Help for aquaculture plan of deaf group
Published on: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
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KOTA KINABALU: Word that Japanese volunteers have served and are still serving the Sabah Society for the Deaf (SSD), prompted at least two overseas Rotary Clubs to donate to the organisation, Monday.In their inaugural visit last year, Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Osaka Central (Japan) were reportedly impressed with the operation of the Society-run Deaf Education Centre which has benefited numerous deaf children over the past 27 years.

Rotary Club of Osaka Central (Japan) and Rotary Club of Taipei Yuanshan (Taiwan) each donated US$2,000 to SSD. On hand to present the total sum of US$4,000 to SSD President Francis Yong was the President of the Rotary Club of Osaka Central, Hideyo Sakata who led a seven-member delegation to visit the Society's premises at Bukit Padang, here.

Among those who witnessed the presentation were SSD Secretary Lu Hau Kong, Principal of the Deaf Education Centre, Regina Wong, President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Osaka Central, Yukio Tsuji and former Club Secretary, Ikuji Kitao.

Expressing his gratitude to both donor clubs, Yong said the amount would be spent on implementing the aquaculture project in the vicinity of the centre as proposed by Professor Dr Shigeharu Senoo of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

He said this was the first time that such a project has been introduced to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Sabah.

"We are planning to set up two fish ponds (about one and a half feet deep) at the backyard of our school for rearing catfish for commercial purposes. The facility is also for beautification of our school compound besides serving as a recreational activity for our deaf students," Yong said.

The project will be headed and monitored by Dr Shigeharu, assisted by 10 students who are pursuing their Master's degree in aquaculture at the university.

According to Yong, the project is anticipated to be an alternative source of income for the Society.

"Hopefully, some of our deaf youths will be inspired to take up aquaculture as a means of livelihood or business in the future," he enthused.

Tomoko Seno, a Japanese lady, contributed immensely by spending most of her time as a volunteer in caring for and educating deaf children at the Society's Deaf Education Centre from 1998 to 2012 during her stay in Sabah. She has since returned to her country.

Presently, two other Japanese volunteers helping out at the centre are Kyoko Kawamura and Chika Munenaga, both women.

The SSD was established in 1975 to promote the education, employment and general welfare of deaf persons in Sabah.


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