Zurich Malaysia bonds with Orang Asli as part of its Zurich Community Week
Ulu Yam, July 23, 2019
– Whenever it rained, Faisal, 13, would have to seek shelter in order to do his homework as the water would leak through the roof of the shack his family stayed in. Such was the living conditions of Faisal’s family, who is the eldest son of Zeek bin Maran and Sari binti Sekat.
In addition to Faisal, Zeek and Sari have three other children; Manisa, 11, Azura, 9, and Asram, 6. Zeek, who earns a living as a factory worker and is the sole breadwinner for his family cannot afford to raise his children up in a conducive home. However, he is determined to provide the best he can for his children so that they can finish schooling and have opportunities for a better life.
Their family has been living in a dilapidated shack in Kampung Orang Asli Gurney in Batang Kali, Ulu Yam. To add to their plight, their house is usually uncomfortably hot and humid during the day, and poorly lit by just a fluorescent tube at night.
This all changed over a weekend as Zurich Malaysia, in collaboration with local social enterprise EPIC Homes, volunteered to build two new homes; one for Zeek’s family and another for Suratman and Rafeah’s family of seven who are also residents in the same Orang Asli settlement.
Suratman and Rafeah have been married for 20 years and have five children ages 8 to 17; Siti Aslina, Samsul, Puteri, Hisyam, and Haira. Suratman puts food on the table by selling forest produce such as fruits and flowers while his wife works as a housekeeping staff. They have been living in a cramped shack. Like Zeek, Suratman too wants to provide a conducive environment for his children to at least complete their secondary education.
A total of 70 Zurich Malaysia employees, from clerical staff to senior management, spent three days alongside the families to build the new homes for them. Each home features a foyer, a hall, three rooms, and a kitchen; providing ample space for the families especially the children when they are doing their homework. The ceilings even have clever spaces for storage. This initiative is part of the annual Zurich Community Week (ZCW), which is an avenue for Zurich’s employees to contribute their time, resources and skills to make a positive difference to the communities in which they live and work.
Stephen Clark, Country Head of Zurich Malaysia, was present during the keys handover ceremony to Zeek and Suratman’s new homes. He shared, “Every child deserves a safe and proper roof over their head; it is one of the basic necessities in life. For Zurich Community Week this year, we took the opportunity to address this need for the Orang Asli community as it aligns with our purpose of providing protection for loved ones. It is heartening to see Zurich Malaysia employees giving up their weekend, working under the hot sun for a good cause. Through this process, we ourselves have been so enriched, and rewarded with an invaluable experience.”
70 Zurich Malaysia volunteers spends three days to build new homes for residents Zeek and Suratman in Kampung Orang Asli Gurney, Ulu Yam.
Zurich Insurance Group
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 54,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com
Zurich Malaysia is a collective reference term for the Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) business subsidiaries operating in Malaysia: Zurich General Insurance Malaysia Berhad, Zurich Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad, Zurich General Takaful Malaysia Berhad and Zurich Takaful Malaysia Berhad. Zurich Malaysia offers a broad range of comprehensive insurance and takaful solutions; helping individuals as well as business owners understand and protect themselves, their businesses and their assets from risk. Zurich Malaysia has an integrated branch network across 40 locations as well as dedicated agency and distribution channels nationwide to serve the needs of its customers. For further information on Zurich Malaysia, visit www.zurich.com.my