June 27, 2004
Surprise offer for
quiltsBy Phoa Kelene
IT was truly a happy surprise when Jerejak Resorts &
Spa executive director Syed Nazri Syed Kamaruzaman offered RM5,000
for our quilts during the BRATs Green Awards 2004 presentation
Syed Nazri made the offer after Star Metro editor Tan Ju Eng
revealed that the two quilts on exhibit in the foyer of the resort
were for sale.
The idea of sewing quilts to raise funds was first mooted during
the BRATs year-end workshop to Mabul, Sabah, last year.
During the trip, we learnt about marine life, and the need for
more conservation efforts. We decided that we needed to make a
difference. The big question was, “What could we, teenagers, do to
save marine life?
After much thought, we came up
with the idea of making quilts and auctioning them off to raise
QUILT WITH A MESSAGE: Phoa Kelene (far
right) and her fellow quilt makers (from left) Quah Chin Chin,
Alex Lee, Lim Wern Yew and Lim KeanYew with their marine
masterpiece. Far left: The BRATs spent many afternoons working
on the quilt in Phoa Kelene’s
We all went separate ways after the Mabul trip, and it didn’t
look like the plans we made in Sabah would materialise. But we
somehow managed to kick off the quilt project.
When I returned to Penang after the trip to Sabah, I came across
a shop called Friendship Quilts. The proprietress of Friendship
Quilts, Harriet Saw, kindly offered her help after I told her about
the BRATs' plans to make quilts. With my mother's help, we started a
quilting group among the BRATs in Penang in February.
Most of the Penang BRATs who volunteered to help were not in the
group that went to Mabul, and others offered to help even though
they did not know how to sew.
There were loads of material to measure and cut, and lots of
sewing to do as it was done mostly by hand. Surprisingly, the guys
were quite deft with the needle and thread.
After two months of Sunday afternoons and public holidays holed
up in my house, we completed two magnificent marine-themed
It was now only a matter of auctioning off the quilts, and we
were happy that Syed Nazri appreciated our efforts and bought the
The quilts will be exhibited at the Jerejak Resorts and Spa which
is appropriate, as it was where the BRATs Green Awards camp was held
We will use the proceeds from the sale of the quilt and other
handicrafts to buy a reefball which will be deployed into the
A reefball is a large concrete structure to help jumpstart the
growth of corals which encourages marine life to remain in
Through the journey of completing the quilts, friendships were
established. We also hope that we have managed to instil awareness
among BRATs and the public on the importance of marine
Although the quilt project has been completed, we hope to put our
heads and hands together again to further help conserve marine life.
Last but not least, a big thank you to all those who contributed
towards the success of our project, “Quilt for Corals”!
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