Memorable Sabah trip for students from France

 

By DK RYNI QAREENA

KOTA KINABALU: A two-week trip to Sabah was indeed a memorable one for students from École Jeannine Manuel (EJM), France as the houses they built with Happy Family Homes Malaysia (HFHM) reached 80 per cent completion.

Not only that, the 21 students who were accompanied by three teachers also experienced an exchange of culture as a result of their volunteering works with locals throughout the programme.

According to Chloe Sleziak, 16, the experience was life learning and gave her the opportunity to learn other cultures.

“It was an incredible experience, I learned so much here and the people are just so nice; it’s good to learn new culture and a new lifestyle.

“We had a great time and the people are so warm.” Meanwhile, 15 year-old Raina Achouri said although building the houses required much of their energy and hard work, it became bearable as locals were very welcoming.

“We came here to help people and it was amazing because everyone here is always smiling, it’s incredible.

“The building was hard work but it was worth it…because of our work, people will be able to have houses and live a happier life.”

In less than two weeks, two houses in Kg. Dambai Inanam and Kg. Marabahai Tuaran had begun to take shapes thanks to EJM students and Vision Secondary Scahool of Tawau as well as the Unduk Ngadau Committee.

It was part of the project by HFHM, an NGO whose vision is to build houses for the needy and help them live happier lives.

National President of HFHM Board of Trustee Joanna Datuk Kitingan said the collaboration with EJM was the 11th time, led by Simon Cowdry.

“When they first came, they were strangers to each other (with locals) but as they leave, they became part of the Happy Family.

“From zero bricks on the ground to almost 80 per cent completed in both sites, this is very impressive. “I hope that they become an example to students around Kota Kinabalu to come and volunteer as well.”

She added that as HFHM charity partner, the Unduk Ngadau Committee will continue to come for volunteering works that include painting the two homes.

Aimed at helping the less fortunate own houses, the NGO gathers volunteers to build these houses while recipients need only buy the materials needed.

Since its inception in 1996, HFHM has built almost 50 houses in Sabah.

 
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New Sabah Times