August 20, 2004
KUCHING, 20th August 2004: Fifteen volunteers from four Renaissance Hotels located in Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Kota Bharu and the Miri Marriott Resort and Spa, recently spent two days, working on a Habitat house in Kuching, in the eastern Malaysian state
The Renaissance team joined home partners, security guard Diloi Anak Minjet and his wife Rosita Reda, as they worked side by side, mixing cement, laying bricks and plastering the walls to their new house.
Located 21 kilometers from Kuching town, in a small community setting surrounded by banana trees and dense jungle known as Kampung Petung, Batu 21, the Habitat house is a dream come true for Diloi and Rosita and their five children.
“This feel very happy to see all the volunteers come here to help us build our home,” says Rosita.
“Where we lived before was very small for all of us. With this house we will not only have more room but we know that this is really our own home. We feel very fortunate for the chance to be part of the Habitat for Humanity program.”
“I felt really good that I had done a good deed,” says M.S. Bobby, Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Director of Public Relations and Communications as to her personal feelings towards working alongside her co-workers and the home partners.
“Just seeing the house being built and the smiling and happy faces of our home partners makes it all so meaningful.
“It is not just about writing out checks. It is the energy, time, moral support, sharing and caring for each other and putting ourselves in the shoes of the home partners that make this a success story,” says Bobby.
“Just imagine it only took 15 of us to make one family happy.”
The hotels are part of The Renaissance Hotels & Resorts of Malaysia, itself part of the Marriott International worldwide hospitality company. Habitat for Humanity is one of the
core community projects that Marriott International has committed to support in a global initiative that started in 1995. Through Habitat for Humanity, Marriott is able to work
towards providing affordable shelter for low income families.
Supporting the work of Habitat for Humanity in Malaysia is part of the three hotels’ “Spirit To Serve Our Communities” program.
Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur General Manager Robert Frager explains the relationship with Habitat for Humanity. “No other organization can give me the opportunity to have a real hands-on involvement to work closely with those in need. I strongly support Habitat not only financially, but more in terms of dedication, commitment and energy.”
Frager intends to introduce Habitat to more corporate organizations and other hotels in Malaysia. “I would say that they don’t just write out a check. They should go out there, contribute their sweat and energy and feel what it is like to help a family in need. Even laying one brick helps build a decent home for a poor family is better than stretching out your pocket.”
One of the volunteer builders was T. Manimaran, a maintenance manager with Renaissance Melaka Hotel. “All of us feel the team spirit as we help this family. This is a great project to be part of and when each of us contributes their time to be here you feel the spirit of helping goes a long way.”
In April, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Renaissance Kota Bharu Hotel and the Renaissance Melaka Hotel have together donated MYR6,000 donation (about US$1,500.00) to Habitat for Humanity Malaysia. The funds collected were from the hotel associates and also from charity raising campaigns.
In 2003, a team from Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel and Renaissance Kota Bharu Hotel helped built two houses with Habitat home partners Engsela. Jale and Jamaludin Bujang and their families, also in Kuching. In addition the hotels contributed bed sheets, linen, hand towel and blankets to the HFH Kuching affiliate’s housing program.
Habitat for Humanity began work in Malaysia in 1999. Its principal activities are in to date have concentrated in Sabah and Sarawak in eastern Malaysia, on the northern coast of the giant tropical island of Borneo. There are volunteer-run affiliates in Kuching, Sarawak; Kuala Lumpur, Selangor; and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.