Semporna 'heroes' leap to the aid of the needy in tough times

KOTA KINABALU: A group of volunteers have been providing aid to families in Semporna and the nearby Danawan island who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The group, known as Semporna Heroes, have been distributing food baskets and coordinating help from others to those affected.

Together with the Tzu Chi Foundation from Tawau, they delivered some RM60,000 worth of goods for 350 families on Danawan Island, located 34km off the coast of Semporna.

Each family received food packets that had 10kg of rice, milk powder, flour (3kg), three packs of sugar (3kg), cooking oil (5kg) and face masks, among others.

Funds to purchase the goods were contributed by the public to the Tzu Chi Foundation for Covid-19 relief programmes.

The team was escorted by members of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Welfare Department as well as Rela.

The goods were distributed in an orderly manner, with adherence to the SOP imposed during the conditional movement control order (MCO).

Semporna Heroes founder, Samuel Lee, 34, was impressed by the charity work that Tzu Chi was committed to doing.

He said this effort was the biggest he had participated in, adding that logistics was the biggest challenge.

“I fully agree with Tzu Chi’s philosophy to help those who are deprived – regardless of their citizenship status. They are treated equally and provided with the help needed,” he said.

He said with these donations, the islanders would be able to sustain for the next one and a half months.

Lo Jun Oi from Tzu Chi’s Tawau liaison office expressed her gratitude to the volunteers as well as the public for their generous donations.

She said Tzu Chi has conducted more than 20 relief goods distribution events throughout Sabah since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Malaysia early this year.

“We all live on the same piece of land ... if we help each other, can we ensure a peaceful and loving atmosphere,” she said, urging local communities to help the less fortunate.

Meanwhile, a group of women who have been baking for frontliners and contributing to fighting Covid-19 is appealing for public donations to fund their cause.

These women, from all walks of life, are part of several charity groups such as Lovely Charity Group, Lovely Mum Charity Group, Together Group and Monica Beauty Care Group.

One of the leaders, Ice Loi, said they had donated personal protective equipment, baked cakes and initiated shows of support to frontliners with drawings and encouraging messages through the different groups.

“We hope to do more for our frontliners but we need more support from the public. Let us fight Covid-19 together and let us help each other stay strong,” she said.

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