The historic floods that occurred in December 2014 leading up to January 2015 which affected more than 200,000 people, hit hardest in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu. As our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims, Sekolah Seri Suria seized the opportunity to promote R.E.A.L’s ‘5C’ core values, namely Collaboration, by initiating a social outreach programme to help those in need. Entitled ‘Hand in Hand in Helping Kelantan Flood Victims’, the programme was a two-fold initiative that incorporated fundraising and volunteerism.
Funds were raised from donations by students and a charity sale that was held in the school from 20 to 21 January 2015, which ultimately amassed a total of RM2,350. The volunteer programme meanwhile, took place from 22 to 24 January 2015 and involved four students and three teachers with the programme activities organized in association with the Lions Club of Kota Budaya, Kelantan. The four Suria students who embarked on the trip were:
- Chuah Bing Shen (Senior 4 Passion)
- Choo Zhen Hao (Senior 5 Passion)
- Low Eu Gen (Senior 5 Vision), and
- Mohammad Mikail Haziq B. Norazam (Senior 5 Vision)
Upon arrival in Kelantan, the Surians immediately witnessed the scale of nature’s destruction from the piles of mud that covered everything from plants to furniture and people who were left homeless by the disaster. The sight was nothing short of devastating and the mood somber. Wasting no time, the group quickly adjourned towards their first activity of the day by visiting several schools affected by the floods within the Rantau Panjang area; namely SJKC Khay Book, SJKC Poy Hwa and SJKC Yuk Cheng.
After their visit, the students got their first hands-on experience in the cleaning and rebuilding process by cleaning up the Xuan Tian Temple and handing over donations to rebuild a bridge and road in Pulau Raya. The last leg of their journey saw the distribution of much-needed supplies to the people of Jelatok and Kampong Che Kok, an activity which gave them the most time and opportunity to interact and engage with the locals.
In what proved to be a rewarding and eye-opening experience for the Surians, the students spared little in sharing their experiences by conducting sessions back in school and composing post-mortem essays. As one of the participants recalled, “It is one thing to read about the situation in newspapers but quite another to actually meet the victims face to face and hearing their stories”. The adage that ‘giving is better than receiving’ certainly holds true for these students as their trip to the East Coast was one that will not be forgotten.