January 4, 2013
Good day readers. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be apart of a meaningful project with Petronas in conjunction with the Deepavali celebration. Being away from home for such a long while, definitely made me miss the harmonious multi-cultural aspect of Malaysia. It’s called the Sentuhan Kasih community programme organized to reach out to less privileged families in Manjung, Perak (major plus point because I love discovering new places!). This event was held at Kampung Wellington. The day’s programmed kicked off with a gotong-royong activity by a group of 40 student volunteers from University Teknologi Petronas (UTP), local residents and a little help from us of course, to clean up and refurbish the villages’ common areas and amenities.These include the village’s community hall which now has a new store room, public addresssystem, tables, chairs, and an upgraded badminton court, courtesy of PETRONAS. Architect by profession, so this Petronas Twin Tower shot is a must Happy Deepavali. Group shot with the dancers. The iPhone camera takes amazing shots! A local resident was being given a free health screening. During the half-day programme, adults and children of Kampung Wellington were treated to a series of fun educational
activities facilitated by the UTP students. The villagers were also given free health screening and an informative workshop on substance abuse by Red Crescent Malaysia and Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia. In turn, the villagers took the opportunity to showcase their traditional arts and dance to the visitors.For lunch, the villagers were joined by another 77 families from Ayer Tawar, Lumut and SriManjung, who are beneficiaries of Program Sentuhan Harapan PETRONAS – a community outreach programme that provides basic
assistance to hardcore poor families in the country. Towards the end of the programme, PETRONAS Senior General Manager of Group Corporate Affairs Division, Dato Mohammad Medan Abdullah and UTP Vice Chancellor Datuk Ir. (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hashim handed out cash donations to all of the families. Sentuhan Kasih is a continuation of PETRONAS’ tradition of reaching out to the less privileged from different communities during festive seasons throughout the year. Launched in 2005, the programme aims at nurturing and enhancing the spirit of volunteerism among PETRONAS’employees and its affiliates. Over the years, the programme has become one of PETRONAS’ signature sustainable community outreach programmes designed and implemented to benefit the less privileged groups wherever PETRONAS operates as part of its larger corporate social responsibility commitment. Kampung Wellington is located at Ayer Tawar in Manjung, Perak with a total population of 500 villagers from 66 families.More than 90 per cent of the villagers are underprivileged with an average household income of less than RM700 a month. Most of them earn an income by working at the nearby palm estates around their neighbourhood. Program Sentuhan Harapan PETRONAS is a community outreach programme initiated by PETRONAS with aims at providing basic assistance to hardcore poor families in the country.Launched in 2010, the two-year programme provides food aid on a monthly basis to the eligible families for two years.To-date 8,000 families from across the country have been selected from the Government’sdatabase with the assistance of the Social Welfare Department and local non-governmental organisations. PETRONAS is also working closely with MyKasih Foundation in implementing the programme. In Manjung, a total of 117 families, who are mostly from Seri Manjung, Lumut and Air Tawar, have been identified for the programme. The programme also provides supplementary courses on financial literacy and skills training to help the recipients gain knowledge in areas pertaining to family finances, ways to increase family income, promote learning culture among children and youth as well as to encourage them to break away from the cycle of poverty. Once again, thanks Petronas for the amazing effort to aid those in need and giving me the opportunity to be apart of this meaningful event. I hope that this effort, on a personal level, can help raise the awareness of poverty and for us to be thankful for everything we have in our lives. Count our blessings!