Chin Learning Center Won First Prize for Neighbourhood Cleaning Competition in Malaysia
19 February 2012: The Chin Diamond Learning Center, a community-based informal school run by Chin refugees in Malaysia, has won the first prize of community sanitation service competition organized by the UNHCR’s Social Protection Fund (SPF).
Out of the total 23 groups participating in a neighbourhood cleaning-up service as a part of a competition under the Jom Gotong-Royong programme, the Chin Diamond Learning Center received the highest score for best performance.
In a ceremony held at the Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur, the first prize of 3,000 Ringgits was presented to the Chin Diamond Learning Center, with the second award to the Kachin refugee community and the third to the Zomi Education Center.
Thanking UNHCR for organizing the programme, leader of the Chin Diamond Learning Center said their Malaysian neighbourhood was so much impressed with the voluntary cleaning services, adding: “They personally came out and helped us. Sometimes, they served us lunch and even provided their cars. The prize is due to parts of their support.”
The clean-up service, which is aimed for refugees from other countries to give back to the local community, included sweeping the roadside, clearing up the drains and collecting rubbishes in the surrounding areas.
Started in November last year, the competition ended in January 2012 with UNHCR members conducting an evaluation on conditions at the sites of the clean-up in a bid to make decisions on the winner.
Last December, Lal Siam Mawi, of the Chin Disciplinary Action Committee (CDAC), was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying that the team has been cleaning up the area before the competition.
There are about 86,000 refugees coming from Burma out of an estimated total of 95,000 in Malaysia, of which over 45,000 are of Chin ethnicity.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang