Friday, 18 October 2013

The Naked Feet

by Ang Tse Chwan, Impian Sarawak Volunteer at Kampung Sait.

I had never imagined that I would take part in a volunteer programme like this.

I decided to get my hands and feet 'naked', open my heart and bare my soul.

Naked so i can feel the soil, embrace the experience to accept, be accepted by and learn from the villagers.

I could feel the ground, the soil, tiny rocks and they cut my feet a little.

Sometimes I felt pain, but my heart felt more pain.

Throughout the 9 days, I enjoyed every single moment. I blended in, and become one of them. We worked together, ate together, drank together.

Working alongside them, I felt that life was truly unfair for them. They were not engineers, nor land surveyors, nor construction workers, nor plumbers, but they had to learn to be all these things. In such lacking conditions, they strived to lead a better life.

They had no help from the government nor NGOs, they had to fight their battles on their own just to survive. They have to build their own water systems, their own houses, their own roads, and they grow their own food and do everything by themselves.

They have nothing, we have everything. But why? They are one of us, do they deserve to be treated that way? Shouldn't we all share the same rights as Malaysians?

I volunteered myself to be there to see what should be seen. To walk with them. To walk like them. My backpack was heavy, my feet were painful but I feel it is important to let other Malaysian know what actually happened there.

I have learnt about 'gotong-royong' in moral studies since primary school. But this is the first time I practised it in my life. I am 25.

I now believe that together we can bring change to the villagers' lives. I believe you can do it too.

Through my eyes, my aching feet and my sharing, I hope you can also experience what I went through.

They are malaysian, they are one of us, they deserve a better future because they have the same rights we do.

Thank you.

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