“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, and teaching materials. Three weeks later, we are 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, employees raised nearly RM40,000 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 possible. So, it was no different when it came to helping communities 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. We transported the items 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, the Foundation also channelled part of the proceeds 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, toothbrushes, 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.