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ASPer CARES: WELFARE OF THE HOMELESS

ASPer CARES ABOUT THE WELFARE OF THE HOMELESS

SEKOLAH BIMBINGAN JALINAN KASIH

By: Zailawati Abdul Ghani

The Government of Malaysia enforced a Movement Control Order (MCO) starting on March 18th, 2021 to break the chain of COVID-19. Due to this, all economic sectors and employment activities have ceased operations except those involve in essential services. Citizens are required to stay at home for a specified period where they have to abide the conditional rules while at the same time comply to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the control period.

Although some people may find the MCO period as a period of ‘rest’ which allows them to spend more time at home with their loved ones, a growing number of families are struggling to put food on the table because of the pandemic.

This is the reality for many homeless children from Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih (SBJK), Kuala Lumpur who are affected and in dire need of help from the surrounding communities. A result from the mission set out by the Centre of Foundation Studies for Agricultural Science (PASP) in cooperation with counsellors from SBJK showed a great success where cash donations were collected and successfully channelled to these children.

One may be wondering about SBJK. In essence, SBJK is a ‘school for street children’ aged 4 to 19 years old, that aspires to ensure these underprivileged children in Kuala Lumpur have a proper education they rightfully deserve. These children are given basic learning such as reading, counting, writing, religious learning and other skills in hopes that they are able to boost their self-confidence to live a normal life and not to be marginalized in the society. 

It is a common sight to have some SBJK children to go to school on an empty stomach, and are only able to eat when they are at school. Some even bring home the school food to be shared with their family members. When it was reported that many are struggling even worse due to the pandemic because their food supplies are cut off, out of genuine concern with the intention to help these children, this charity was carried out.

According to the Head of COVID-19 Donation Program for SBJK Students, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Norfifah Bt Bachok@Lati, before this project came to fruition, the initial plan was to hold a knowledge transfer activity under STEM program that has to be postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Nonetheless, it was the centre’s mission to help these homeless children, which led to this charity idea.

“We felt it is only right to channel aid when we were informed by the school counsellor that these children were cut off from food supply during the MCO period. Thanks to the cooperation from the staff of the Centre of Foundation Studies for Agricultural Science (PASP) and Faculty of Science UPM, we managed to collect some cash donations that were later channelled through the counsellor within a short period of time.

Seeing the grateful faces of the homeless children after receiving the donations in the pictures shared by the school counsellors warms our hearts. If we are given the opportunity, we will try to work on more community programmes with the SBJK in the future.”

SBJK counsellor, Cikgu Abdul Ghani Bin Abu, stated that this donation was very meaningful to them as it helps to lessen the families’ burden and motivate them to keep going. Each donation was handed over to every child’s family representative on April 4th, 2021.

“This initiative clearly portrays community awareness which is in line with the #kitajagakita hashtag, that also has a huge impact on the lives of these homeless children,” he said.

Date of Input: 21/05/2020 | Updated: 10/10/2021 | nazaran

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