We were delighted to welcome Conny Looi Osborne from our sister club, SI Bangsay, Malaysia who was over in the UK visiting relatives in Ipswich. She is a great advocate for our organisation and very involved in the project work her Club has undertaken in the last couple of years.
In a six month period they ran a ‘bank’ to serve Malaysians who were in financial difficulties due to the pandemic. This involved both food and money supplied by their club members to the public who were in need. They estimate they gave some respite to 2500 families.
Following a tropical depression which made landfall on 16 Dec 2021, bringing torrential rains throughout Peninsula Malaysia over 3 days help was needed to those affected by the floods in 8 states, involving some 125,000 people .At its height more than 71,000 victims were displaced. The most badly affected were Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Perak. Aid poured in from the public and NGOs.
SI Bangsay members raised RM31,444.30, including AUD3000 from Sortoptimist International South West Pacific Disaster Relief Fund and AUD250 from our Friendship Link Club, SI Helena.
The focused on remote and neglected suburbia housing developments fringing rivers and forestation occupied by the Orang Asli (indigenous people) distributing kitchen equipment, rice cookers and fans, blankets, bedding, sanitary towels and bottles of water. In all they helped 52 families from low cost homes, 38 families in indigenous people’s homes and provided building materials for 9 indigenous homes so they could be repaired.
They are also very proud of their project: Teenage Survival Kit. This was designed to support Teenagers to navigate, air their concerns and provide professional guidance and knowledge in the areas of health, safety, sexuality and empowerment. They were successful in their application for the Brilliant Futures Fund from SISEAP in 2022. Conducted vias both zoom and in person workshops through schools, colleges and universities theyinvited teenagers to prepare a video using mobile phone on any teenage issues. This enabled them to launch their Teenage survivial Kit on social media platforms in October 2022 as part of their 30th Annivsrsary. This project is ongoing.
Sadly, it is much more difficult in the UK for Soroptimists to do work with teenagers via education establishments. With the tight timetables and regulations regard to working with children we cannot easily do such needed work with those who need help in the areas of health, safety, sexuality and empowerment. But we presented Conny with details of our projects and gave her a copy of the important book we helped to bring to fruition in conjunction with clients of Lighthouse Women’s Aid ‘Every Six Seconds’.