Monday, March 1, 2010

An Update on Asrama Donni

Remember Donni John Duin? Donni was 11 when he took his own life in March 2007 so that he could ease the suffering of his mother and replace his mother’s weak heart with his. It was during our 30th Killerbatch reunion at Taman Equestrian Putrajaya on the 7th February 2009 that this idea of Kulim to Kiulu (K2K) for Asrama Donni was tabled out. At that time, I was somehow skeptical.. Eh..boleh ke ni... so many things to do la.. how to get RM250K etc.... but who’d ever thought that it would become a reality!

K2K project initiated by us – the ex-students of MRSM Kulim (1979-1983) aka Killerbatch is actually a fun raising project to build a dormitory for the underprivileged high school students of SMK Tun Fuad Stephens in Kiulu, Tamparuli, Sabah who have to walk miles across the rivers and jungles for hours before they can reach their school. With the dormitory, these students will no longer have to endure those exhausting long walks anymore.

The journey that Killerbatch took to realize not only their dream, but the dream of hundreds of students back in Kiulu Sabah was full of adventures and lively of colors. Along the way, new friendships were made and new paths were taken. Everything was indeed remarkable... and at the end of the road, countless huggings, hand-shakings, phone calls, emails, teh-tarik dos, brain-storming sessions, smiles, laughters, sweat and tears could fill the ocean spread between Kulim to Kiulu.

Such precious experience. Priceless.

How did we get the fund? Apart from the generous donors (companies, families, friends and even strangers), Killerbatch participated in 3 major events through out the 12 months - Tune Talk, I Miss Him So Much and Ghazal Party Queen.

Kulim to Kiulu charity series started off with us participating in the Tune Talk competition which was on from June to August 2009, with K2K as its cause. It wasn’t easy doubling up the votes, but with the help of our family and friends, especially those from Sabah Credit Corporation, we managed to win the first prize of RM50K! Not bad for a beginner :)

The second was I Miss Him So Much art charity where we teamed up with our good friend Galeri Chandan, held at Galeri Chandan from 30th September to 12th October 2009. Around 40 generous local artists participated in the exhibition, and more than RM200K worth of artworks were sold. It was a huge success!

Datuk Mukhriz - officiated IMHSM and attended GPQ, such a great person!

The final part of the charity drive series was Ghazal Party Queen (which I'll elaborate more here) held at Taman Budaya from 5th to 8th February 2010. GPQ was a restaging of an award winning play with 8 Killerbatch and ANGKA (Angkatan Karyawan Aktif Kuala Lumpur) as its cast. It was based on a true story of one Pak Teh Nan, a famous former Ghazal Party Queen in Sungai Bakat. During the day, he worked as a paddy farmer and at night, a graceful belly dancer in Ghazal Party.

Pak Teh was in love with Kamariah and nobody knew of their love affair. He was broken apart when Kamariah was married off to his own bestfriend, Pak Din. Indeed it was a sad night for Pak Teh, when he had to perform his Ghazal dance during their wedding kenduri. To further crush him to pieces, Pak Teh was accused of something he didn’t do. That was the last dance he’d ever done. The hurtful dance.

I loved the play.. especially that Munah character – so entertaining!

GPQ - some of the cast which include Aishah, the big-hearted singer. Munah is the one in the short black kebaya

Hmmhh... the project is now at the end of the road. Looking back at the road we've taken, I would say that Alhamdulillah, Kulim to Kiulu is a success! Despite some criticisms made by certain quarters regarding the project, Killerbatch stood tall to endure the sour remarks and other challenges. With wonderful people-with-visions in the team, giving their best in everything they did, and those not in the team but giving everything their support and encouragement, Asrama Donni is now complete! Yeap, the official opening will be on 17th April 2010. Insyaallah TYT Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Ahmadshah Abdullah and Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir among others will be attending the ceremony... as well as Killerbatch families and friends.

It is such a great honor for me to be an iota part of the project.

We are very much thankful to so many people, especially K2K partners - Sabah Credit Corporation, Galeri Chandan, CIMB Foundation and Tun Ahmadshah Foundation, friends from Ansara, Galeri Chandan, Tune Talk and ANGKA, our teachers from MRSM Kulim, Killerbatch families and friends, and those who supported the project by helping in so many ways - THANK YOU. Let’s hope that more “Asrama Donnis” will be built to help other kids around Tanah Tumpah Darah kita ini...