Project Love Orang Asli
According to Colin Nicholas, "The Orang Asli are the indigenous minority peoples of Peninsular Malaysia. The name is a Malay term which transliterates as 'original peoples' or 'first peoples'." They all live on the Peninsular of Malaysia.
Project Love Orang Asli (Project LOA), is part of the AsiaWorks Leadership Program's contribution to the community in Malaysia.
It serves to develop the small village of Kampung Orang Asli Batu 16 in Gombak, Malaysia into a place for tourism.
I was invited to the LP186 team's fund raising event on the 3rd of January and did not pass up the opportunity to start the new year contributing to a good cause.
Located at the area between Kuala Lumpur and Genting Highlands, this village is a potential place for tourism, and also a close getaway for a short city break. For a start, plans are in place to help the villagers to promote their offerings, such as selling their goods (handicrafts) and services (jungle trekking and camping) to improve their standard of living.
The volunteers had helped to refurbish the villagers' houses and public areas such as the platform, toilets and halls. Other contributions include artistic paintings on village home walls and installation arts around the village. Tools and raw materials were also purchased for the villagers to make their handicraft.
It was a day where the public also connected with the villagers through activities organised. Some of the activities include having food and beverages with the villagers, fun outdoor games for adults and kids like coloring contests, badminton and using a blowpipe.
Other than just helping the Orang Asli, the project aim to create awareness from the public and to acknowledge and to connect with the indigenous people other than the three main races and not let them get sidelined due to the rapid urbanisation of the country.
The main entrance
The wall murals
I was told there were some 16 waterfalls deeper inside the jungle and guides are needed to bring us in. The air is clean and crisp, and it's in my mind to return one day to trek and discover more of this place.