Malaysia Under Water: QI Employees’ Flood Relief Initiative Raises RM40,000
Bersamamu Karak, a community training and rehabilitation centre for specially-abled children and adults in Karak, Pahang, lost almost everything to floodwaters that reached nearly a metre high.
In her years living in Bentong, Pahang, S. Pooshpa had never experienced floods. But she became increasingly worried on December 18 last year when word reached her that rising floodwaters had inundated several areas of Karak just 20km away. Floods had already affected several Peninsular Malaysia states from two days of torrential rain.
As the rains continued, Pooshpa became increasingly concerned about Pertubuhan Pemulihan Dalam Komuniti (PDK) Bersamamu Karak, a community training and rehabilitation centre she operates for specially-abled children and adults. The day facility in Taman Karak Indah conducts academic and life skills classes for learners with autism and Down Syndrome aged between five and 52 years old.
“When it continued to rain into the night, I called a neighbour at 9 PM to ask if our school had been affected, and she said no,” Pooshpa recalled. “She also said I had nothing to worry about because the neighbourhood was not known to be a flood-prone area. But when the rain didn’t let up, I called again and messaged her several times but got no answer.”
Staff and volunteers clean the premises a few days after the devastation.
Pooshpa’s worst fears were confirmed an hour later: the devasting floodwaters had deluged the neighbourhood and her cherished school. The aftermath was unlike anything she had ever experienced.
“The floodwaters had blocked all access in and out of Karak, so we only managed to get in five days after and still had to wade through thick mud and water. We lost almost everything to the flood, including costly equipment essential for physical therapy. We couldn’t salvage our computers, electrical appliances, paperwork, teaching materials, and many other things. Three weeks later, we’re still cleaning up!”
Standing in solidarity with flood survivors, RYTHM Foundation, the QI Group’s social impact arm, leapt into action by coordinating a donation drive within the group. As a result, QI Group’s employees raised nearly MYR 40,000 to help PDK Bersamamu Karak and other communities affected by the calamity.
“In times of crisis, QI’s employees have never hesitated to help as best as they can. So, it was no different when it came to helping communities that were afflicted by the recent floods,” RYTHM Foundation Head, Santhi Periasamy, said.
“Thanks to the employees’ generosity, we were able to purchase essentials like a trampoline and exercise mats for their physical therapy activities, and furniture including a sofa set and new tables and chairs for the centre. The items were transported early this month with a range of pre-used RYTHM Foundation assets, including a refrigerator, water dispenser, book racks and computers.”
The centre’s volunteers and learners show their appreciation for the contributions.
In expressing her gratitude for the contributions, Pooshpa said, “It didn’t look like we would be able to resume operations before February. But it now looks like we can get going sooner, thanks to the QI Group and RYTHM Foundation.”
Care Packs by Caring Employees
Some of the 1,000 care packs prepared and distributed through QI Group’s flood relief initiative.
Meanwhile, part of the proceeds was also channelled into preparing and distributing 1,000 care packs to survivors in several Kuala Lumpur and Selangor areas.
Each RM25 bag included food and essentials like 3-in-1 coffee and cereal packets, cup noodles, biscuits, water, toothpaste, toothbrush, sanitary pads, sanitisers, and face masks.
The packs were distributed at five relief centres with the help of NGO Beyond Borders: Sekolah Menengah Islam Puchong in Kampung Sri Aman and Kampung Bersatu (both in Puchong), Sekolah Kebangsaan Sg Dua in Hulu Langat, Pertubuhan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan Umum Malaysia (PKKUM) in Jalan Raja Laut, and the SEED Foundation site in Chow Kit.
“The floods come as a double blow for Malaysians who have already had a hard time enduring the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these contributions can provide immediate relief and offer longer-term support to those impacted by the devastation,” Santhi added.
Employees assist in distributing care packs in Hulu Langat.