Helping Hands Penan

About Helping Hands Penan

Helping Hands Penan is in existence for more than 10 years now, it was formed casually by a few expat wives who got together to help the Penan across the border of Brunei in Limbang, Sarawak . Over the years , with more volunteers joining us, mainly traveling wives of those working in the oil and gas industry in Brunei and a few local Bruneians, HHP expanded to East and West Malaysia with our networks in Miri, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu , Kuala Lumpur , Penang and Johor Bahru.
On 12th February 2016 , Helping Hands Penan was finally registered in Malaysia. We rely on volunteers to carry out our mission and work. We do not have paid staff that incur much overhead. The proceeds from selling their craft is our main mode of fund raising.
Another form of fund-raising is under the charge of a group of our dedicated `Sponsor A Child Education Programme’ committee which was set up in June 2016. Please visit our `HHP Sponsor A Child’ Page. If you would like to sponsor a child, please get in touch with one of our committee.
Our mission is to empower the Penan women to help themselves and their family. We are here to support the Penan in their new ways to settle, but primarily to support the Penan kids to get education by creating an environment that encourages them to start and continue their education.
We buy and sell the craft made by the women folk using their traditional weaving skills to make bags, baskets and mats which are practical for day to say use and make good gifts from this part of the world by its own native.
The fund raised is channeled back to the Penan community in Ulu Limbang and Ulu Baram in our various projects and programmes. Our focus is on educating the Penan children from pre-school to University level (Master) . We aim that one day `Every Penan Child Can go To School’.
Our ongoing Project is `Project Light’ in which we aim to light up as many Penan settlements as possible. Each set of Solar light is rm400 which could light up a house hold. If you wish to be our partner in this project, please get in touch with us.
Brief description ot the PENAN :
The Penan are nomadic aboriginal people living predominantly in Sarawak. They are one of the last few nomads remaining in the world. The Penan are noted for their practice of 'Molong' which means never taking more than necessary. Most Penan were nomadic hunter-gatherers until the post-World War II missionaries settled many of the Penan, mainly in the Ulu-Baram and Ulu Limbang district. They hunt for animals which they eat and use the hides, skin, fur, and other parts for clothing and shelter. They gather fruits and plants which are also used as medicines.
Penan communities were predominantly nomadic up until the 1950s. The period from 1950 till present has seen consistent programmes by the state government and foreign Christian missionaries to settle Penan into longhouse-based villages similar to those of Sarawak's other indigenous groups.
The Penan in Borneo are mainly Semi-nomadic and their way of life is changing due to pressures that encourage them to live in permanent settlements and adopt year-around farming. They are subsistence farmer, growing dry padi, tapioca and corn for consumption. Very often they still return to the forest to hunt and to the river to fish.
Today , the Penan are scattered in many Penan settlements in the forested part of Sarawak. They face challenges of dwindling supply of resources and food. Sending their children to the schools is a momentous task as schools are far away from home.