By Shereen Hamid
I am happy to report that after one and a half training sessions, several packets of skittles and a trusty hiking stick, I made it to the top of Mt. Kinabalu on 23 March 2014 where I did indeed dance my butt off to not one, but several songs.
I had previously traveled to Cambodia and got the opportunity to explore the tiny villages bordering Siem Reap. Surrounded by picturesque rice fields and filled with warm and friendly locals, it was sad to see the poor living conditions. It was incredible though, how the villagers, in particular the children, still found a way to keep a smile on their face and greet you with a wave and a “halloo” as you pass through even though you could see that they had no access to clean water or proper sanitation, something we in developed cities and towns take for granted.
So when I heard through friends about MAD partnering up with Water for Cambodia to install filters in these villages to provide clean water, I knew I had to help. But it was not just about pestering friends and family to just give me the money. MAD encouraged me to get involved and to get others involved by spreading awareness and coming up with fun ways to raise funds. After a few days pondering over the fun ways I could raise funds, I had a “light bulb” moment. I was already set to climb Mt. Kinabalu in a few months and thought why not break a few dance moves while I am up there for a good cause. So I set out contacting friends, family and even colleagues, with a promise to record everything to ensure I stuck to my grand plan. Who knew so many wanted to see me shake to a little Bollywood music and “op op op” to Psy’s “Gangnam Style”.
I would like to give a shout out to my kind and generous donors: Kat, Praveen, my colleagues at the Daya Group, Mum & Dad, Katrina and James Reid (correct spelling this time haha), THANK YOU TIMES A MILLION FOR HELPING ME RAISE USD967!!! I am forever grateful for your kindness! You all rock! A special shout out to Cheng Yee for being an awesome camerawoman/interviewer whilst we were up there and to Moe for saving the day as video editor!
Although I will not be going to Cambodia in May to help install the filters, I know MAD and my fellow fundraisers will do an amazing job! After all, they have taught me that it is not just about spreading awareness and raising funds, it's also about the MAD experience in doing so!