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Kiwanis Malaysia first to step forward in support of UNICEF’s appeal in Malaysia

© UNICEF Malaysia/2008/Nadchatram
Kiwanis Malaysia Governor Mark Matthew (3rd from R) and District Presidents join UNICEF Malaysia Representative Youssouf Oomar. Kiwanis Malaysia kick starts the Appeal with a RM 80,000 donation.

KUALA LUMPUR, 14 May 2008 – Kiwanis Malaysia, a voluntary service organisation, is the first to step forward to support the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) "Myanmar Children’s Cyclone Appeal 2008" in Malaysia, with an initial donation of RM 80,000.

The donation, which will kick start the UN children’s agency fundraising appeal in the country was received by UNICEF Malaysia Representative, Mr. Youssouf Oomar. UNICEF had recently issued a global appeal for approximately RM 80.3 million ($25.57 million) over the next six months to assist survivors of Cyclone Nargis. 

Funds raised for the appeal will be used for emergency supplies that will include water purification tablets and emergency health kits. UNICEF is also working to restore water and sanitation services; provide temporary learning spaces, as many schools have been completely destroyed; establish safe spaces for thousands of children in need of protection and treatment, and assist in the identification and reunification of separated children with their families.

While expressing his complete faith in UNICEF’s ability to deliver urgent aid to children most in need in Myanmar, Kiwanis Malaysia Governor Mark Matthew said that it is his hope that the Malaysian rakyat will join in to give whatever they can to support the appeal.

“Today Kiwanis Malaysia signs a Memorandum of Understanding with UNICEF in wanting to urgently reach children and families affected by Cyclone Nargis. The condition in Myanmar is dire and survivors are in critical need of clean drinking water, shelter, essential drugs and proper sanitation facilities,” said Mr. Matthew. "To wait could mean the loss of so many more lives". 

Children and women who survived Myanmar’s worst natural disaster are now surviving in increasingly desperate conditions. While UNICEF’s initial stocks pre-positioned in the country are being distributed, these will not be sufficient to meet an ever increasing need in the coming days and weeks.

Mr. Matthew was joined by some 15 members from Kiwanis Malaysia, including district presidents and trustees. Leading the fundraising effort for Kiwanis Malaysia is its Foundation Trustee Yong Kar Kwee who mobilised the organisation’s initial donation within two days.

“This is only a start. We hope to mobilise a lot more funds. The members are extremely concerned and they each want to do everything they can to bring relief for children and families struggling to survive in the aftermath of the cyclone”, Trustee Yong passionately exclaimed.

Public who are interested in making their donation to UNICEF through Kiwanis Malaysia can call (03) 7880 9602.

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KIWANIS
Kiwanis is a voluntary service organisation which is focused on serving the children of our communities, and around the world. There are more than 8,500 Kiwanis clubs with 600,000 members in 88 countries worldwide. Kiwanis was founded in 1915 in Detroit, USA, and it was introduced to Malaysia in 1976 by Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Khir Johari, who organised the Kiwanis Club of Kuala Lumpur. Today, there are 52 Kiwanis clubs with more than 1,200 members throughout Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

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Video

13 May 2008:
UNICEF correspondent Chris Niles reports on the growing threat of disease in Myanmar, in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.
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