PENANG, May 2014 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Hamzah Sendut Library (HSL) has conducted a series of community networking programmes in the country such as HSL@Chemor, HSL@Koperasi Tadika Minden, HSL@Tadika Lestari Ilmu, HSL@Al-Itqan and has recently extended its mission abroad to Cambodia through HSL@Cambodia: Reaching the Bottom Billions.
The main objective of the programme is to set up a library in one of the schools in Kampung Poti In, Kampong Cham, Cambodia. This mission was attended by 10 staff members from HSL who brought with them 132 reading materials to be stocked in the library there.
“It is not easy to be in a foreign land where upon arrival at Phnom Penh we had to rush to buy book shelves for the library and then take a 3-hour journey to Kampung Poti In via a winding village road,” said HSL Head of Customer Relations, Radia Banu Jan Mohamad.
“On our arrival at Kampung Poti In, we were joyously greeted by the villagers who then held the akikah feast. The overnight stay at the house of the village chief was a memorable experience as well as an opportunity to learn the culture of the local community which is not much different from Malay culture,” said Radia Banu.
Among the activities carried out were the assembling of book shelves, classifying the books according to their appropriate themes and clean-up of the library with the help of the teachers and students of the An Nikmah Religious School of Kampung Poti In which has about 300 students.
“Besides the mission to set up the library, HSL also took the opportunity to raise funds to supply clean water to villages through the construction of wells and water pump channel.
“A total of 33 wells and water pumps were given to the villagers as a contribution from Malaysia,” said one participant.
This mission is just the beginning and it certainly will not end here. HSL will continue to seek funds to improve the library as well as add to the existing reading material from time to time.
“I call on the USM community and also anyone who wants to help, either in donating reading material or other forms of assistance, to contact us as this programme will be on-going,” said Radia Banu.
Prior to Cambodia, HSL also helped Sekolah Rendah Al-Itqan in Teluk Kumbar, Penang, a private religious school that provides religious education and other subjects to students of Penang and also from other states.
The programme was made possible by a total of 20 HSL staff members who were divided into two groups – one to brighten up the surroundings (painting, murals and arranging the furniture) while the other deals with the technical aspects (system development and cataloguing books).
All the HSL programmes ran without a hitch with the help and support of the library top management.