Monday, 11 February 2013

Community PPVs - Alpha1

Yesterday our Project Managers (PMs) returned from their project planning visits (PPVs) absolutely buzzing. As they have now been to the various sites and met the communities and people they will be working with, I have asked each group to write about their experiences to give you an idea about what each project is all about. Over the next three days their accounts will be published, starting today with the community projects. 

Alpha 1: Kindergarten and community learning centre- Bonor
Alyrene, Jude and Natalie

We started the PPV with the question how do we build a kindergarten? We are pleased that this is a question we are slowly finding the answer to.

Pre-school education is vital in Malaysia. Free schooling is available, but to enter primary school at seven the children need to be able to read. Government pre-schools for children aged six are available for larger villages but unfortunately Bonor doesn’t have enough children to fit this quota. Fortunately the village founded a committee and applied to the Partners of Community Organisations in Sabah (PACOS) for support. 

PACOS  is a charity supporting the rights of indigenous communities in Sabah. After assessing the needs, PACOS in partnership with Raleigh - and funding from Raleigh's continuing partnership with Nestle and funds from Mac McCarthy’s (Country Director) triathlon - will support the construction of the kindergarten, provide teacher training and ensure the buildings are available for other community activities such as adult education and craft skills.

Natalie, Alyrene and Jude - Project Managers
Following a four hour drive from Kota Kinabalu, the village was a welcome sight, particularly after the last hour on a windy dirt road. We were overwhelmed at our welcome with a constant supply of food and coffee.

One of the many meals prepared for us

We discussed the plans with Yoel, the head of the kindergarten committee and John the lead carpenter.

Project discussions
 Touring the small village we met some of its 300 residents as we assessed the two potential sites for the construction. The Village Head made the final decision to construct the Kindergarten next to the community hall. This meant John had to change the design as the space is narrower than we had originally hoped but with the added bonus that the long drop toilets are already constructed. With our original plan altered, the quotes at the hardware store in Keningau (about an hour away from the village) proved challenging but we are getting there…

Bonor village
We divided some of the planning tasks between us with Nat writing an Environmental and Cultural Impact Report and Jude leading on the materials discussion. One of my tasks was the Risk Assessment. With eleven young people working and living in the village, I assessed all the possible risks. 

Jude organising and discussing the materials
Our team of venturers can look forward to being a vital part of the construction of the kindergarten, providing language lessons and interacting with the local community and gaining a cross-cultural experience whilst learning about the local environment and kampong life. As the locals hope to open up their village to tourists in the future to share their culture, life and traditions, this cross-cultural interaction will be beneficial to both the Alpha team and the village.

I’m really looking forward to getting back to Bonor next week with the Venturers. Until then there are lots of reports to write, planning to do and of course to meet the volunteers we’ll be taking with us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lieve Beer, (Alpha 1)
Wat heerlijk om vandaag ineens je stem te horen. Je klonk zo enthousiast dat ik zeker weet dat je het erg naar je zin hebt. Wel heel bijzonder dat jij mee mag werken aan het bouwen van kindergarten.Alpha 1,je gaf al aan, dat je daar super blij mee bent.
Hier gaat alles o.k . we missen je natuurlijk wel. Kan zelfs nu alleen met de computer overweg zonder jouw hulp. Papa zit trouwens ook aan de havermout s'ochtends, super gezond , zegt ie. Wij leven helemaal met je mee, wat een ervaring zal je op doen. We love you en geniet van al het moois om je heen.
dikke kussen van ons xxxx