MERCY Malaysia E-Newsletter DECEMBER 2017

Goodbye 2017, hello 2018!

With the New Year comes new hopes, new challenges, new resolutions and for us at MERCY Malaysia, a new office! Starting 2018, we will be bringing you monthly updates of our activities and upcoming events to keep you in the loop of things. Thank you for your support of MERCY Malaysia, and we look forward to hear from you if you have any feedback or enquiries. Please send your missives to info@mercy.org.my or visit www.mercy.org.my for full details.

 

1 JANUARY 2018
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WE HAVE MOVED!

To keep up with changing times, we have moved from our homely office at Jalan Langgak Golf to an office lot at Oval Damansara. December 2017 was a busy time packing and unpacking from one office to another. We have accumulated a substantial amount of things in the last 18 years, so the move was also a good time to clear unwanted stuff and prepare space for the new!

Our new office address is as below:
Malaysian Medical Relief Society (Reg No. 1155)
Unit 19-8, 19th Floor,
Menara Oval Damansara,
No. 685, Jalan Damansara,
60000 Damansara,
Kuala Lumpur.
T: +603 7733 5920 F: +603 7733 4920

 

1 DECEMBER 2017
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FLOOD RELIEF KELANTAN

The annual monsoon brought floods to low-lying land in Kelantan, causing hundreds of villagers to evacuate to higher grounds for safety. In their haste to leave, many would have left with only the bare essentials. Our distribution of hygiene kits to evacuation centres brought some relief to the flood evacuees, showing them that there are people out there who are with them in spirit during challenging times.

177 hygiene kits (596 evacuees) – Masjid Kampung Lubok Kawah
194 hygiene kits (537 families) – Sek Men Arab Banggal Setol
64 hygiene kits (180 evacuees) – Sek Keb Sri Kiambang.

 

2 DECEMBER 2017
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FASHION GALA NIGHT

A glitzy fashion gala was held in partnership with Kuala Lumpur Alta Moda at the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur Hotel to commemorate MERCY Malaysia’s partners and raise awareness of our humanitarian activities. The dinner, themed Heritage, High Fashion and Humanitarian, is a unique platform combining disaster relief with fashion, at the same time highlight the craftsmanship of local and international designers and artisans to the world. The fashion gala was graced by YM Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim and the Prince of Cambodia HRH Prince Norodom Narindrapong.

 

2 – 3 DECEMBER 2017
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VOLUNTEER INDUCTION PROGRAMME AND SCHOOL PREPAREDNESS PROGRAMME

A Train-the-Trainers programme was conducted for 45 students of Kelab Suka Bantu UiTM Alor Gajah to inculcate the spirit of volunteerism and enroll non-medical volunteers for MERCY Malaysia. The 2-day training, held at UiTM Alor Gajah, Malacca, also included training in emergency and disaster management. All the workshop participants promptly registered themselves as volunteers immediately after! The programme was held in conjunction with International Volunteer Day which falls on 5 December every year.

 

8 DECEMBER 2017
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LOVE LETTER FROM A VOLUNTEER

We received a love letter from our volunteer who had just returned from Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, that brought tears to our eyes! This is why #weloveourvolunteers! Read more about it from our Facebook page via this link: https://www.facebook.com/MERCYMalaysia/photos/pcb.10155985064778259/10155985064503259/?type=3&theater

Here’s a transcript of the letter:
One of my greatest regrets was not having a Polaroid camera so that I could leave behind something for the kids and people I photographed.
I’ve printed some of the images credit card size which will be easy for them to keep. Appreciate if you can pass them to the next team heading to Bangladesh. Pass them to our local translator. His name is Salehin Bhai who assists in the Balukhali Camp. I’ve told him I would do this and he will find the people and kids in the photo for me. They are usually nearby the clinic or UNICEF school next door.

Thank you.
p/s: For each photo I’ve printed as many copies as there are people in them so that they all can have a copy of their own.

 

DECEMBER 2017
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HUMANITARIAN AID AT COX’S BAZAR, BANGLADESH

The situation on the ground appears to have stabilized as the humanitarian crisis at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, reached its 100th day since the mass exodus of refugees from Myanmar in September 2017. Although the refugees now have a (tarpaulin) roof over their heads, their living conditions remain deplorable. Sanitation, malnutrition, safety and security are still major issues, compounded by a diphtheria outbreak that caused a few hundred deaths in a single month. Since September, MERCY Malaysia has been running two primary health clinics at Kutupalong and Balukali to serve the medical needs of the refugees. To date, our volunteer medical personnel have treated over 12,000 patients, and the numbers continue to rise daily.
We need your help to continue providing this much-needed service. Visit our website www.mercy.org.my to donate to our Rohingya Relief Fund today!

 

6 DECEMBER 2017
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THANK YOU, TERENGGANU STATE GOVERNMENT!

Recognising the massive humanitarian needs at Cox’s Bazar, the Terengganu State Government conducted their ‘Sekampit Beras Untuk Rohingya’ campaign over two months to raise funds in aid of the refugees. The contribution was handed over by the Chief Minister of Terengganu, Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman, to MERCY Malaysia’s President Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, at a ceremony in conjunction with the state’s signing of MOU between Terengganu Kitchen Sdn Bhd with Brahim’s SATS Food Services Sdn Bhd (Brahim’s) and Dewan Perdagangan Islam Malaysia (DPIM).

 

10 DECEMBER 2017
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GOODBYE, DR MIMI

It was a sad day for us upon receiving news of the sudden demise of Dr Mimi Iznita Mohd Iqbal, who had been one of MERCY Malaysia’s longest-serving Mental Health & Psychosocial Services (MHPSS) core volunteer. 40-year-old Dr Mimi, a Clinical Psychologist and Asst Professor at IIUM, first joined MM on a mission to Aceh in 2005 after the horrific tsunami. The following year, Dr Mimi joined the MHPSS team to Jogjakarta after the volcanic eruption. She was the co-leader for our MH370 and MH17 response and also led in the QZ accident. Al Fatihah.

 

12 DECEMBER 2017
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HUMANITARIAN LAB 1.0: ROHINGYAS IN MALAYSIA

MERCY Malaysia held its inaugural Humanitarian Lab at the Swiss Garden Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, as an initiative to incubate, create and accelerate innovative ideas to address humanitarian and development needs of displaced communities. Lab 1.0 was focused on Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, an issue that begs urgent attention but cannot see the light of day due to various factors including political and religious restrictions. The full-day workshop was attended by almost 100 participants consisting of experts, academic researchers, advocates and community leaders. The purpose of the Lab was to research and develop strategies that will facilitate the protection and integration of refugees in Malaysia. These include strategic frameworks, data collection and basic principles that will aid in policy-making, and improved coordination of humanitarian aid to these marginalized communities.

 

14 DECEMBER 2017
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HANDOVER OF REHAB EQUIPMENT TO NEPAL NATIONAL TRAUMA CENTER

Thanks to generous donations from Malaysians following the Nepal earthquake in 2015, MERCY Malaysia contributed rehabilitation equipment worth over RM150,000 to Nepal’s National Trauma Centre, an offshoot of the 100-year-old Bir Hospital, in Kathmandu. The devastating earthquake left not only damaged buildings and infrastructure but also a string of spinal and muscoskeletal injuries. The equipment, consisting of an electric tilt bed, hydrocollator, cryotherapy refrigerator, hand exerciser table, hand grip dynamometer and shockwave therapy device, will be used in pain relief, physiotherapy and rehabilitation. The contribution was received by Associate Professor Dr Binod Sherchan, Coordinator and Unit Chief (Orthopedics Unit I) of NTC by MERCY Malaysia’s Executive Director Mr Amran Mahzan, Medical Coordinator Ms Masniza Mustaffa and Core Volunteer for Rehabilitation, Prof Dr Amara Naicker Naysaduray.

 

14 DECEMBER 2017
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TRAINING FOR REHABILITATION PERSONNEL

Did you know there is only one Rehab Specialist in Nepal? In a country with a population of 30 mil (2010 census), this is an alarming situation considering the high number of people who require rehab services. MERCY Malaysia’s Rehab Team, led by Prof Dr Amara Naicker Naysaduray, was in Kathmandu in December to conduct a 5-day workshop on Rehabilitation Workforce and Management of Spinal Cord Injury. The workshop participants consisted of doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses from 3 main hospitals – Spinal Injury Rehab Centre, National Trauma Center and Kanti Children Hospital. Workshop contents included spinal cord injury, wheelchair management, occupational therapy tools and more.

 

15-17 DECEMBER 2017
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FLOOD RELIEF SABAH

After a week of continuous rain near Mount Kinabalu, certain parts of Sabah had been flooded and inaccessible to vehicles. Undeterred, the MERCY Malaysia Sabah ladies had hopped on sampans to reach far-out villages to offer assistance to people affected by the floods. Distribution of drinking water and cleaning kits was conducted for two days over 3 villages, lending assistance to 341 beneficiaries. Cleaning kits were also sent to mosques and community halls. Thank you to everyone who had contributed to the Malaysian Flood Relief Fund!

Kampung Marabau – 139 beneficiaries
Kampung Kota Bungan – 83 beneficiaries
Kampung Jawi-Jawi – 119 beneficiaries

 

15 DECEMBER 2017
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TRAINING ON STRESS MANAGEMENT AT COX’S BAZAR

Psychosomatic aches, anger, worrying thoughts about the self and the future as well as a sense of purposelessness are some of the common reactions found to have inflicted the Rohingya population finding refuge in Bangladesh. Coupled with maladaptive coping skills, the effects of migration and the stressful situation in camp settings would increase the risk of health and protection issues leading to a diminished sense of personal wellbeing. In view of that, MERCY Malaysia conducted a psychological training programme for community leaders at Cox’s Bazar refugee camp to increase awareness and understanding of basic psychological reactions to stressful situations. The training included basic psychosocial support and skills to identify and effectively deal with common stressors.

 

20 DECEMBER 2017
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THANK YOU, YTL FAMILY!

In a loving tribute to Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, members of the YTL family donated RM10m to 103 NGOs, one of which is MERCY Malaysia. In receiving the RM100,000 mock cheque, our President Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus said, “This contribution by Tan Sri Yeoh’s family members will help in leaving his legacy of philanthrophy and charity. The fact that his descendants have decided to give donations to charitable organisations as tribute show that they have a heart as big as their beloved late father or grandfather. It was touching to see how he has successfully handed down not just a financial empire but one founded on community and welfare.”

 

20 DECEMBER 2017
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BACK2SCHOOL PROGRAMME

In partnership with Yayasan Sime Darby, MERCY Malaysia distributed new school uniforms, school bags, school shoes, socks, scarves and stationery sets to 255 poor children from SK Lahar Yooi, Seberang Prai Utara, who were affected by the floods in November 2017. The school products were distributed by MERCY Malaysia’s Executive Director Mr Amran Mahzan, who expressed delight at seeing the happy faces of the children upon receiving their new bags and uniforms.

 

27 DECEMBER 2017
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REVISITING NEPAL’S SPINAL INJURY REHABILITION CENTRE (SIRC)

In June 2015, MERCY Malaysia had responded to a call for help from SIRC located in the Sangha district following Nepal’s massive earthquake. Several medical teams were sent to SIRC to assist the center over 3 months. SIRC had experienced a huge influx of patients at that time, referred from hospitals all over the country. 2.5 years down the line, the effects of our assistance were still present. The physiotherapy gym still carried posters and instructions crafted by our team, which serve as essential guidelines for new therapists, and reminders to existing ones. Our work in Nepal was made possible with the generous contributions to our Nepal Earthquake Fund in 2015. Thank you to everyone who had chipped in!

 

28 DECEMBER 2017
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THE MOST EXPENSIVE AIS KACANG IN THE WORLD!

Do you love Ais Kacang? We do too, but Chicken Rice Shop’s recently launched Salted Egg Ais Kacang is a world of its own! More so when 5 of this special shaved ice delight was recently auctioned off in aid of people affected by floods. The auction was conducted by the vivacious Dato Seri Vida in her signature spirited fashion, injecting lots of fun and life into the closed-door event held at Mid Valley Megamall. The 5 bowls of gigantic ais kacang raked in RM10,150, surely making them the most expensive deserts in the country – for a good cause! The contribution was received by MERCY Malaysia’s Vice President II, Datin Raja Riza Shazmin. Thank you, Etika Sdn Bhd, suppliers of Dairy Champ and Chicken Rice Shop, for your yummilicious contribution!

 

30 DECEMBER 2017
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SYRIA WINTER RELIEF

While the rest of the world was still in holiday mode, the refugees in Syria have little or nothing to look forward to in the coming year. MERCY Malaysia’s team brought some New Year cheer to 90 families at Reyhanli as the year closed, with blankets, carpets, mattresses, coal and firewood to keep the family warm throughout the harsh winter. The contribution was made possible with donations to our Syria Winter Fund. Thank you to all who had contributed!