To Borneo, with love

NANAIMO: Local man seeks donations for villagers in Borneo.

Nanaimo’s Jan Kerekes

Nanaimo’s Jan Kerekes

The world  is not such a big place nowadays and a Nanaimo man has been taking advantage of the fact,  spending the last decade travelling and working in different parts of the globe.

Jan Kerekes has seen a lot, often in unconventional ways, and has learned a lot as well.

“I have also kept my faith in goodness in people. Always,” he said. “Even in the parts of the world that are considered dangerous or wild, I always believe in people.”

Three years ago, Kerekes spent three weeks living with the Iban tribe in the heart of the Kalimantan jungle on the island of Borneo.

Kerekes learned a great deal from these people with old mystic traditions, and hard ways of life.

“I could also see the little breeze of change that one person could make in their lives, change for something new, change to improve their lives,” he said.

Treated not only as a guest, but as a friend, Kerekes promised to come back. And with that promise, an idea was born.

“It is because of the remoteness as well as their limited resources that many basic things do not find the way into their little village,” he said. “So I decided to deliver them myself. As simple as that, as much as I could carry – and I can carry a lot.”

Kerekes is hosting a collection day Oct. 21 in the parking lot of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, 301 Machleary St., from 12:30-4:30 p.m. for small household items, school supplies, cutlery, basic fishing gear, clothing, toys and more.

“I believe that things, items from everyday life, should be put into use, given a second chance, instead of just lying around a house or being thrown to garbage,” he said.  “I would like to collect all kinds of usable items, pack them into two big hockey bags and bring them across half a world so they can find new, happy owners.”

Deciding to see if the goodness in people can stretch across the oceans and continents, Kerekes hopes people will donate gifts they would want themselves.

“This is not a charity run or typical second-hand items collection,” he said. “This is just a chance to see that set of kitchen ladles that you never use in the hands of smiling lady in the floating house in Borneo. To see alphabet books that helped your own children, helping in a simple school built on stilts by the river side.”

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read