St Maria Goretti recipient of generous donations

Group picture in front of the Hostel

KOTA KINABALU: Volunteers from Plaza Shell, Hap Seng Group, Borneo and many other generous organisations and individuals came together for a charity drive in aid of a local all girls’ hostel in the district of Keningau called St. Maria Goretti.

The Charity Drive kicked-off with Plaza Shell’s Christmas Charity Market on Dec 20 to 22 2018 featuring caroling activities organised by Hap Seng employees. This was followed with a Charity Bazaar spearheaded by group on Jan 10 and 11, 2019 held at Plaza Shell Ground Level.

Borneo Kaki is an integral part of SSO which is a government/private partnership spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry Sabah. Its mission is to grow together with local SMEs and to reduce Borneo’s cost of living while promoting and supporting local products through their online supermarket.

Over RM5,000.00 worth of collections received from the charity drive events were converted to kinds for the hostel and brought up to Keningau for distribution to the students bright and early on the Sunday morning of Jan 27, 2019. Items sponsored were included Sports attire and back packs – Joanne Wendy Chung, Tai Guan Eco Farm, Besta Wijaya Sdn. Bhd. & Ararat Sports & Souvenir, aBeverages (Juices) – William Sin (HSPD) and Canvas bags – Hap Seng Properties Development Sdn. Bhd. Electrical appliances, mobile cooking stove, stationaries, towels, personal amenities, lunch boxes with thermos bags, dry goods and ice-cream  collections from Employees of Hap Seng Star, Employees of SHELL, Employees of Honda, Vendors from Plaza Shell Christmas Market, Vendors of Borneo Kaki Charity Bazaar and Management of Chubs Grill, Mr. William Sin, Ms. Lilian Hiew as well as individual cash donations from Ms. Suzy Steffy, Ms. Karen Chuah, Ms. Shirley Chai, Ms. Monica Chung, Ms. Chee Yung Yen and Ms. Charlene Ten.

The journey started early Sunday morning from Plaza Shell KK on January 27th with a convoy of cars heading towards the hostel in Keningau located two hours away from KK City. The students from the hostel welcomed the entourage with open arms, big smiles and a colourful traditional performance.

Upon arrival, volunteers distributed the donated items to the hostel and took group photos. Activities included dance-fitness sessions, games and ice-cream treats for the girls and volunteers. The girls were very happy with their gifts and thanked each volunteer personally.

Sister Francesca, one of the guardians of the Hostel said “We are truly blessed to have received such generosity from Plaza Shell and Hap Seng group and we will cherish this wonderful occasion. We especially appreciate the time and effort spared by the volunteers to conduct the fun activities with the girls!”

St Maria Goretti Hostel for girls was built on a piece of land at Kg. Binaong, Keningau, a short distance from the township of Keningau.

The hostel was built for rural students from the remote villages some from as far as Tambunan and Keningau districts. Some of the students have to walk for miles and even days to reach their schools which are situated in Keningau town.

The plight of these students was brought to the attention of the Catholic Church in Keningau who then build the hostel for girls. The hostel is managed by the Franciscan Sisters. They collect some nominal fees from some of the girls but are mostly dependent on contributions from generous benefactors for the daily upkeep and maintenance of the hostels. Currently there are about 39 girls staying in the hostel ranging from 13 years to 19 years old.

The hostel is managed by five dedicated and committed individuals, Sister Francisca Wong, Sister Evelyn Tivit, Ms. Roselyn Egih, Mr. Dominic Majunal and Ms. Veronica Mojunal. Those interested to contributed are welcome to contact the hostel directly at 087-392082.-pr/BNN