KOTA KINABALU: The Salt Trail Challenge is back for the sixth time, and has set a RM80,000 funding goal to finance Mercy Malaysia Sabah Chapter's (MMSC) community projects.
The challenge event, which bring trekkers across the Crocker Range Park over a 16km or 25km route, will be held on Oct 12, 2019, with 300 participants expected in four different categories (men's and women's open and veteran categories).
Organised by MMSC in collaboration with Sabah Parks, NGO Pacos Trust and SSBS radio communication team, the fundraising event is named after the historical Salt Trail used by the local people of
Tambunan in the olden days to barter their produce for salt and other necessities at tamu or weekly markets on the West coast.
"After 15 years of MMSC's service in Sabah, we are committed to do more to improve the quality of Sabahan's lives and the money raised will help us continue our work," said MMSC chairman Dr
Anbarasu Ramalingam during the press conference for the event on Friday (July 19).
He said obtaining funding for community projects is a challenge for Mercy Malaysia and more public and corporate participation is needed to sustain their work in remote areas.
Since its establishment in 2003 in Sabah, MMSC has conducted over 100 mobile outreach clinics across the state, including disaster relief response programmes as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects.
"But we are optimistic of getting RM80,000 from this year's event, compared to RM50,000 last year.
"The RM80,000 can directly change the quality of life for a whole village, where we may be able to fund three programmes such as water, education or medical support.
"We have identified a water project in Pitas district using the rainwater catchment method, and another water project to be done in Kudat district which we will need to do some research on first," he added.
He said they were still liaising with sponsors for prizes for Challenge winners, but said this was a 100% non-profit charity event.
Also present at the press conference were Sabah Parks assistant director Maipol Spait and Crocker Range Park park manager Thomas Yussop, who hoped the challenge would also connect people with local communities along the trail.
The public can contact MMSC office at 088-272 667 or 019-311 6182 for further information.