do anything earlier due to the recent Johor’s state election on 12/3/2022. We didn’t want to be ‘highjacked’ by anyone for their own political gains for YSJB is apolitical and coloured-blind. Having identified the locations, ground collection of data started with details of families, no of children, ages, income level, schools, etc for some 500 families.

YUEM – 300 families with food bank RM150, BTS (Back To School) RM250 and cash aid of RM50 for a family (total: RM400 a family) whereas Scientex was for 200 families @ RM100 food banks a family.
With a short window period of some 14 days, the project to sort out the 500+ families before the start of fasting (puasa) on 3/4/2022 must be completed and 1/4/2022 was chosen for Segamat and 2/4/2022 for Kota Tinggi.

It was all-systems-go with groceries from Lotus’s Desa Tebrau, JB (where we got a special deal for YUEM. For Scientex, groceries were from Billion in Segamat and
Yeong Moh Trading in Kota Tinggi. Lorry was hired to bring the groceries from Lotus’s in Desa Tebrau to Segamat (3 locations) and Kota Tinggi (3 locations).

All ‘goodies’ were delivered at least 2 days before, locked in the various schools/halls.

BTS for YUEM was handled by another NGO, MySutera and we coordinated with them from the data collected on the ground as sizes of uniforms, shoes, etc have to be ordered beforehand.

Day 1 – 1/4/2022.
Started from my place at Masai 5.30 am, with 300 bags of Promac milk powder, picked up volunteers and met up with our synergy partner, Ihsan Johor at 6.30 am in JB and a convoy of 4 vehicles made the 3-hour trip to Segamat.

1st stop:
Dewan Asrama Anak Yatim Gemereh (Orphans hostel) where 30 volunteer students were waiting, some involved in registration, another group standing by to help to carry the ‘goodies’ for the receipents, another group from MySutera manning the BTS area where students will have the shoes, uniforms measured with school bags ready for collection.

Vouchers for BTS were given out a day earlier to all recipients for filling up details.

It was a hive of activities, so many people waiting eagerly, all lined up for registration. Each volunteer was assigned to take ‘action’ photos, ‘still’ photos receiving of the groceries and another group of volunteers assigned to hand out the RM50 L
ve gift to each family.

The students from the hostel, some 30 of them, were busy carrying the groceries for the receipents. Such a busy scene, such happy and smiling faces all round after receiving the ‘goodies’ with volunteers thanking them for coming. Many recipients asked us to have a picture with them, we obliged, they were indeed grateful for the ‘goodies’received.
Just as we were about to leave here, the Warden approached us whether we can supply COVID-19 test kits for the 30 students before they go back to the hostel, we obliged, went out to town and bought 60 sets, told him to test all the students on Day 1 and Day 5.

2nd stop:
We were ‘slightly’ lost this time as the Orang Asli place we were supposed to go was out of the Waze radar. However, after a few twists and turns and occasionally, stopping by to ask for directions, we finally made it to Kg Putting, way inside an oil palm plantation.
Crowds were waiting there already, quick unloading and it was business time again. This Jakun tribe was friendly with a few intermarriages with Chinese, most spoke Bahasa Malaysia.

Just as we were about to leave, the Headman asked whether we can helped out 4 families left out of the BTS program, we immediately took out RM640 (RM160 x 4 families) and gave to them, we needed to be fair to everyone. The 4 families were so happy, thanking us profusely for the little we did for them.

This was the place where it was flooded to the roof some months ago (see pics/video), we were glad to made it here to help out, they were grateful indeed.

3rd stop:
Kg Tenang School hall.
Same business here with ‘goodies’ bags given out.
We left the place at 4.30 pm, making our way back to JB, heavy rain along the way and on reaching JB, surprised to find the whole city all jammed up – opening of Singapore-Malaysia borders!

Just as we were entering JB, we received a call from the Headman of the Orang Asli at Kg Putting stating that a storm have destroyed the hall where we were having our distribution back then. We told them to send us some pics, perhaps we shall be visiting them soon to see what we can be done.

Reached Masai at 10.00 pm after sending back the volunteers, dead tired, all drained out. Got to catch some good sleep as got Day 2 run to Kota Tinggi the next day.

Day 2 – 2/4/2022.
Started again at Masai 8.00 am, picked up volunteers, quick stop at our office at Johor Jaya to pick up Ensure milk (16 tins) and 240 packs of Promac milk powder.
After a 35-min drive, reached Kota Tinggi at 9.00 am.

1st stop:
Taman Aman, 25 bags of ‘goodies’ from Scientex were given out from house to house.

2nd stop:
Kg Mawai Hall, 100 food banks and BTS from YUEM & 25 food banks from Scientex were given out.
Also 31 ‘goodies’ bags from another NGO, CUJB (Care United JB) were also given out to different families.
We have our lunch there, courtesy of the Ketua Kampong.

3rd stop:

Orang Asli hall at Sg Selangi, Kota Tinggi where 25 food bank from Scientex were given out.
At every location, Promac milk powder were given out and the children were so happy to receive them as could be seen from the faces.

We have a good time mingling with the kampong folks, especially the Orang Asli, with their faces lighted up each time we handed the ‘goodies’ to them.

It was time for us to leave them at 3.30 pm, fond memories of the village folks we met, their smiles made our day and we hope to serve them again soon.

The sheer volume of data to be collected from some 531 families, the logistics of bargaining for the best price, ordering the ‘goodies’, transportation, preparing vouchers, RM50 L
ve gifts, putting them into YUEM’s envelopes, coordinating with the many NGOs, Ketua Kampongs, etc is mind blogging, we couldn’t have done this alone without the help from others, the actual traveling to the locations, and now (writing of this report) before I forget are something I thought I can never do – but somehow it must be done quickly, posted out and then catching up with enough sleep, waking up fresh to serve with L
ve & Humility again the next day!

Bye for now and take care.
It’s now close to 11.30 pm, got to
Enjoy the many pics/videos we have taken!
And “SELAMAT BERPUASA” (HAPPY FASTING) to all our Muslim friends from all of us at YSJB!