We are saddened to share the news that Matthew Ding Ajang, a staff member of our local partner TONIBUNG, in Malaysian Borneo passed away this week from a heart attack.
Matthew, a technician, was visiting a micro-hydro site in Long Liam with Green Empowerment’s Gabe Wynn and local leaders. His last hours were spent working – as he always did – in service of his people.
After the incident, a small group brought Matthew’s body by boat down the Baram River. They passed seven villages where people knew him and cared for him, until they arrived at the village where Matthew taught generations of young people from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. The entire village was there to greet the group, all in grief.
“As I was sitting by his body on the boat, just before sunset, a flock of four hornbill flew overhead.” said Gabe Wynn, Asia Regional Director, Green Empowerment. The hornbill is an iconic symbol to the people of Sarawak. The beautiful and protected species is believed to have mythical powers.
As his family and local community mourn his passing, we mourn with them. This is an enormous loss for our long-time partner TONIBUNG, our collaborating partner SAVE RIVERS, our local allies and the global community as a whole.
Local contributions can be made directly to TONIBUNG – TObpinai NIngkokoton koBUruon kampuNG