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Kiau Nuluh women celebrate opening of new production centre

The women prepare their pineapple products at their centre, Kiah Nuluh Kota Belud, 2017.

KIAU NULUH – The women of Kg Kaiu Nuluh Kota Belud celebrated the opening of their new pineapple production centre on 24 Apr 2017.

The earthquake that struck Sabah in June 2015 had been a devastating and nightmarish experience for the villagers of this village.  But they managed to move on with the help of the Good Shepherd Services (GSS) and Sabah Credit Corporation which sponsored the construction of the production building under the Koonduan Kiau Nuluh Enterprise (KKNE).

The project codenamed “Everything Pineapple” was Good Shepherd’s first community-based socio-economic venture in Sabah.

“Our focus at that point in time was to provide beneficial change for their recovery process. Leveraging on ‘semangat kekitaan’ or ‘the spirit of oneness’ that is evident in rural indigenous communities such as Kiau Nuluh, the strategy was to make this a focal point to secure a sense of shared purpose and aspirations,” said Chin Poh Choo, Executive Director of Good Shepherd.

“This socio-economic project which began in August 2015 has also become a rallying point for collaborative community engagement and action,” she added.

From an initial four-month pilot phase involving eleven women, this socio-economic initiative presently has forty-nine members, each representing a family.  This membership will be increased to sixty women in July 2017.  KKNE started their production with two products, pineapple jam and pineapple chutney but has since expanded its range to include two new products, pineapple chutney with anchovies and pineapple juice.

The products also received a new look early this year through freshly designed labels from Arthur Lee, a GSS volunteer.  Importantly, the introduction of the bottling and canning process has extended the shelf life of the products from the initial one month to one year without requiring it to be chilled.

In support of this community-based socio-economic women empowerment initiative, Sabah Credit Corporation has generously provided a grant for the construction of a building which will now serve as KKNE’s Pineapple Processing Centre.  The centre known as “Sunduan Pisompuruan” aptly reflects the spirit of solidarity and strength that prevails in the community today. The prominent yellow coloured double storey building has a built-up area of 2,000 square feet.  The centre houses a café, an admin office, two bedrooms, a kitchen for the production and even a children’s room to support the women in KKNE who have smaller children.

The thanksgiving celebration on Apr 24  was of particular significance as it celebrated the feast day of St Mary Euphrasia who founded the congregation of the Good Shepherd Sisters.

“Our community partnership with KKNE has been a mutually beneficial journey – one that often challenged both GSS and KKNE to draw upon each other’s wisdom, trust and strength. Our shared commitment also constantly require us to challenge norms and risks together for our shared aspirations of empowerment towards a positive change process for themselves, their families and communities,” said Chin.

She added, “Sunduan Pisompuruan is an aspirational milestone for KKNE that will now provide new impetus for growth. We are grateful for partners like Sabah Credit Corporation who share our dream and commitment to the empowerment of women, particularly those in rural communities in Sabah” she added.

For information on the products, please call KKNE Admin at 019-8074930. – GSS

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