Prepared by: Norhana Arsad, Malaysia Section

Since its first detection in Wuhan, China, the Covid-19 pandemic has been widely spread and has threatened human health all over the globe. There have been a total of 182 Million positive cases and about 3.95 Million deaths worldwide to date. This in turn causes nations such as Malaysia to implement Movement Control Order (MCO) in order to curb the spread of this devastating pandemic. Of course, every action has its pros and cons. Although introducing the MCO will help in reducing and preventing the transmission of the Covid-19 virus, closing up the business sector and reducing the movement of the citizen will lead to economic decline. Limiting the number of employees leads to decrease in business productivity and thus many companies choose to lay off their employees. Not to mention all the small business owners which are not allowed to operate (except for businesses that sell foods and daily necessities) had to close their operation until the MCO is over. These in turn cause many of our citizens to lose their source of income. Due to this reason, even the rich are affected and there are cases where M40 individuals become B40 due to loss of income, and the poor become poorer. Although the government provides financial assistance, it is still nowhere near enough.

Thus, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and mosque committees provide reliefs to help ease the burden of the people and one of the reliefs is by introducing ‘Gerobok Rezeki’. ‘Gerobok’ is usually referred to as a chest for storing clothes, locker or cupboard for keeping food. This ‘Gerobok Rezeki’ (GR) is a buying while contributing program organized by Pusat Kepimpinan Wanita Tun Fatimah Hashim, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and IEEE Photonics Society, Malaysia. This program is realized in order to help the underprivileged family and those who are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘Gerobok Rezeki’ 1.0 program has been carried out from 3rd June until 29th June 2021 where the donations were distributed to 6 selected locations. All the donations collected were used to buy daily necessities to be distributed to the area around Southville, Bangi, Sg. Besi, Bandar Tasik Selatan, Sentul and Seri Kembangan. Among the daily necessities donated are rice, flour, soy sauce, tea/coffee, eggs, vermicelli noodle, canned sardine, biscuits, condensed milk, cooking oil, sugar, chili/tomato sauces and others. The donated daily necessities are placed on cupboards or tables (hence the name ‘Gerobok’) in selected locations and free to be taken by those who are less fortunate. A million thanks towards the people who are involved in this noble program..