Building A Home With Your Bare Hands

Posted on Friday 13 September 2013 and filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through theRSS 2.0 . You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site

(hla) Just last Saturday on September 7th 2013, staff members and students from the Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Academy, along with other staff members and students from the INTI International University travelled all the way into an isolated village situated somewhere in Hulu Langat (Selangor) where many of the indigenous people (also known as the “orang aslis”) of Malaysia live.

Organised by Habitat for Humanity Malaysia (HFHM), an international non-government organisation (NGO) that builds homes for the poor, the team toiled away from morning until late evening to build a two-bedroom house for the family of Awi Al Champak. It was definitely a touching sight to see so many youths from different nationalities teaming up to put a smile on other people’s faces. Instead of resting on a comfortable bed watching movies or enjoying the luxury of air-conditioning like most youths do these days, these people chose to work under the sun to ensure that Awi’s family will live comfortably in a brick house instead of his current wooden house that is infested with termites.

Every brick the volunteers laid restored hope for the survival of Awi’s family that day. Each group busied itself with its own allocated task with some mixing the cement while others laid the bricks. Although the building of the entire house could not be completed that day, the volunteers did an excellent job installing the door frames and window frames, and most of the walls for the two bedrooms were almost complete.

Towards the evening, Associate Vice President of Student Services and Alumni Division Dr. Sia Ah Hiok also appeared on the site along with two other students who just finished their classes. They too had wanted to join in the project but could not participate earlier as it clashed with their class timetable. Nonetheless, the fact that there were still more youths who have expressed their interest to join such a meaningful project showed so much promise in the famous belief that “youths are (indeed) the pillars of our society”.

Dr. Sia was definitely impressed with the response from INTI’s students to join such an exhausting project. She got to recruit such a huge team in such a short time span merely from a notice posted on Facebook.

Although it was tiring, I really enjoyed myself. This is the first time I have ever built a house,” said Silambarasu Karuppiah, who also added that if it were not for this opportunity, he would have never had such an experience.

Another student from Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Academy, Lee Wei Siang, also thanked HFHM and INTI International University for giving him an opportunity to satisfy his burning desire to make a difference in the world. Although it was a small step, it meant a lot to him and also the family whom everyone built the house for that day.

HFHM personnel ensured that every volunteer had a full and wonderful experience of serving the needy. HFHM's Program Coordinator Joanne Sim along with her other colleagues ensured that safety came first. Everyone was expected to take full precaution at the site by wearing a helmet, gloves and a mask. Having worked with HFHM for more than 3 years because she wanted to serve the needy while she still can, the 35-year-old program coordinator said that working with HFHM is an exciting work as she “feels the fulfillment once (she) is able to help a family achieve their dream.

According to Joanne, Awi’s family members were touched that many volunteers came from overseas and KL city down to their village to help them build their home. In response to the question if the youth participation in HFHM’s programme is high, she said that HFHM is famous among the youth as they are energetic, creative and have the heart to serve.

HFHM obtains its funds and resources from corporation donations under the CSR program, grants, Global Village team’s program donation, local team participation fees, sale of merchandise, external fundraising efforts and the general donation by individual and groups. People may also contribute in various ways to help HFHM grow. Some of such include (but not limited to) financial resources, services and gifts, volunteer time and expertise, representatives and advocacy.

There was definitely teamwork and dedication amongst the team members that day. Fuelled with their passionate drive to alleviate the suffering of Awi’s family, it is not surprising to see everyone leaving with a broad smile on their faces although they were drenched wet in the rain at Kampong Paya Lebar that evening.

I believe more youths should inculcate the spirit of serving others as this will open their eyes and help them see and differentiate what truly is a need or luxury. Only by coming out from their comfort zones will they begin to learn how to appreciate the comfort around them that people these days take for granted for. If only each youth plays his/her part well, the world will definitely change for the better for everyone.

Copyright © 2013 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources
Holistic Living Annex (SEPTEMBER 2013)

2 Responses for “ Building A Home With Your Bare Hands”

  1. We rocked :D

  2. Yes, all of you did an excellent job that day! Well done!


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