Category Archives: English based Environmental Awareness Programmes

Grant from the Edge Foundation for Environmental Education at the Mossy Forests of Cameron Highlands

by Cheam May Choo

We are pleased to inform that we recently received a grant from the Edge Foundation for environmental education at our mossy forests. Besides educating students on the biodiversity and importance of our highland forests, this time around we would include lessons on climate change.

The Edge Education Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Edge Media Group. The foundation’s mission is to foster, develop and promote education of all kinds. Through the Edge KL Rat Race (which is held annually since 2000) funds are raised from corporate Malaysia and given to the various registered charities and NGOs. This year the event was held at Padang Merbok, KL on the 31st of July 2018.

Simple weather measuring instruments will be installed at our mini weather station in Gunung Brinchang. As with our earlier programmes,field trips would consist of a visit to untouched mossy forests followed by a visit to our Biodiversity Centre. where forests are being rehabilitated. Students would participate in tree planting and later brief on climate change, forest conservation and how all these are interrelated.

REACH would like to thank the Edge Education Foundation for supporting our conservation efforts.

 

A common affliction-the dearth of funds

In this challenging economic times, our organization, as with many NGO’s, is not spared from a common affliction- the shortage of funds. Since Reach’s formation, we have been relatively spared by monetary woes but not this year. Pledged funds which would have tide us over unscathed, have not materialized. As a result we are “downsizing”.  Our administrative work will be done by volunteers till such time when our funds permit us to hire an office staff. We regret to inform that activities which are costly to carry out will not be fully sponsored. This include reforestation activities. (Only 4 wheel drive vehicles are able to navigate through the rough roads and their transportation cost is high.)

Activities such as CSI and EEP will continue as their cost is relatively low. We apologise for having to disappoint schools who have written to us recently, as Septembers and Octobers are the golden post exam months when the students are free to join in our activities. In order to continue our environmental work, we seek funds and support from the public. Our donations are tax exempted.  The public can also support us by buying our merchandise especially our book on Montane Birds of Cameron Highlands. We can be contacted at reach.president@gmail.com or reach.corybas@gmail.com. Other email addresses will no longer be in use.

EEP programme in SK Brinchang on the 14th February 2018

A talk on recycling (which is part of our EEP programme) was carried out at SK Brinchang (Brinchang primary school ) on the 14th of February 2018. Roy Margaret, our regular volunteer and a power engineer by profession gave the talk. Also in attendance were Datin Aseema and Puan Mazlira.

Environmental Education Programme in SMK Kg Raja 17th July 2018

by Cheam May Choo

On the 17th of July 2018, REACH conducted an environmental education programme EEP in SMK Kg Raja ( Kg Raja secondary school). As with our other EEProgramme English is used as a medium of instruction. 230 students from Form 1, 2 and 4 attended. Kavvin A/L Sehgar , our regular volunteer gave a talk on recycling and going ‘green’ (After years of conservation and environmental work with young people, it is interesting to note that our regular volunteers share many things in common. They tend to be very motivated, speak well in public, show leadership qualities,have good family values and normally excel in studies, sports or music. They are very focussed on what they do and usually they will be successful in embarking on a career of their choice. And Kavvin exemplifies this. Congrats, Kavvin, our future vet!)

Our other volunteers for the day include Kee Yan Jie, Thibault, Quentin ,Phillipe and Anushka. Also present were Datin Aseema, Mas, Saras.

EEP in SJKC Kea Farm 17th November 2017

Kea Farm is a picturesque farming village nestled on a hill slope, 3 km away from Brinchang town in Cameron Highlands. It has the distinction of being the highest village accessible by road in Peninsular Malaysia being located at 1600 metres above sea level.

Some of its houses date back from just after World War 2 and consists of wooden and brick dwellings, with few on stilts. Most of the houses are very close together and appear ‘etched’ into the slopes. From afar they look absolutely charming and surrounded by terraces of water cress and other vegetables, they are almost postcard picture perfect. The elders would speak of the time when the road wasn’t ready and they had to physically carry provisions and harvested vegetables to Brinchang town. Once things were more settled, a primary school namely SJKC Kea Farm was built. As with most farming communities in Cameron Highlands, there is a close bond between the villagers and the school.

Today the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the pioneer settlers are in this school. But many things have changed. Some families have moved to Brinchang and Tanah Rata. Opposite Kea Farm village, hotels and apartment blocks are springing up in tandem with the number of roadside stalls. The road passing through Kea Farm has become a bottle neck for traffic in both directions.

On the 17th of November 2017 , Reach made a trip to this school and conducted our EEP programme to the 40 students of this school.

EEP programme at SJKTamil Ringlet-13th October 2017

Ringlet is the first town in Cameron Highlands that motorists reach when travelling from Tapah. It has a population of around 8000 and the residents here are mainly farmers. Ringlet subdistrict(or mukim) has an acreage of 5165 hectares and the town is surrounded by gentle hills. Sungai Ringlet runs through the middle of town as the earlier settlements were along the river banks and grew from there.

Perhaps it is timely that our environmental education programme has now reached the classrooms of the primary and secondary schools of Ringlet. Ringlet has seen past environmental tragedies. In November 2014, Sungai Ringlet overflowed its banks with resulting loss of lives and property. This was a result of uncontrolled land clearing upstream and the river being clogged by mud and rubbish. Flash floods and mud flows continue to happen but after steps were taken to widen Sungai Ringlet and its banks were strengthened the problem was somewhat alleviated.

SJK Tamil Ringlet is a high performance school and we have conducted a few programmes with them. This programme began with a video presentation on the pollution of a river in Cameron Highlands, followed by a discussion on what was shown.

High performance schools are awarded the merit by the Ministry of Education for excelling in academic and non academic work. They are given some form of autonomy and extra financial aid to run their programmes.