Batam is one of the 3,000 islands which make up the Riau Archipelago and is only 30 minutes away from Singapore by ferry. Despite Batam’s reputation for being an industrial and tourism hotspot, it still harbours backward conditions in many of its communities and most of them have only been mere spectators in the development of Batam Island. Unsurprisingly, social and public health problems such as nutritional deficiency, poor access to healthcare, illegal mining, lack of education, child sex tourism and many others have become endemic in the poorer parts of Batam.
This is the third year that we have organised this overseas volunteering trip and our volunteers have once again collaborated with Yayasan Citramas Foundation for a three-day volunteering exercise. For this trip, the focus was primarily on health and nutrition. The beneficiaries of this trip were a group of malnourished infants from Kampong Air as well as the students of Sekolah Desar Negeri located in Nongsa, Batam. Our volunteers managed to achieve a number of milestones during this trip:
• Donation of books to our 2010 beneficiary, SD Miftahul Hasanah School
• Re-visiting the site of our 2011 beneficiary, Sekolah Permata Nusantara
• Health education to the residents of Kampong Air (40 households) and students of Sekolah Desar Negeri (60 children)
• Re-painting and designing two school classrooms
• Clearing up debris around the school compound
• Providing medical check-ups for more than 30 children
• Collection of SGD 7,200 from Deutsche Bank staff in Singapore to provide for the nutritional needs of 48 malnourished children(aged between two to four) for six months
The organisers plan to make this an annual CSR event. If you are interested in finding out more about this employee-driven initiative, please contact Cavin Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org), Marvin Khoo (email@example.com) or Ken Han (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.