In the background is Mercy Malaysia transportation involved in the humanitarian effort. In the foreground is Sr Dorothy receiving the donated rice and re-usable cloth face masks. Looking on are Sister’s staff and others from Kota Kinabalu.

By Agnes Chai

June 14 2020

KG SULIT, Paitan – Students, teachers and staff of Tadika Harmoni in Kg Sulit benefit from an initial donation of 200 kg of rice, which was delivered to the threshold of the mission kindergarten Jun 11.

Sr Dorothy Laudi, appointed administrator for the mission kindergartens that are managed by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) was on hand to receive the rice, which was donated by Herman Anggin from Kota Kinabalu.

At the same time 130 packets of hygiene kit comprising of reusable cloth face masks from another KK donor, Shannen Wong were handed over to Sr Dorothy.

The humanitarian effort was made possible with assistance from non-government organization, Mercy Malaysia to help transport the heavy load to the remote village school.

Though the school was emptied of its 28 students because of the lockdown (MCO) imposed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus, efforts would be made by Sr Dorothy to see to its distribution.

At Kg Sulit too is a boarders’ facility, the Asrama PRIDE, a CSR project of Sabah Credit Corporation, which was built and handed over to the FSIC in August 2016. At the time of the humanitarian visit, the boarders were also not lodging at the hostel and had returned to their respective villages because of the MCO.

Besides government efforts (RM1600 and food packages per family) to ease the difficulties of the people during the unprecedented global pandemic that did not spare the locals, generous gestures from magnanimous individuals go a long way to help the deprived, the poor and vulnerable who are hardest hit even though they may be untouched by the virus.

The school administrator informed that during the lockdown, with the school vacated of students, the teachers used the time to plant cash crops in anticipation of a second wave of the pandemic.

FSIC has established eight mission kindergartens spread out in the villages of Dalamas, Batangon, Tawanan, Rakanan, Sulit, Lubang Buaya, Lakang and Koiboton in the sub-district of Paitan, with the first being set up at Kg Dalamas in 2005.

Sr Dorothy revealed that the government has visited Kg Sulit and plans are in the pipeline to build a more sturdy cement structure to replace the wooden building that houses the present kindergarten.

Though grateful that the government, certain corporates and individuals, have come alongside the 15-year journey since its first kindergarten, Sr Dorothy continues to cherish the hope that more sponsors would be challenged to partner with FSIC to develop further education prospects for the chlldren of the outback. After all, a university degree has to start with the first step – the kindergarten – and where there is no kindergarten, the children languish, with their hopes for further education dashed.