A GROUP of volunteers recently tried their hands at organic farming at the Sum Sum Organic Farm in Janda Baik, Pahang.
The farm belongs to Badan Amal Nur Zaharah (BANZ), a welfare home for underprivileged children.
The children help out at the farm to generate income and also to learn farming.
The Good Day Out event, an effort under Do Good. Volunteer, was organised in collaboration with My Khatulistiwa, a consultant for corporate social responsibility projects with a focus on the environment.
The day started with a briefing by volunteer David Cheang, who spends his free time helping out at the organic farm.
The volunteers were divided into five groups and tasked to pull out the weeds and clean up the rows of vegetables, prepare the soil to plant vegetables and to clear the lane leading to the cistern.
During the cleaning process, the volunteers were also exposed to Bokashi — a Japanese method of farming that uses a mix of micro-organisms to cover food waste to reduce smell.
“I am thankful that we are getting some help from 38 people and in return, we will teach them about organic farming,” said Cheang, who has been volunteering at the farm for almost two years.
He said with the volunteers’ help, the farm could be cleaned up in a day.
He said one of the four greenhouses they had was blown away by strong winds last week.
“We hope to rebuild the greenhouse with help from the volunteers,” said Cheang.
The volunteers were from different backgrounds and of various ages but they all had one objective.
Housewife Chan Kun Yok, 70, took part in the programme along with her granddaughter, who found out about the event from friends.
“I have always loved gardening and spend a lot of time doing this at home,” she said, adding that she planned to join the next Good Day out programme as well.
Student Celine Diong Jia Ning, 17, found out about the event from a friend and immediately signed up.
“I was one of the last to secure a place and am glad,” said the college student.
She said she had been volunteering to teach underprivileged children and that this was her first time volunteering for the Good Day Out.
“As the programme involves helping different groups of people every month, I find it meaningful,” she said.
Diong added that the programme was a good way to spend the weekend.
Inez Gerber, 19, from Germany also took part in the event.
“This is a different experience from my previous volunteering experience and I got to learn about organic farming,” she said.
To register as a volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.