Lim (pronounced “Leem”) is from Malaysia and has been working in the Maritime Industry since 2001 when he joined as an Engine Cadet. Today, he serves as Chief Engineer of Foreign Vessels (wow!). His responsibilities include the operation, maintenance, and safety of the ship, as well as assessing risks around the clock while on board. Lim is out to sea at least 9 months of the year which leaves only 3 months on land and he chose Kenya as part of his time on land. Sailing around the world with the shipping containers brings Lim a great deal of opportunity to see so many countries and he shares that his experiences volunteering in Kenya are moments he keeps close to his heart and often thinks about when cruising through our oceans.
Lim volunteered with us in July 2015 in Special Needs and was placed in Kibera at a school called New Beginnings. (Be sure to check out the story of how New Beginnings started here). Lim worked with children on their classroom skills and basic mathematics. The skills that he helped them with prepared the students for the next phase of the program at NB (New Beginnings) which often involves reintegration into the community (partner employers for the older teens or additional schooling). His work with the students provided them with a strong foundation to move forward in the community.
“I saw many things in Kibera that were both beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. The friendly people and the high value placed on family and community relationship was beautiful to me. It was a good reminder to me in life how important friends and family are! What I struggled with seeing was the dirty water running through the community. I saw people collecting this water which was being used to wash clothes, or even consume.” Water is a major part of Lim’s world as we know and clean water is even more important. One day, Lim plans to return to Kenya and get involved with a clean water project.
Every now and again, we still get asked where Lim is! Lim used every moment of his time volunteering. At the end of the school day at New Beginnings, he would come back to the volunteer house and then play soccer with the children in the street until nightfall, teaching them some soccer ball skills.
Lim shared with us what he takes with him when he is sailing around the world
“I think back to my experiences with volunteering in Kibera with NVS and remember what I learned. I learned the value of community and family relationships. I appreciate all of the new friendships I made with others from around the world volunteering at the same time I was and I keep in touch with them even today. I also learned the importance of not being wasteful. When I am on the ship, I make sure to share with my ship mates not to waste food or even the water we have in our journey. I also learned how valuable community programs are and I want to return to Kenya in the future.”
So, where is Lim now in our oceans?
As of the time of this story being shared, Lim’s ship is in China, getting ready to go to Japan next. They have many more months of moving the containers around our globe before he can have a break on land so please keep Lim and his crew in your thoughts and prayers (safety as they go). And a fun fact about Lim: He is also a pilot!!! Do you have questions for Lim about his career on our oceans or in the air? Post them! He does check into Facebook from time to time when he is in various ports!