The kind of life I’m living in for the past 26 years…
Like most Malaysians, I came from a middle class family. I have all the basic necessities in life. A roof above my head, a comfortable bed, access to water and electricity. Went to a good school. Earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Live a comfortable life. Nothing luxurious but enough.
Fast forward, I made the biggest decision of my life. I decided to bid adieu to a great company and amazing bunch of colleagues because I wanted to start a new chapter in life. A chapter of passion and love. Yep, I fell in love big time.
The journey that lit up my life.
It all started in April 2016 when I went for my first Liter of Light build as a volunteer. I instantly fell in love, and got attached to this bunch of volunteers whom I now call friends. One build after another, all I wanted to do was to make this my permanent job. Nothing glamorous about this job, but its feels so right to stay.
What literally happened in October!
My colleagues and I were thinking of how we could end the year with a BANG! After a long discussion we finally came to a conclusion. Born was the #givelight campaign. We didn’t waste any time in searching for a village in need of lights. After a few days of researching, a village in Perak caught our attention.
A village located in the thick palm oil plantation with zero access to basic necessities is not the kind of life anyone wants to live. Imagine cooking in the dark. Imagine sharing ONE toilet – if you think sharing a toilet with a housemate is bad, try sharing it with the whole village of 70 houses. Imagine having to carry your laundry to the nearest river which is a 20 minute walk, and the river is not even clean!
We went straight into the village to witness the condition ourselves. And man, never have I been happier for this decision. During the day the villagers live their life as usual. Daily chores are usually done by the women, and the men of the family have to travel all the way out from the thick plantation to do whatever job that pays. On a good day, the villagers earn around RM25 per day.
I had a conversation with a girl aged 16 who told me that her family couldn’t afford for her to go to school. She has to learn from her friends who do go to school. However, waiting until the evening for the others to come back from school means that they only have a few hours of daylight before sundown. After that, everything is impossible for the villagers – including studying.
It didn’t get any better after the sun sets
Sun down. Pitch dark. Holy $#%^#&*. What happened to the village that I just saw this afternoon? Everyone is inside their house, lighting up a candle or an oil lamp. Back in the city we only use oil lamps on “Eid celebration” as a decoration. As I walked towards a house, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My heart sank when I saw a family gathering in their kitchen/living room with one oil lamp in the middle trying to cook dinner.
I can’t do this alone…I need your help, too!
I don’t want to live this kind of life. But I can do something to change theirs! Villagers in Kampung Teras are still living in darkness. Although I’m doing my part, me alone is not enough. My team and I need your help. The #givelight campaign is more than just bringing lights to a village. The kids’ future and the villagers’ safety depend on this campaign.
Help me to #givelight. You can donate as little as RM50 to change a life. Lighting up the village will be a life changing moment to the families in Kampung Teras. Play your part today in making this happen. No one deserves to live in darkness.