By SHERRINDER KAUR
THE students from the Interact Club of SMK Sultan Abdul Samad might be young, but that didn’t stop them from lending a helping hand to the people in Cambodia, in hopes of giving families there a better life.
The students organised a fund raiser in conjunction with their annual International Understanding (I.U.) Day, with the money going to Water For Cambodia, an organisation that aims to help with the water crisis in the country.
The event, which was called “The Ripple: Break the Cycle”, was held last Saturday at the Women’s Institute of Management in TTDI.
“Our biggest challenge was getting sponsorship and funds. We started the project way before the event, and all of it took us about six months,” said Noorvieana Lim, 17, president of the Interact Club of SMK Sultan Abdul Samad.
A campaign called “Every Drop Counts” was held to increase awareness. They also sold awareness cards and badges to raise funds. The “water crisis awareness cards” were sold at RM10, with each one carrying a serial number which entitled the owner to a lucky draw at the main event.
A blog (everydropcounts2013.wordpress.com) was also set up to collect donations.
“The aim of an I.U. Day is to generate international understanding and to raise awareness. It’s our biggest project. We hope to create a ripple to break the effect of poverty in Cambodia,” said Kevin Hoh, 17, the club’s I.U. director.
“All of the proceeds will be channelled to Water For Cambodia, who will then provide bio-sand water filters to families in Cambodia.”
According to the club’s vice president Shailesh Nathan, the water crisis in Cambodia affects about half of the population, and it takes around three hours for most people to get clean water from ponds and lakes.
“It’s mostly women and children who are sent to collect water. They have no eduction and no chance to get employed,” said Shailesh.
Water For Cambodia hopes to alleviate this problem by providing bio-sand filters in the areas that are affected most by the crisis.
The final event, which lasted over two hours, was filled with many interesting videos about the situation in Cambodia. There were also performances by the students of SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, along with a guest performance by local electro whiz Darren Ashley, who had the crowd going wild with cheers.
“It was so much better than we expected!” said Noorvieana. “We had about 300 guests and we have exceeded our targets. I’m so proud of myself and everyone involved.”
The project raised over RM14,000, with every cent going to Water For Cambodia. It will help approximately 750 families.
The President of the Rotary Club of Petaling Jaya, Koh Kia Heong, was impressed by what the students had achieved.
“I want to congratulate the committee for doing such a wonderful job,” he said.
The Interact Club of SMK Sultan Abdul Samad made a video to help raise awareness for Water For Cambodia. We’ve posted the video on the BRATs Facebook page – facebook.com/starbrats. To make a donation to their campaign, log on to everydropcounts2013.wordpress.com