UPM YOSH Volunteers Help Communities In Sabah During COVID-19 Pandemic | Universiti Putra Malaysia
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UPM YOSH volunteers help communities in Sabah during COVID-19 pandemic

By: Nurul Athira Mohd Affandi


KOTA KINABALU – UPM YOSH Volunteers, together with MyFundAction, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), have helped to contribute and distribute food and essential aids to the people in Tawau, Lahad Datu, Semporna, and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah when the state was facing a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases.


The COVID-19 emergency relief mission also distributed 800 sets of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and face masks to Likas Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Kota Kinabalu Prison Centre’s frontliners there.


A total of 584 sets of essentials called ‘Rezeki Ummat’ worth nearly RM50, 000 containing food items, such as rice, sugar, salt and flour were later distributed in Semporna, Kota Kinabalu, and Lahad Datu.

The Chairperson for YOSH UPM Alumni Chapter, Muhammad Azri, said the biggest challenge faced by his team of volunteers was to get through the long journey across the sea and land while having to wear the PPE suits all day long to comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) set by MyFundAction.

“Although the SOP made the delivery work challenging, the procedures had to be complied with to ensure there would not be any spread of the COVID-19 virus during the relief mission.” 


Muhammad Azri, who is also a Master’s student of Sustainability of Recreation and Eco-tourism, Faculty of Forestry and Environment, UPM, said the mission was quite challenging as they were only given four hours of rest daily due to the packed schedule and distribution activities as well as having to meet and greet the locals from morning until night.

A graduate of Bachelor of Economics, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Nurhafizah Ab Aziz, added that although they had to walk through a river of mangroves, rotting poles and winding paths, the volunteers’ spirit remained strong.


The volunteers also went to villages, including those in Tatagan also known as the Bajau Laut Settlements. The villagers were reluctant to come out initially as they were worried that they might be asked to take the COVID-19 screening test upon seeing the volunteers arriving there in full PPE suits.


Chief Operating Officer of MyFundAction, Siti Aisyah Syahid, was grateful to the very considerate and helpful volunteers towards the public.


“What’s greater is the fact that the volunteers were made up of youths who had a sense of responsibility towards the community.


“Some of them are students pursuing their Master’s and PhDs in UPM and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), and some people were willing to spend time with the community despite having families of their own,” she said.  - UPM


Date of Input: 12/01/2021 | Updated: 12/01/2021 | hairul_nizam


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