By Audrey Fung, FINCO Reads Activator Sabah
The FINCO Reads Activity Fair held in SK Salinatan, in the interior of Nabawan, Sabah, on the 27th of February 2019 was a great success. Our volunteers, Verginia Paulus(Maybank), Mathyleslie binti Eduward(Maybank), Sanimar Zul(SME) and Ramlan bin Osman(Bank Rakyat) went above and beyond the call of duty.
SK Salinatan is located 5 hours drive away from Keningau and the volunteers experienced a rocky, off-road journey for almost 3 hours before arriving at the school to be greeted by the Murut community and welcomed to a village homestay overlooking a river.
The Activity Fair involved approximately 100 participants, which included the entire school of 65 students, teachers, school principal, parents and volunteers! Throughout the fair, students were encouraged to speak English to the volunteers. This was a challenging task as many of them were soft-spoken, timid and lacked confidence in speaking the language. However, the volunteers were very supportive and encouraging to the students and it was pleasing to see their confidence grow as the day progressed.
Volunteers were informed to bring small change to purchase agricultural items the villagers may want to sell as it can be embarrassing for them if they do not have change. At the end of the day, we had two 4-wheel drive vehicles filled with mangosteen, tapioca and more! Overall, I was very impressed with the volunteers and encourage more of you to participate in these activities. I hope this brief description will give you a taste of what it’s like for those who get involved.