News Release

Holiday Surprise Awaits School Children from Kuching

When 1500 school children from three schools in Kuching, East Malaysia return from winter holiday January 12, they will be surprised to see new toilet facilities; thanks to a charitable contribution from LDS Charities.

On January 7 & 8, 2015 ribbon cutting ceremonies were held for government and school officials, village leaders, students and guests at Sekolah Tabuan Hilir and Sekolah Kebangsaan Tabuan. Worn and run down bathroom facilities were remodeled during the break. New sinks, faucets, wall and floor tiles, and toilets were replaced. Ceilings were repaired and painted. A new pressure system was installed to improve the water pressure in the facilities. Tabuan Hilir Headmaster, Sajali Ojek, noted the occasion was "a history making event". This was the first time his school and LDS Charities had collaborated on a project and he hoped there would be more opportunities in the future. Children attending his school come from families of factory workers or laborers with low income. "Thank you much for what you have given us. Our children and faculty are grateful and we are proud of these facilities." he said.

Principal of Sekolah Kebangsaan Tabuan, Aluyah HJ Salleh stated, "I had a dream to have such a beautiful place for my children. I was not confident my dream could come true, but I prayed to God and He directed LDS Charities here and gave us a good contractor. God has blessed us all. This is a wonderful facility. The children will be surprised  and pleased when they come back".  Children who attended the ceremony marveled at the new bathrooms and giggled with joy over the new sinks and toilets. 

HJ Ramli, Head Chief of the village where many of the students live said, "We are glad to work with LDS Charities. You have good hearts and set an example for our children. Thank you for being generous and kind. We will make sure the children respect this work."

The need for the project was brought to the attention of LDS Charities humanitarian specialists, Dan and Colleen Allen, by Rotarian and retired school teachers, Patrick and Ann Panai from Kuching. Of the 88 schools they studied, these schools were determined to have the most need.

Dan Allen expressed his thanks for the opportunity for LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to give assistance where it is needed. He also expressed gratitude to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all over the world. Their donations make it possible for projects like these to be completed throughout the world.

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the Principals, Construction Managers and local Site Project Manager for their dedicated service. Colleen Allen presented the schools with a packet of information to share with the students regarding hygiene. She said simple hygiene practices, like hand washing five times a day, can do much for the prevention of diseases.

 HJ Jas Bin Said, Head of five villages in the area said, "on behalf of the villages we thank you so much". The projects at each school took about three weeks to complete. When the children return from winter holiday next week, they will be pleasantly surprised to see the new, clean facilities and the beautiful landscaping around the buildings. 

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