Story and photo by STEPHEN THEN
KAPIT (Central Sarawak): Slippers and shoes are much needed by poor children living in remote pockets of Sarawak where such items are rare and expensive.
The Star, during a recent visit to three locations in the interior of Kapit Division, found the majority of toddlers and children without proper footwear.
Longhouses at the Lusong Laku, Long Tanyit and Long Lidem settlements are full of adults and children without shoes or slippers.
“We have no money to buy them,” said Johnson Maun, an eight-year-old boy.
The Star found only one sundry shop in Lusong Laku selling foodstuff and essential household items like soap and cooking utensils.
No slippers or shoes were available.
The shopowner said these items were expensive as the contractor who sent goods from Bintulu charged high prices to transport them.
Many children and toddlers suffer from skin problems on the soles of their feet due to being constantly barefooted.
The Miri Catholic Church is collecting donations for poor Penans in Kapit Division.
A lot of rice and foodstuff has been collected but no shoes or slippers.
Donors can take such items to Father Sylvester Ding at the Miri Carmelite Chapel or hand them to the Carmelite nuns for deployment to the needy children.
If you would like to help you can send donations to ......
Account holder : St Francis Centre Belaga
Bank : Maybank, Bintulu branch, Sarawak
Account No. : 011065307834
To think that something like this can happen in a country that still intends to declare itself "developed" in 11 years time!!! I wonder how the chief minister and all the other Y.B.'s feel as they slip their feet into their Italian-made Ferragamo's?