Imagine joining an NGO at a tender age thinking it was just going to be an avenue to channel manly energy and before you know it, it is 11 years later and you have been a part of an incredibly special fraternity of do-gooders. This is how Dr Raymond Wong Ee Choong’s affiliation with Epic Homes began. At 19, he was intrigued at the idea of manual labor that goes into building homes, little did he know it would ignite the flames of volunteerism within him. And so began a mutual relationship between Epic Homes and Dr Raymond Wong.
Epic Homes is a social enterprise that focuses on building homes for the Orang Asli community in Malaysia.
The mechanics of the work Dr Raymond does with Epic Homes is a home that can be completed within 3 days and its design is based on the needs of the family within the Orang Asli community. The built up comprises of regular construction components such as steel columns, timber and zinc. However, to Dr Raymond, it goes beyond the labor of building houses as he feels he is building relationships with the Orang Asli community which is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of his involvement with Epic Homes.
Dr Raymond explains that a volunteer with Epic Homes need not have prior experience in building as volunteers would be guided by experienced project managers and will be briefed adequately before embarking on the building project. It is more essential to have a deep understanding that the work that goes into building an “Epic Home” is beyond physical labor and a project that requires not only the physical aspect but also understanding and empathy for the communities they are helping.
To date, Dr Raymond shares that the project Epic Homes undertook in the wake of the flood that ravaged Kelantan in 2015 remains one the most significant experience. He recalls the devastation and the amount of work that was needed to assist the Orang Asli community and looks back on the experience fondly. Through the loss and damage sustained by the Orang Asli, he was a part of a selfless team who banded together tirelessly to build homes for the Orang Asli community.
A home is essentially a person’s haven, shelter from life’s trials and tribulations and how incredible it is to be the one who laid down the foundations of this haven. Dr Raymond chooses to spend his spare time by putting laborious hours into building homes for the Orang Asli community despite his day job as a Service Provider Lead at Biomark Pte Ltd. A truly worthy recipient of the IMU Young Alumnus Award 2022 : Contribution to Society.