Monday, March 7, 2011

Village People: The Project

I have been talking about it for some time. Now, I finally return from Kuantan with enough details to embark on my very first project for my village.

There is a family of nine. The main breadwinner had passed away some time ago, leaving his wife and eight children.

Their main concern is to find a place to stay. Previously, they were bunking at a shack beside the mosque.

However, for some reason, they were told to leave that shack and is now staying at a rented place for RM100 a month. They pay RM60 while the local village council pay RM40, every month.

They are in dire need of a place to stay.

The two eldest children have gotten temporary jobs and are making RM1,000 a month in total - barely enough for food and clothing.

The plan is to construct a house similar to Projek Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin (PPRT), at a lower cost.

A plot of land has been identified. The cost for material and manpower to build the shack is RM25,600 (in comparison, a PPRT home is over RM30,000). The house is around 432 square feet, the size of a studio apartment in KL, for nine people.

The cost is around RM59 per square foot, which is cheap, by KL standards which usually sees double that. The house will have one room, with plywood walls, one sink, and one toilet. Six windows, two doors, zinc roof, etc.

I believe that in order to make such a cramped space work for nine people, I would also need funds for some basic furniture. I'm talking about two bunk beds, nine mattresses, some open shelves, a few steel rods, a basic cabinet and a stove for the kitchen and a horde of volunteers.

I have the plans with me, as well as a letter from the village council, pictures and profile of the family in need. Also with me are the account name and number of the village council which will handle this project on that end.

I will spend some of my time finding a tax-deductible charity organisation or foundation to house this project under. I will handle the fund-raising myself, with some help of friends.

Any and all assistance will be appreciated. However, allow me some time to gather my resources first. I have approached some people a few months ago concerning this very thing.

It is not a luxury home we are building, but something out of necessity. The size of the house is limited by the available plot of land as well as funds for the material.

There are over 30 families in need of similar help in my village, according to the headman, but this family is in the most need.

A tentative timeline will be done as soon as I take stock of what resources, contacts and whatnot I have currently at my disposal.

For anything, contact me at