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Official Opening of Sunduan Pisompuruan, Kiau Nuluh, Sabah

April 24, 2017


On 05 Jun 2015, a couple of Good Shepherd Sisters felt the ground beneath their feet shake as they sat
down for breakfast. While they were used to mild rumblings as heavy vehicles past the Convent in Likas,
Sabah, they were alarmed on that morning. One of them who had served in the Philippines where
earthquakes were more common, cried out “Earthquake!” and ran out of the building. They later learnt
that a 6.0-magnitude earthquake had strike Mount Kinnabalu, which at 4,092 metre, is South East Asia’s
highest peak.

Among the 18 people who died in that tragic 30-second quake were 7 students, 2 teachers and an
expedition guide from Singapore. The small nation set aside a National Day of Remembrance as she
mourned the loss of its citizens, most of them 12 years old.

In the village of Kiau Nuluh in Kota Belud, the community mourned for local mountain guide, Robert
Sappingi, fondly known as Robbi, who reportedly lost his life while rescuing a tourist. Most of the men in
Kiau Nuluh work as guides and porters contributing about 70% to household income, so when the
mountain was closed after the earthquake the community faced economic hardships. The women who
cultivated pineapple were afraid to return to their plots in the face of daily tremors and landslides.

In August 2015, in line with Good Shepherd Congregational Direction on Economic Justice, Good Shepherd
Services (GSS) gingerly embarked on an inaugural community-based socio-economic project with the
women to produce pineapple chutney and pineapple jam. The recipes were contributed by volunteers,
who also made the arduous and sometimes dangerous fortnightly trips with staff to Kiau Nuluh to
supervise the production. The project was aptly named, “Everything Pineapple”. Besides providing
emotional, psychological and business strategy support, GSS helped to market and sell the products in
Kota Kinnabalu, mostly to parishioners of St Simon Church.

Fast forward to 24 April 2017. Staff and volunteers of GSS Sabah, the leadership team from the Province
of Singapore-Malaysia and other well-wishers gathered with the women of Koonduan Kiau Nuluh
Enterprise (KKNE) for a Thanksgiving Service to mark the opening of their newly built pineapple product
processing centre, Sunduan Pisompuruan. The cost of building the 2-storey centre, with a built-up area of
2,000 square feet was sponsored by Sabah Credit Corporation. KKNE grew from an initial membership of
11 women to 49 at the time of opening and there are plans to incorporate another 11 from the waiting
list by July 2017. The product list has also grown to include pineapple juice and pineapple chutney with
anchovies. As the women are empowered to develop KKNE, their creativity and business acumen have
blossomed. With the addition of new technology in the bottling and canning process, shelf life is extended
from one month to one year. There are talks about expanding to markets overseas, so watch out for KKNE
products on a supermarket shelf near you!

There was palpable rejoicing in Kiau Nuluh as we celebrated Foundress Day with prayers, songs, and
dances, topped off by the sharing of delicious food contributed by the villagers and volunteers. You’ve
guessed it; pineapple featured prominently.

Thanksgiving Service/Official Opening of Sunduan Pisompuruan at Kiau Nuluh on 24 April 2017
From left: Ms Chin Poh Choo, Executive Director, Good Shepherd Services; Rev Fr Nicholas Stephen, Parish
Priest, St Peter Claver Church, Ranau; Sr Joan Lopez, Province Leader, Singapore-Malaysia, Good Shepherd
Sisters; Datuk Vincent Pung, Chief Executive Officer, Sabah Credit Corporation


April 24, 2017