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Soroptimist International Ipoh Rolls Up Sleeves     

 By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

Soroptimist International Ipoh (SII), under the energetic leadership of President Kimberly Tan, has for the past two weeks been showing their love and care for the community by organising a gotong-royong or major clean up of the Bekor Flats in First Garden.

SII members who regularly visit their Edufun “school” were appalled by the total filth and mess that often greeted them. Edufun is an ongoing SII helping project that takes care of children after their school hours, providing them with learning opportunities and a place to do their homework. Tea and counseling sessions also provide the kids with a place to hang out instead of loitering around their unsavoury surroundings. 

From left: President Kimberly Tan, Jeyamalar Jeyaratnam, Datin Rosalina Thong, Yip Siew Kin and Jean Chai

On September 22, the ladies of SII rolled up their sleeves, donned their masks and gloves and began this environmental project in conjunction with Malaysia World Cleanup Day in September 2020. 

The residents of Bekor Flats managed to clean up massive amounts of rubbish from one block of the 4-storey flats on the first day itself. This is a B40 community that has been left on their own without help from the local municipality as these flats are in a delicate and complex situation with the owners. The local council has been approached and is finding a way to look into the problem, but the first thing the place needed was a thorough clean-up. Bags and bags of debris and rubbish were collected by the 30 odd residents who volunteered and worked tirelessly to clean up the first block.

This continued for four days, the volunteers working through the different blocks. And finally on the fifth and final day, the last round had all the support from the residents of Bekor Flats, as well as the Ipoh City Council, the Royal Malaysia Police, representatives from the welfare department, members of SII and finally social activist En Muhammed Faiz and his team, without whom this massive effort would not have succeeded.

(3rd from left) En Muhammed Faiz

Kimberly said, “We hope with this thorough cleaning-up, the residents will be committed to be more aware of their hygiene and the cleanliness of this venue. We also hope to provide a conducive environment for our children at Edufun.Thank you to donors and all who volunteered. And a special thank you to En Muhammed Faiz and his team for supporting SII with this initiative.” 

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For information on Edufun and support, as well as Soroptimist International Ipoh, visit their Facebook page or contact Kimberly Tan at 012-596 8933.

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See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

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