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Sunday, 18 November 2007

Life under Extreme Poverty

Date: 18th November, 2007
Place: Kampung Empasak
Project: Poor Family
Activity: Site and living condition survey


The New Century Lions Club of Kuching Emerald has a regular project called "Poor Family" in which we try to help the community living under poverty. This year, we were informed by a group of volunteers who build churches around the rural villages that there is this Kampung Empasak that has sub-standard living condition. So, the Club decided to have a site and living condition survey before making our commitment.


The Google Earth™ map showing the approximate location of 'Kampung Empasak.'


A group of the Club members went up to this village near to a town called Serian this morning to meet up the church volunteers, which is 60 km from Kuching. We were then led to Kampung Empasak which is about 45-minute drive through some sections of gravel road.


The road to the village.


The church built by the volunteers who brought us in to the village.


The living condition here is really sub-standard, with houses simply built of wooden planks. We were told that the village has 11 families with 60 tenants, mostly elderly people and young children, as the adults have left the village to work in the nearby towns.


The houses were built with putting up irregular wooden planks together.


Some houses are just covered with heavily corroded zinc sheets.


This balcony may look like a good place to relax.


But the wooden column supporting the balcony is already rotten to the extent of life threatening state.


There is no water and electricity supply to the village. Therefore, the villagers depend solely on collecting rain water and getting the water from the streams nearby.


The oil barrels for water storage.


Every household has only one door, or the most, two. There is no more partition of space inside the house. The living room is also the dining room and bedroom. The floors for most of the households are just compacted soil ground.


The only door to a household.


The only space for one family.


The farming here is just self-subsistence and they rarely have extra produce to sell.


The collected rice grains.


The children here are severely lacking in education. The nearest school is a 2-hour walk away. There is a boarding school around this area but the children were bullied at the school by the more well-off children to the extent that they refuse to go back. The children run around the village on their bare feet and there is no hygiene to talk about. There is also no proper toilet around.


The child just roam around the village, with very little chance to attend school.


The older kids have to look after the younger ones when the adults are in the farm.


A window is already the playground.


It looks like the children are lacking of some nutrition.


The children run around bare-footed. Hygiene is almost non-existence.


Even the adults here look lacking of nutritious food.


The church volunteers are going to throw a Christmas party for the children of the village and some other from the nearby villages. Our Club has decided to join in by giving goody bags to the children. That will be on 20th December, 2007. Our Club has also decided to give away some nutritious food such as eggs and cereal to the households. Although it is just a small contribution from us, it'll at least make a difference.

If you would like to contribute to this project, please contact our Club President at the following address:

New Century Lions Club of Kuching Emerald
P.O. Box P70
93457 Kuching
Sarawak
Malaysia
Email: jenny_chu@yahoo.com.hk

Your contribution, no matter how small it is, will make a big difference for the village community. I hereby appeal to you and thank you in advance for your generous contribution.



13 comments:

MyF said...

Excellent post - I think the media or govt should read blogs more often to "hear" people's voices.
But, poor people are brought up tough - despite all the hardship, they can still smile wonderfully, as what you have captured in your photos!

cfimages said...

Great documentary work.

CK-II said...

Hi MyF and cfimages, thanks for your input. The villagers are actually very contented although we feel that they live in poverty. We were told that some of them even refused to be helped due to pride. Therefore, we need to understand the mentality of the villagers better before extending our helping hands.

IguanaKia said...

Hi,such a interesting blog.
I am newbie blogger here. Just wondering if we can exchange links to help me out? Please let me know,thanks.

my blog : http://mykuching.blogspot.com

Sandy Carlson said...

These are great documentary photos; they are also works of art capturing the beauty of the human spirit even in these dire circumstances. Thanks for opening my eyes this morning.

God bless you. Happy WW.

pips said...

This is an impressing post. Also the pictures speak for itself. Very well made.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

good job ck. there's so much we shd do for them.

Yen said...

WOW! Those are amazing documentary work! Nice photos and thanks for sharing!
Mine is up here;
Wordless
Happy WS-Tuesday!

Laura said...

Thank you for your pictorial on the living conditions of these people. Bless you for the work you are doing there!

Katya said...

Wow, what an eye-opening experience here. I just posted my WW, wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving. We are so fortunate...so blessed here in the US. Thank you for this insight.

Happy WW!

Sue said...

Wow! These are very powerful images! Excellent work and happy WW!

eastcoastlife said...

My husband's a Lion and my son's a Leo. Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

good post CK.let the BN govt see it,how is our peoples living conditions.44 yrs in malaysia this is we get! PLEASE.WAKE UP SARAWAKIAN!

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