Elixir of Life Phase 3 & 4


Phase 3 & 4 Report : Living Skills Workshop to residents of Kampung Semban and English tuition at SK Semban, 1 – 3 Mar 2013

Participants : Jacqueline Fong and Jo-Lynn Liao (Batik Crew), Brian Collin, Ginette Collin and Shafelin (Purple Lily), Theresa Seow (volunteer English tutor), Sarah Berdugo (Sarawak Tourism Board), Anita Lundberg, Jerry Kennedy, Tang Chieng Wei, Sri Bala Krishnan, Sarah van den Boogaard

We are happy to report that we have successfully completed another two initiatives under our Elixir of Life campaign. We started off our hike on a beautifully hot Friday morning. We had engaged 4 porters for this journey and they were waiting at the Bengoh dam site to help us with our packs and more importantly, the materials for our Phase 3 and 4 activities. The 5-hour hike up to Kampong Semban certainly took a toll on all 12 of us, especially so on those that were not used to walking such long distances in the sweltering humidity of the Borneo rainforest. We split into two groups at Kampong Bojong – one group decided to make a detour to a few of the many waterfalls in the region whilst the second group opted to forge onwards to the village directly.

Theresa managed to squeeze in an impromptu English tuition session with some of the village children that had gathered at our homestay after dinner while a few alcoholics who had smuggled in a bottle of fire water spent the rest of the night telling drunken tales with the villagers.

Saturday morning saw an early start for Ginette, Brian and Shafelin from the Purple Lily team – there was much preparation to be done before the workshop that morning. There were a few hiccups with the tardy attendance initially, but thankfully, these issues were ironed out quickly and the workshop was conducted smoothly. Most of the participants participated very actively and were still discussing the skills that they’ve learnt after the workshop was concluded. We had another delicious feast for dinner and were treated to a traditional cultural performance by the villagers later that night. This time, everyone had an early night in anticipation of the big hike back down the next morning. On Sunday morning, we made our way to SK Semban where we had lunch and got Theresa settled in before heading on to the Bengoh dam site via Kampong Taba Sait.

Theresa stayed on at SK Semban for a total of two weeks where she conducted daily English tuition sessions for the Primary 1 to 6 students. We sincerely hope that our efforts have managed to make at least a small impact in both the lives of the villagers who have attended the living skills workshop by Purple Lily as well as the students who have received English tuition from Theresa.

We thank all those many many kind friends in Kampung Semban and SK Semban who had so willingly helped us in carrying out these initiatives.

We do not plan to stop here. We wish to continue running projects to benefit the children of SK Semban for as long as we are able to and for as long as they need our help.