Mount Kinabalu Charity Climb 2015 was held from the 11th to 14th of April 2015. The event was co-organised by SUKA Society and Suriana Welfare Society. The objective of the climb was to raise awareness and funds to support SUKA Society’s work of creating greater access to education for the Orang Asli community, provide water solutions for two Orang Asli villages in Gerik and support Suriana Welfare Society’s in their work of tackling poverty among urban marginalised families.
A total of 17 enthusiastic climbers from various age groups and backgrounds participated in this charity climb. The climbers were Amira Nadiafatin, Chen Wai Hing, Chong Suit Kin, Ho Tsuey Xin, Kok Soo Aun, Amanda Leong, Richard Ranjit Singh, Sng Mee Kee, Thomas Soo, Low Chee Chong, Tan Shern Yang, Toh Yen Lu and Anderson Selvasegaram. Sarah Teo from SUKA Society and Nancy Ee from Suriana Welfare Society took the lead inorganising the charity climb. Bosan bin Mel & Jisam bin Busu Mas, two of our Orang Asli community teachers from Gerik participated in the climb as well.
“It was amazing to share the climb with great people who are advocating for the rights of marginalised children and as well as for Orang Asli education.”- Shern Yang
While this was the first Mount Kinabalu experience for many of our climbers; for co-organiser Nancy Ee, it was her 12th time ascending to the summit of Mount Kinabalu. For Thomas Soo and Richard Ranjit Singh, it was their second time participating in a charity climb organised by SUKA Society.
“I had to endure altitude sickness, exhaustion, knee pain and freezing conditions during the climb. But it was an awesome experience making it to the peak” – Yen Lu
The presence of our OA teachers, Jisam and Busan made the charity climb even more memorable as they shared with the other climbers their day-to-day Orang Asli life experiences and as well as the challenges in running their respective Orang Asli community pre-school classes.
Busan also showcased his athleticism andfitness by making it up toLaban Rata within two hours after leaving Timpohon gate. Starting at 3am the following morning, he reached to the summit within one and a half hours from Laban Rata.
Before the climb, each climber pledged to do his or her best to raise RM250 for every km climbed (9 km to the peak of Mount Kinabalu), making it a total of RM2250 raised for the charity of his or her choice.
The climbers collectively managed to exceed the charity climb target by raising a total of RM41075.50. 13 climbers who pledged to climb for SUKA Society raised a total of RM34190.50, while 4 climbers who pledged to raise funds for Suriana Welfare Society raised a total of RM6885.00.
“It was an eye opening experience climbing up Mount Kinabalu. For me, having the opportunity to talk to the Orang Asli teachers and the mountain guides reinforced some perspectives about life. The climb may have ended but the journey for the Orang Asli pre-school education continues.” – Tsuey Xin
All in all, it was a successful and memorable event. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of our climbers, donors and sponsors who supported this charity climb. While our journey to the summit of Mount Kinabalu may have reached its end, the charities’ work in improving Orang Asli children’s access to education and improving the lives of urban poor children is still a long and winding road.
Read more about our OA pre-school project by logging on to www.empowered2teach.org. You canalso follow us at www.facebook.com/SukaSociety to view more pictures on the charity climb. Please keep updated with Suriana Welfare Society’s work among the urban poor by following them at www.facebook.com/SurianaWelfareSociety.