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Team Seven Undergoes Training
- GLOBAL SIKHS—Waves of Mercy continues its relief mission in Aceh, Indonesia
- Latest report from Aceh
MEMBERS of Team Seven began their two-day training today at Kuala Lumpur, preparing themselves for a 3-week stint of humanitarian relief and rehabilitation work at Aceh, Indonesia.
Team Seven of the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY mission to Aceh, consisting at least a dozen volunteers (the list is being finalized), will leave next Tuesday (March 22) via yacht from Langkawi. The journey on sea will take about 24 hours.
As in the past missions, Team Seven will undertake work in the areas of medical, logistics (including food distribution, assessment, sanitation, shelter, hygiene), counseling and coordination.
“We’ve got a good team here. They are bonding well. This is important to ensure everything proceeds smoothly,’ says Harcharanjit Singh, who conducted part of the training today. (Harcharanjit, a lawyer by practice, but who spend more man-hours in gurdwaras and Gurmat samelans, was on an earlier Aceh mission. His wife Harminder Kaur, is currently in Aceh with Team Six).
Among volunteers undergoing training are Christine (from Australia, who has been active at the Waves of Mercy HQ), Ajit Singh (Johor Bahru), Harsharan Singh, Mohamed Azamuddin, Joseph Benjamin (Sabah), Jagdish Kaur (a hotelier) and Naseeb Kaur (a kindergarten teacher from Prai).
At today’s session, Harcharanjit briefed them on the ground realities in Aceh and understanding the who’s who at various areas and organizations (customs, immigration, navy, army, villages, other NGOs). The volunteers are also exposed to the culture and practices of Indonesians, camp management, techniques of acquiring goods and making assessments and how to prepare the ground to receive goods through shipments.
In the second half of today, Harbinder Singh took over the training. Harbinder, a former jathedar of the SIKH NAUJAWAN SABHA MALAYSIA, the organization spearheading the mission, is another ‘Aceh veteran’.
Report from Aceh
In Aceh, the Global Sikhs-Waves of Mercy team has successfully got the sewing enterprise running. The humanitarian relief team had provided villagers 9 sewing machines. With the assistance of the Indonesia Education Department, people at the internally displaced people’s camps (15 are under the care of Global Sikhs-Waves of Mercy) are paid to sow school uniforms, which are given to children in the camps.
The team is also conducting hygiene clinics, teaching locals personal and oral hygiene, and also living area hygience. Immediately the next day, they organize a major cleanup of surrounding areas. Another team – called the Mosquito Team – distributes specially treated mosquito nets.
Water is another important area of concern. Another team takes care of the water and sanitation. At some places, water level is running low. The team assists in piping fresh water to the villages.
In the next few days, before they leave, team members currently in Aceh will have to clear the warehouse for the next shipment of goods that will arrive on the same ship with members of Team Seven.
Global Sikhs-Waves of Mercy: Background
WHO WE ARE
GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY is the name coined for the international relief effort to help the earthquake and Tsunami victims in Aceh, Indonesia. It is an informal grouping of Sikh and non-Sikh organisations worldwide that want to assist in the relief mission. While the mission platform carries the name Sikh, it is open to people from all races, religions and nationalities. We have, both on the mission and at the headquarters level, volunteers from various races, religions and nationalities.
The mission is spearheaded by Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (Malaysian Sikh Youth), a Malaysian-based 41-year old youth organisation. This is a registered NGO in Malaysia and has performed various community projects in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region. Website: www.snsm.org.my
Its key operational partner is the WAVES OF MERCY, a group of Langkawi-based sailors who have rallied together to make the ships available to carry forward the mission. It is led by Captain Hugo Crawford. Some of the sailors have lost their boats in the tsunami incident. Website: www.wavesofmercy.com
Its main international partner is the UNITED SIKHS, an international NGO with chapters in Europe, America and Asia. It has sent five of its members to Kuala Lumpur for the relief work in Aceh. In separate missions, UNITED SIKHS have also sent their members to Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Website: www.unitedsikhs.org
- Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), Washington, USA
- Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF), Washington, USA www.ggsf.org
- Gurmat Learning Zone. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learning-zone/
- The Association of Sikh Physicians for Involvement, Response and Engagement (ASPIRE), USA
- Naujawan Sabha Melbourne, Australia
- Dya Singh World of Music
Our mission is to assist in the humanitarian relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia, in the most effective manner as possible. Funds raised and assistance rendered will go towards achieving the objective.
24-HOUR COMMAND CENTRE
GLOBAL SIKHS operates a round-the-clock control and command centre n Kuala Lumpur. Tel: ++ 603 - 2283 3713
||Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia - Tsunami Relief
||Bangsar Baru Branch
||66, 68 & 70, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru, 59000 Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.