Flood Relief: Local Social Heroes Join Forces with Semporna Heroes

Continuous rain over the past week has resulted in several areas in Johor to be flooded, forcing thousands to be relocated to  the 60 temporary relief centres in affected districts, such as Johor Bahru, Skudai, Kota Tinggi, Kluang, Mersing, Pontian, Kulai and Batu Pahat, that have been set up to provide shelter for flood victims.

The situation was made worse when flood victims returned home after the waters receded only to be evacuated again after heavy rains returned and caused their area to be flooded once more.

To help the victims evacuate as well as clean their neighbourhood, NGOs from Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards (IMSHA) which has around 120 NGOs/NGIs in their IMSHA Winners Network, mobilised themselves to provide aid while adhering to Covid-19 SOPs.

A lot of cleaning to be done once the flood water recedes

Among the IMSHA Network NGOs on the ground were Ihsan Johor and Yayasan Kebajikan Suria who worked hand in hand with Semporna Heroes, an NGO based in Sabah who flew in to return the favour to Johor based NGOs who travelled to Semporna to assist them during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected the Semporna region badly.

Seven well-built volunteers from the Semporna Heroes flew down to Johor to provide their support in terms of strengths and expertise in handling floods, worked around the clock alongside local heroes.

“The Semporna Heroes came here to show solidarity that they have not forgotten the assistance we Johorians have given to them and that they are always ready to return the favour. This is the spirit of NGOs as we are driven by passion and a strong sense of comradery to see better community resilience,” said Farrah Faridah Baptist, Chief Executive Officer of Pertubuhan Ihsan Johor (Ihsan Johor).

Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards (IMSHA) is a programme inaugurated in 2014 by the Social Hero Foundation to spot, recognise and empower NGOs and NGIs, provides a platform for NGOs to collaborate and share resources effectively.

“Our goal is to help create a resilient community that will help all segments of the society in Malaysia irrespective of race, creed or religion. We must all work together and share our resources to achieve sustainability and greater impact,” said Edey Suresh, Founder of Social Hero Foundation and IMSHA.

Checks in several areas as of today have shown that the flood waters have receded in most places but there are still victims occupying the relief centres. The onerous effort of cleaning post-flood will keep relief NGOs busy for a continued period.