1. Establishing a permanent home – In 2016 we welcomed ‘Pondok Iskul’ our new school building that provides a safe environment for students to learn and socialise.
Prior to Pondok Iskul, lessons were often conducted haphazardly in makeshift spaces including house corridors and walkways. Establishing a permanent base solidified our presence in the community and enabled us to commit to the long-term training and development of students.
2. Providing frontline covid-19 emergency relief – We mobilised the Malaysian public, foundations and corporations to support Bajau Laut families who were neglected by conventional relief efforts during the height of the covid-19 pandemic in April and October 2020.
Together, we collected and distributed food and medical aid to 158 Bajau Laut and 54 Malaysian households respectively, helping to ease income loss and social isolation caused by pandemic lockdowns.
This collective effort is a proud achievement for Iskul; not only did we rally support for Bajau Laut families and raise awareness of their plight among the broader society, we did so with extremely limited manpower working under severely restrictive movement control orders. Being inclusive, our core belief, paid off in ensuring stateless people were not neglected during the covid-19 pandemic.
3. Initiating community healthcare – In 2020 we jump-started our maternity and children’s health programme and the community water access project. These two milestones reinforce our holistic approach to education: that students can achieve their academic potential when they and their families are healthy and secure.
Since the launch of the health programme, which was supported by a Yayasan Hasanah Special Grant 2020, we have distributed health supplements to 20 pregnant and new mothers, monitored their progress, and taught them to manage health. This initiative made a world of difference to the mothers as most have limited exposure to modern medicine and little understanding of the importance of nutrition to their unborn babies. On top of this, we continue to provide nutritious meals to students 5 times a week. Our community water project eases hardships for Omadal households that have no reliable source of potable water. We installed water tanks to provide each family with access to a constant water supply, and are on our way to achieving 100% coverage of Omadal stateless households through a collaboration with Engineers Without Borders Malaysia. Investing in a healthy childhood for our future students with healthy, nutritious food and safe drinking water will help them to excel in the classroom.