Expedition members and their supporters at the Penang town hall. Pic by Danial Saad
GEORGE TOWN: SEVEN people from Penang recently set off on a 20,000km journey to London to raise funds for the Borneo Child Aid Society.
The team, which consists of six men and a woman, are aged between 31 and 60.
They will be spending two months travelling in two 4×4 vehicles across 19 countries.
They will experience harsh weather conditions as they cross mountains and difficult terrain before arriving at their destination on Aug 1.
The objective of the expedition is to promote love and concern for underprivileged children globally and raise awareness of Penang as an Unesco World Heritage Site.
Led by Steven Foong, 31, the delegation will visit orphanages in several cities and remote areas.
“Our main objective is to help sponsor a project for some 9,000 children without access to schools in Borneo’s plantations, islands and other remote areas.
“Many Bajau Laut kids growing up in oil palm plantations in Sabah still face a childhood without schooling.
“They are at a great risk of becoming child labourers from an early age,” Foong said before leaving on the gruelling trip from the Town Hall.
Foong stressed that native children in Sabah deserved to get a basic education. The Singapore-based marine manager and ship captain said the idea for the expedition which goes by the tagline “From Malaysia With Love — Penang to London, World Tour For Children” was mooted three years ago.
“I wanted to do something to help the needy in our society and to showcase the diverse cultures of Malaysia to peoples around the globe.”
Foong thanked the Old Frees’ Association and Penang Global Tourism for supporting the expedition on a Toyota Hilux and Land Cruiser.
Gifts will be handed out at various stopovers, courtesy of the Penang Global Tourism to promote historical and heritage sites in George Town.
The expedition, estimated to cost about RM200,000, is funded by members. Updates on their journey will be carried on the Old Frees’ Association Facebook page.