Children typically represent 50% to 60% of those affected by disaster. From death, to injuries, to disrupted education, to separation from family members, to malnutrition, disaster-stricken children are faced with psychological trauma.
Aeon Co (M) Bhd managing director and Malaysian Aeon Foundation (MAF) vice-president Nur Qamarina Chew said understanding the vulnerability of the children (MAF) embarked on a drive to help these children heal and manage their emotions.
“This is also in line with the foundation’s mission of reaching out to children giving them an opportunity to discover their self worth and develop their fullest potential, so they may live fuller, more meaningful lives for the future,” she said.
MAF collaborated with Malaysian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (MVFRA) to reach out to approximately 150 children in Nepal and 300 children in Sabah.
A total of RM50,000 and RM25,000 was spent for the therapy kit in both Nepal and Sabah, respectively.
The therapy kits distributed consist of soft toys, stationaries and drawing books to nurture these children.
In Sabah, MAF together with the MVFRA team recently visited Kampung Kiau and Kampung Kiau Nuluh in Ranau, and Kampung Menisulu, Kampung Pasir Putih, Kampung Nampasan Baru, Kampung Logut and Kampung Poring in Kundasang, to meet the disaster stricken children and distribute the therapy kits.
MAF also donated RM25,000 worth of dry food and mineral water to 96 families in Kampung Kiau, Kampung Menisulu and Kampung Longut in Ranau, during the mud flood when the disaster first hit in June.
“It brings tears to my eyes to see how simple pleasures of toys and drawing books brighten up these children.
“I could hear them screaming and running off with the other children to explore the new goodies,” said Patricia Kihin, a school teacher from Kampung Menisulu.
Two separate donation drives were held at Aeon Retails, Aeon Malls, Aeon BIG and Aeon Credit Centres, when the disaster hit both the regions.
Approximately RM67,000 and RM60,000 were collected for Nepal and Ranau, respectively, between May and July this year.
The Malaysian Aeon Foundation further contributed to the donation amount for Nepal to RM100,000 and presented it to the Nepal Embassy. The funds were then channelled to the victims via the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund.
“United Nations estimated that eight million people were affected in Nepal and we hope the little we do can support the relief and rehabilitation in that region,” said Qamarina during the check presentation to Nepal ambassador to Malaysia Dr Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat.