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FRIENDS OF MALAYSIA PRESS RELEASE

February 4, 2015

FORMER U.S. PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS

DONATE TO MALAYSIAN FLOOD VICTIMS

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A group of U.S.-based former American Peace Corps Volunteers have donated funds to help the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia) with its continuing east coast flood relief efforts.

Friends of Malaysia (FoM), a voluntary organization of U.S. Peace Corps workers who served throughout Malaysia for two or more years during the period 1962-83, last week raised US$840 from among its members, and wired the money to the Red Crescent Society headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. The Society is a leading voluntary, non-profit organization dedicated to humanitarian acts and services and part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The FoM President, Dr. Barry Morris, said some of his members were trained in, or held teaching, health, agriculture, or other positions in the east coast states most affected by the severe late-December flooding. “We have been saddened by the news of the worst east coast monsoon flooding in more than 30 years, and wanted to show our concern by making a donation that could be put to good use helping some of the more than 230,000 people dislocated by the terrible floods,” he said.

Dr. Morris was a health education and TB control program volunteer in Johor Bahru from 1970-72 and now teaches at Central Virginia Community College in Appomatox, Virginia. He explained that his group is committed to the promotion of enduring U.S.-Malaysia ties and to continuing the spirit of Peace Corps service. He recalled that during the 21 years that the Peace Corps program was in the country, more than 4,000 American volunteers lived and worked in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak and were warmly welcomed. (For more information about FoM, go to its website: at www.friendsofmalaysia.net.)

“Our members have wonderful memories of their unforgettable experiences in Malaysia and are proud of their contribution to Malaysia’s development and to the promotion of friendship and mutual understanding between our peoples,” he explained. “Through our donation we are sending our best wishes to the many Malaysians whose lives were so disrupted by the floods.”

Because of its commitment to grassroots development, the FoM has asked the Red Crescent Society to use the funds to support a local community project or assist a particularly needy school or village.

In receiving the donation, Red Crescent Society Executive Secretary Puan Nor Aziah Budin thanked the FoM and explained how the East Coast Flood Fund has been used to provide medical aid and distribute tons of relief items to meet immediate humanitarian needs. She said assessment teams have recently been sent to Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang to identify villages for longer-term recovery efforts that will ease vulnerable people’s burdens and help rebuild livelihoods.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information, contact the Friends of Malaysia in the U.S. through its president, Dr. Barry Morris, at conway162@yahoo.com or visit its website, www.friendsofmalaysia.net.

 

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