If you guys haven’t already known, Blogathon will be upon us in a few hours. Being the lazy person that I am, I’ve copied and pasted from Blogger (I love Google’s ability to copy and paste the code without me having to do so! :p)L

For this post, I shall PIMP Three blogs:


In a little more than 12 hours from now, the Blogathon will begin. I’ll be blogging for Up With People (more details here) – and I need more sponsors!

So far I have 1 sponsor of $20.00 (thanks Naoko!) But I could certainly use more!

Sponsor me – and you will get something special.

For each verified and proofed donation of $20.00, you will receive an MP3 file of an Up With People song. So for example, if you donated $40, you can choose 2 songs. The songs you can choose from are:

It Takes A Whole Village
One 2 One
Can We Sing A Song Of Peace?
We Are Many, We Are One
With Everything Changing
Moon Rider
Live It Live
What Colour Is God’s Skin?
Does It Really Matter?
We’ll Be There
Beat Of The Future
Give The Children Back Their Childhood
The Sound Of Peace
El Puente
I Am A Person
Pays De Coeur/Hartelijk Land
Room For Everyone
Where The Roads Come Together
Unspoken Words
Rhythm Of The World
Keep The Beat

Also, any verified and proofed donation of $50 and above will receive an .MP3 of Up With People – either the folksy 1965 version, or the contemporary 1998 version.

All the songs reflect Up With People’s musical and human diversity, with a variety of styles, song content, and vibes, spanning a 41-year musical history (with more to come!). I often get visitors coming here looking for an “Up With People” MP3 – well here’s your chance! These MP3s are not available elsewhere (unless you manage to obtain an Up With People CD, which is not commercially available), and you can only get them if you donate!

Also, if you are Up With People alumni, have been involved with them somehow (staff, host family, community project, etc), or even just saw a show, please email me! I’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget…

Sponsor Me!

All songs (c) Up With People/ASCAP except One 2 One (c) 1993 F2O Songs and I Am A Person (c) 1993 Flame Music.

Onii-chan Phil

Well, on July 29th to be more accurate. I’m participating for the first time this year and it’s for a very worthy cause.

What’s Blogathon 2006? It’s works like those jogathons like you used to have in schools where you go around asking (read: begging) for money to donate to the school’s building fund. Except that in Blogathon, you don’t have to do any jogging or anything…you just have to blog for 24 hours all for charity! I’m rather bad at explaining things, so, why don’t you just spare a couple of minutes and head over to Blogathon 2006 and read about it.

And when you’ve signed up, please remember to head back here and click on the “Sponsor Me” link found in the topmost box on the right hand side. Fill in your details and decide how long you’d like to sponsor me for out of the 24 hours, though bear in mind that the amount of hours you’ll sponsor me will translate into cash that you’re willing to donate to the charity. The charity that I am supporting is none other than Save the Children, a non-profit organisation that:-

“fights for children in the UK and around the world who suffer from poverty, disease, injustice and violence, working with them to find lifelong answers to the problems they face.”

This is your chance to make a difference, via blogging and sponsoring! If you’re an avid blogger, join in on this noble cause while having fun blogging about the cause you’re taking up! Make people realise the good things your charity has been doing for countless of lives around the world.

After the interview, mom and I headed back home in KL, followed by serious considerations on whether I should take up the offer or not. In the end, I decided not to. I was too attached to my desire to publish my book. I had just known John and Cordy. Life in KL seemed too good to leave behind. At home, I have my computer, internet, many books to read, and my friends are all here. In Penang, I would have to adjust to a dramatic change.

Thank goodness I didn’t go, because soon later, I was featured in Youth2 of The Star newspaper, got offered to write numerous articles, participated in Blogathon 2005, won an award, resumed studying on a full scholarship, and the rest is history.

Phew! What a turning point that was! If I had taken up the offer by Eden HDC, I would not have known you. I would not even have time to maintain a blog.

Even so, I often regret not being able to do much to help Eden HDC. During my visit there, I was touched by their genuine love and compassion they have for the physically impaired members of society. Unlike many other handicap centers in Penang, Eden’s services are provided entirely for free, sustaining on public donations. They have hostels for the less fortunate children and mentally challenged adults. During the day, the children are sent by Eden to special government-funded schools while the mentally challenged adults are assigned to do simple work such as dismantling delicate computer scraps to train the efficiency of limbs. A physiotherapist comes around once a week to exercise with the children. Those needing more medical attention are personally taken to the hospital for treatments every other week.

During my visit, there were two senior “houseparents” who cook meals and look after the children. These children are harder to care for, because they do not always understand simple commands that we often take forgranted. The parents of these children are poor, who cannot afford to pay other centers that charged hefty prices for their services. Yet, they need someone to look after their handicap children while the husbands and wives work their butts off, battling with the ever-increasing prices of Malaysian living.

Just a drive away, is Eden’s recycling unit, where they acquired the vicinity of a factory and recycling tools. During the day, a group of men would go around Penang Island in a van to collect recyclable items from door to door. Here is a touching scene. Because most of these men are mentally challenged, they can’t possibly go around on their own. Therefore, there are always a few physically challenged, but mentally capable staffs going on these trips with them. The physically challenged staffs would draw the diagram of simple lift buttons that indicates which button to press to reach the correct floor. The mentally challenged men will then go collecting items from door to door by following these simple hand-drawn instructions. I am most touched to see the well-planned co-operation between two groups of people with different gifts from God.

Besides these, there is also the handicrafts unit where the physically challenged ladies are trained, and also the computing unit where some of their members are taught basic designing and computing skills, so they may one day enter the workforce despite their individual physical limitations.

Eden provides all these services to the public for free. In madelene’s own words:

Many less fortunate children has been knocking our door for help as we are the only centre that provides hostel/day care service to children at no charge. Whereas other centre that provide only day care to the disabled children are charging about RM450.00. From here we notice that only those that can afford will enjoy their training but what about those who cannot afford. The total number of mentally challenged male adult and children in our hostel has escalated to about 45. The overall total of disabled friends in our centre has reached 85 excluding adhoc services provided to the less fortunate in the community.

Last year, I made a big decision to leap towards my dream. Medelene and Bertie, as well as other volunteers at the center, have also made a decision to dedicate their lives to the bettermen of the underprivileged. For this, I solute them, because not everyone is willing to make such a sacrifice.

Madelene and Bertie’s story, as well as their many full-time staffs and volunteers is certainly one worth admiring. They are truly selfless servants of God. I will never forget the genuine compassion and hospitality they gave me during my stay there. Even until today, we still remain in contact by e-mail. Madelene has always been warm and humble, and she still is despite the many struggles in life!

If you enjoyed reading my experience with Eden Handicap Service Center, please consider donating some cash to them. Authors and writers, John Ling, Charmaine Hon, Chen Pelf Nyok, Jessica Choo, and I are teaming up in this year’s blogathon to raise funds for Eden Handicap Service Center again!

Blogathon will start on 29th August 2006, 9pm (Malaysian time) onwards and we will be blogging for 24-hours straight. John, the author based in New Zealand, Charmaine the journalism student in Australia, Pelf the marine biology graduate in Kuala Terengganu, Jessica Choo from erm… somewhere I forgot, and yours truly the student and writer based in KL, are bringing you the spirit of volunteerism and charity through blogging this Saturday!

I’m most keen to see what this team of people with diverse interests are going to blog about!

Please have a heart, spare some cash, and make a difference to the lives of less fortunate Malaysians who could have been your own family member.

Sign up as a sponsor today: Blog name:

After the event, an email will be sent to you on how donations should be made DIRECTLY to Eden. We don’t handle any money to ensure transparency. Remember to surf my blog this Saturday, 9pm onwards!

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