MERSING: A group of orang asli women were about to start cooking when a group of 100-odd enforcement officers moved in to tear down eight wooden homes in the Gunung Arong forest reserve in Kampung Batu 10 on Tuesday, leaving 50 Jakun homeless.
The seven families are now living in makeshift tents by the roadside after their homes were torn down.
“Here, I can do some farming and the forest is accessible. The government gave part of the forest reserve to loggers and miners, but why can’t they let us stay?” Awang, who used to live in Kota Tinggi in Johor and Rompin, asked.
(Article from the Star)
EPIC ( Extraordinary People Impacting Community)
Is a social enterprise that aims to inspire, mobilize and empower people to make positive impact in their communities. EPIC designs and creates collaborative platforms that allow you to do this in a fun and easy way.
It’s flagship project, EPIC Homes is an initiative that aims to build relationships through the act of building homes for underprivileged Malaysian communities. An EPIC Home can be built within 3 days with a team of ordinary people. Under the Builder Training Program, participants are equipped with the skills and knowledge to lead, manage and build homes.
To date they have built over 18 homes with over 400 people from around the world, and have grown into a community with over 4400 people. They have also built with corporations such as PEMANDU, Media Prime Berhad, GE Malaysia, AirAsia Berhad, Taylors Education Group & Sinclair Knight-Merz. This year EPIC intends to build 100 homes whilst transforming this initiative into a nationwide movement.
How it all started
EPIC started as a conversation over the dinner table in 2010, where four friends were discussing the possibility of solving local issues through community work. When the conversation ended, we realized they had done a whole lot of talking, but no work.
And so, we began to search through friends and families for small projects that could bring like minded people together with the intention to bring about positive impact and to drive change in their community. A man from a nearby village in Batang Kali told us of a potential house-painting project and took us to recce the site.
When we arrived, a little boy in the group asked, “Where is the toilet?” It turns out that the village toilets weren’t completed, and thus the settlement didn’t have any. And that “toilet-building and painting project” (that really was the title of the project) was the first ever EPIC event.
We thought that we’d only be able to gather a tiny group of people for the project, but after blasting our call for volunteers through social media we were hit with 64 committed individuals who were ready for action. These guys ranged from ages 13-60 and they hailed from different countries around the world. When these strangers met for the first time at the project, we immediately knew that we had something special. We had never experienced such authenticity before. Each person that was present had one goal in mind: they were there to do whatever they could to help another person. This inspired us and showed us that by doing little with many, we could produce impact of epic proportions.
What EPIC Homes does
EPIC Homes aims to build relationships between the urban and rural divide through the activity of building homes for underprivileged Malaysian communities, currently focusing on the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia, the Orang Asli.
We believe that the presence of relationships is what truly differentiates a ‘Home’ from a House’. When an EPIC Home is built, a family does not just get a new house, they become connected to a larger community who genuinely cares for them, a community that seeks to understand their challenges, and who seeks to solve it together with them.
Without people and relationships a house is nothing but a shell. This shell may protect a family from physical elements, but it is through people that they will be inspired and motivated to improve and move forward.
Since encountering our first dilapidated house in 2010, we have built 17 homes mostly in Selangor and Perak, connecting Orang Asli families with over 300 people from around the world. We have built alongside Malaysians and have also had builders from Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Japan, Holland, New Zealand, India, Sweden, Korea, Turkey, UK, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Africa, USA, Iraq and Venezuela.
EPICS 5 YEAR GOAL
-To connect all 834 villages to the city through relationships built between urban and rural people.
-To have active participation from government, corporations and the general public who will be driving the initiative
According to the Pelan Strategik Kemajuan Orang Asli 2011, 82% of Orang Asli are in need of housing aid; that’s approximately 12,322 families who live in unsafe housing in Peninsular Malaysia.
NOT JUST HOUSES.
We believe that building homes is an effective and powerful activity that opens the door to relationship building. We also believe that homes are of utmost importance – a home leads to much more than four walls and a roof. It can affect livelihood, physical and personal health and the educational development of an individual.
For more information
Contact Person: John-son Oei
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number: +603 5613 5683
Address: No 15, Jalan PJS 11/18 Bandar Sunway, 46150, Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia