While most of the voluntary work I share in this blog involve my work with Buddies of Ipoh, I am also a committee member of another NGO called Pertubuhan Wanita Prihatin Perak, set up just last year. We got together to help out the Rohingya boat people, and eventually decided that we should set up a proper registered organisation.
Our first project for this year is to organise a #freemarket, starting off at Dewan Orang Ramai Chendrong, Batu Gajah, Perak. This being our first of more planned freemarkets in future, we decided to turn it into a Karnival Wanita Prihatin, to include other activities like coloring competition for children, and setting up various booths including education booths. YB Dato' Nolee Ashilin, the ADUN for Tualang Sekah officiated the event and the launch of our first freemarket.
The response from the public was overwhelming. We received a whole load of contributions consisting of clothes, shoes, books, toys, food items and various other stuff. It being the first freemarket held, many were still oblivious to the concept of freemarket, some couldn't really believe that they could have the items for free.
I noticed one boy, still in primary school, who tried on a pair of school shoes, even though the shoes looked quite old. To me he obviously came from a poor family. While he was trying on the shoes, I silently hoped that they would fit. Thank goodness they did.
Then there was a lady who came with her young children quite late, when most of the better items had already been taken up by those who came earlier. She was looking for children's clothes. Noticing that this was also a needy family, a few of us volunteers took the trouble to search for suitable clothes to be given to them. Thank goodness we did find a few, so they did not leave empty handed.
After we packed up and as I was heading to my car to head home, I saw another lady who came with her son, asking another guy about the exact location of the freemarket, only to be told it was over. She must have only heard about it from others who had already taken some free items earlier. But by the time she got there it was too late. Sigh...
We are hoping to do this on a monthly basis in different locations all over Perak.