Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Heroes Remembered Never Forgotten

As the USA commemorates its independence day on 4th of July, A Piece Of Hope (APOH) too commemorated the heroes that died on Mt Kinabalu earthquake disaster by holding a simple ceremony to handout compassionate money to the families of the deceased guides through a fund called Mt Kinabalu Heroes Fund.

The ceremony was held at Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre in Kundasang on 4th July at 3pm. It was attended by the families of the deceased guides, namely Sapinggi Ladsou (the father of Robbi Sapinggi), Rozitah Daimin (wife of Joseph Solgin), Vincent Joannes (brother of Valerian Joannes), Ronny Masarin (brother of Ricky Masarin), some relatives, sister of Bundu Tuhan church and APOH team members. Coincidentally while talking to them, we found out that Sapinggi Ladsou (one of the oldest guides of Persatuan Malim Gunung) was one of our guides for previous years of APOH climb. While Rozitah was one of the check-in staff at Kinabalu Park that helped accommodate APOH climbers.

Each of the families were handed RM15,000 at the ceremony. So a total of RM60,000 were given out. These money were raised through combined efforts of all APOH members in and outside the country, by individuals and corporate entities within a month following the disaster. Thanks to all kind hearted donors, APOH’s charity reach has gone beyond children based NGOs. We have touched souls that have aided us up Mt Kinabalu in each and every past years of APOH charity climb.

Although APOH 9 Mt Kinabalu did not properly happen as planned, this event was real meaningful and manage to help individuals/families in a different sincere need at a trying time. A big thank you to our local liaison and driver Evelyn, Lorenzo and Alas for connecting with the deceased mountain guides families and driving the APOH team to Kundasang. Thanks to China Press and Sin Chew Sabah for giving us coverage for this event (click these links to newspaper cuttings: ChinaPress and SinChewSabah). Finally, to all the ‘heroes’ who contributed to this fund, THANK YOU. 

The Mt Kinabalu Heroes Fund has now drawn to a close. The heroes here that we had remembered are not gone forever. They will live in our lives as memories of our past.
Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver 5 minutes longer.
- Ronald Reagan (past president of USA)

A hero is an ordinary human being who does the best things in the worst of times.
- Leon Leyson
(the youngest surviving child on Oscar Schindler’s List during the Nazi Holocaust)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

They Gave Their All, So Let's Give Some Back

A Piece Of Hope Chapter 9 : Mt Kinabalu Charity Climb that was to happen from 4 - 8th July 2015 has been cancelled. The committee has met and have decided to turn our efforts now to raise funds for the Mt Kinabalu Heroes, the mountain guides (malim gunung).

The earthquake on 5th June has not only damaged Mt Kinabalu but also the power to earn for the mountain guides. These mountain guides do not earn much and their work is sheer hard work. They have to leave their families at a span of time to aid climbers up and down Mt Kinabalu.

While we adorn expensive attire and gears for the climb, they just manage with simple footwear and clothing. This just show how lean their financial background is. They live a meager life but their love for the job compels them to be fully dedicated and responsible. My respect for them.

If you had experienced climbing up Mt Kinabalu you had experience one of them. Donate if possible. Please contact us or any of APOH committee or team leaders to forward your donations NOW.

Helping Out Mt Kinabalu Mountain Guides In This Hard Times

With the climbing activities at Mt Kinabalu closed indefinitely, the livelihood of the mountain guides and porters have been and will be adversely effected. In such a time, we at A Piece Of Hope is jointly lending support to a fund raising event to be held this Sunday, 21st June at Green Dot Stables in Bandar Utama from 12 - 6pm.

Come and purchase donation vouchers which can be exchange for food. All amount collected for the purchase of the donation vouchers will be fully given to the mountain guides and porters. Food is sponsored by Green Dot Stables, hosted by Lions Club KL and supported by A Piece Of Hope and various community groups.

See you there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cancellation of A Piece Of Hope Chapter 9 : Mt Kinabalu Charity Climb

Image of the jigsaw puzzle that was supposed to be carried by the climbers up Mt Kinabalu

It is with deep regret to formally announce that our charity climb this year is CANCELLED indefinitely due to the recent earthquake that hit Mt Kinablu on 5th June 2015. The APOH committee felt that climbing activities on Mt Kinabalu will not resume in time for our scheduled climb on 4 - 8 July 2015. Safety reasons is also quoted as one of the reasons why APOH committee chose to cancel the climb.

* image via My Kundasang

The minimum amount pledge of RM60,000 (as presented as a mock cheque and published in newspaper) will still go to Persatuan Insan Istimewa Cheras Selangor (PIICS). This amount was pre-collected from all of this year's registered climbers. The formal fund raising activity towards the amount of RM200,000 will not happen with the cancellation of the climb. Climbers and potential donors who wish to still donate to PIICS can do so by downloading a donation form HERE.

* image via Sabah Parks

APOH salutes the Heroes of the Mt Kinabalu Earthquake, the MOUNTAIN GUIDES. They have been a great help to all of our climbers in the past 8 years of our Mt Kinabalu Charity Climb. Without them, our weaker climbers will be stuck on the summit. Our great respect to them for they had executed full and unwavering responsibility in carrying out their job. Our condolences to the four mountain guides (Robbi Sapinggi, Valerian Joannes, Ricky Masarin and Joseph Solugin) that died while carrying out their job, may you rest in peace and may your families be at peace too.

We will be collecting donation for the four mountain guides who died and will be passing it directly to their families in July. So far we have collected more than RM20,000. If you are interested to donate, please contact us at apieceofhope@gmail.com.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Press Conference for APOH 9 and Earthquake at Mt Kinabalu

A Press conference was held on 30th May 2015 at Persatuan Insan Istimewa Cheras Selangor (PIICS). The event was graced by a Majlis Perbandaran Klang councillor and his staff. In attendance were also some APOH committee members and climbers. During the event, a mock cheque was presented to PIICS to the initial amount of RM60,000 collected from all of the registered climbers this year. This amount spearheads the targetted amount to be raised of RM200,000. As of date there are 200+ climbers for this year's A Piece Of Hope Chapter 9 : Mt Kinabalu Charity Climb.

At the time of this post writing, a shocking news surfaced. Mt Kinabalu was hit by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake at 7.17am this morning. It was reported that 5 are feared dead and as many as 180 people are left stranded on the peak. Rock fall at the summit has prevented the climbers from coming down the normal route. The legendary 'Donkey's Ears' has been damaged as one of the 'ears' has fallen off (pictured below : screen grabbed from the StarOnline news portal)
With this sudden news, APOH 9 which is happening from 4 - 8 July 2015 is questionable. The committee now awaits further news about this tragic incident to determine the viability of APOH 9. Our prayers are with the concerned families of all the climbers and mountain guides involved.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

APOH app for Android

Download APOH app for Android

A Piece Of Hope has an app. Many still do not know about this. It has been developed since last year. You can download it from the Google PlayStore, click HERE to download it now. Here are key features of the app:

This app is an all-in-one place to get information regarding APOH activities and events.
Key Features:
* About Us - Who, When, What, Why of APOH
* Committee - People who run APOH
* Blog - links to our blog for all latest news
* First Timers - information on Itinerary and FAQs
* Climb Tips - information on Climbing Tips and Things to Bring
* Donate - links to a online Donation Form
* NGOs - a list of past NGOs we have helped
* News & Media - newspaper and TV appearance of APOH
* Message Wall - latest messages posted by APOH

Monday, April 27, 2015

First steps for the 9th time

It is barely 2 and half months more to A Piece Of Hope : Mt Kinabalu Chapter 9. Our charitable work is beginning to heat up. As of now, there are 300 registered climbers and all are already preparing themselves by way of training or getting the right gears to assault Mt Kinabalu's summit of 4095 meters.

But without the charity side of things, A Piece Of Hope wouldn't be complete, like a wife without her husband. As the saying goes, 'Behind every successful man there is a supporting wife'. In our case, the husband is the charity work and the wife is the Mt Kinabalu climb and its climbers.

The husband's work is never ending. Our charity work likewise continues year round even when the climb is completed. Thus at this time of the year, we work on selecting the right children based NGO. This time around, the committee members went to visit Persatuan Insan Istimewa Cheras Selangor (PIICS) on 18 April.

PIICS was established in 2009. Relatively young NGO but not lacking in its zeal to help and shelter mentally and physically challenged children of all ages, race and religion. Housed in a corner house in Cheras, the resident children are 28 of which 3 are day cared.

This particular home as compared to the other mentally and physically challenged homes we helped in the past, does not take in severe cases. So its daily caring task is not so difficult and demanding. Having 4 permanent staff is just sufficient in keeping PIICS overheads manageable.

Madam Lee the home's founder and current president said, 'With our present staff size and nett usable space in the house, we can only take in maximum 30 children'. She shared with us that almost all of the children do not pay anything to stay there. So you would expect that their monthly operational cost would be high but in actual fact it is not, only approximately RM15k per month.

Mr. Ten, the secretary of PIICS and son of Madam Lee, shared that most of their monetary donations come during Chinese New Year and other Chinese related festivity. This would last them for the whole year. At other times of the year, they get donations in kind like food stuffs. Mr. Ten added that they do not have a planned calendar for donation drive as yet.

Being only 6 years old, PIICS already has a vision to have their own premises so that they can expand their work. First thing on their mind is to buy up the present house and renovate it to make more space for more children. But where to get money is the biggest question.

This is where A Piece Of Hope : Mt Kinabalu Chapter 9 comes into play. With the committee members in agreement to help PIICS, our charitable work starts..... are you with us?

We welcome you to join us this year for APOH 9.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

1 + 4 = 5 = 230,000

The equation above looks right and not at the same time. But to us at A Piece Of Hope, it is right!

The number 1 is for one NGO (Rumah Keluarga Kami) that we helped last year on our annual Mt. Kinabalu charity climb.
The number 4 is for four NGOs (Persatuan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Kajang, Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah, Persatuan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Hulu Langat and Persatuan Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Klang Selangor) we also helped last year but at our inaugural A Piece Of Hope Fun Run & Walk 2014 held at MAEPS Serdang.

Number 5 obviously is for the 5 NGOs added together.
And lastly the number 230,000. This was the amount collectively we have helped raised for the 5 NGOs. Indeed last year was a fruitful year for APOH and also a tiring one but it was all worth it for charity - Charity Together Helping Another

Today marks two months since we had our first ever A Piece Of Hope Fun Run & Walk 2014. Below are some photos to rekindle that momentous moment.

Do stay tune for APOH 2015.....