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Deutsche Bank visits indigenous settlement in Cameron Highlands

24 September 2011 marked Deutsche Bank Malaysia’s second visit to the Orang Asli settlement in Kampung Sungai Lengkok and Kampung Chenghoi located on the inner hill slopes of Cameron Highlands. This year, 46 staff volunteers and 25 family members together with Ms. Annie Yeo, Regional Head of Corporate Social Responsibility travelled three hours to Cameron Highlands shortly after dawn. The corporate volunteers were greeted by lush, green foliage and fresh air of the forest, as well as the Orang Asli villagers headed by Mr. Ayub s/o Panjang.

Educational activities sponsored by Deutsche Bank included talks for the students on examination answering technique and career guidance, as well as a health talk for the villagers. The Bank also engaged different groups of younger Orang Asli children in origami lessons. The young children were eager to learn how to fold colourful pieces of paper into various shapes such as birds, boxes, ball and stars.  Group activities undertaken by the corporate volunteers included planting of fruit trees and herbs for the villagers’ consumption, repairs for a home and educational games using flashcards for children between the ages of four to eight years.  The Orang Asli villagers in turn put up for sale their traditional handicrafts and fresh produce from their vegetable patches.

Both the Orang Asli villagers and Deutsche Bank volunteers participated in competitions for palm thatch-weaving, tapioca-grating, musical chair, blowpipe and tree-cutting events. Meanwhile, the Orang Asli children participated in a race on coconut shells and palm-frond sledding. The Bank presented the student high-achievers with pen sets and groceries items such as, rice, rice vermicelli, cooking oil, Milo, sugar and condensed milk.  Deutsche Bank Malaysia also donated two desktop computers and a laptop to the 14th Mile Primary School in Cameron Highlands to further the students’ IT education.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that “the life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service”.  At the end of the day, all the Deutsche Bank volunteers left the Orang Asli village with a great sense of fulfilment in life. The trip was an eye-opener for the volunteers, offering a unique view into the culture and lifestyle of the Orang Asli people.

A volunteer commented as city dwellers, the project has “made us reflect on the simplicity and basic necessity of life where’ less equals more’”.

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Last Update: October 20, 2011
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