I was first introduced to Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK) through a short volunteering stint with another charity organisation back in 2012. With a group of volunteers, I remember visiting a centre under YCK. I was too occupied with work and other personal commitments back then that my volunteering involvement took a back seat. But at that time, I took with me the knowledge of the existence of YCK and the noble community efforts directed especially towards the urban poor and at-risk kids and teenagers around the Chow Kit area.
In 2014, I grabbed the chance to volunteer, and this time around, through YCK. Of course I was admittedly anxious about setting aside few months of my unpaid leave of absence from my workplace to do pro bono work pending commencement of my postgraduate study. I am grateful to have supportive family and work supervisor behind this surprising decision of mine. However, realistically speaking, months without income and the depleting savings for the expenses; who would not worry? But I can say that it was worth it.
My volunteering stint at YCK for approximately 5 calendar months turned out to be a fulfilling learning experience. I was teaching groups of refugees and local kids at two centres under YCK. As much as I hope that I have contributed something to the students, I for sure have learned and received a lot from teaching them. I gained new perspective. I learnt about life, patience, unity and compassion. I learnt to better understand the harsh truth of the struggling side of the social economic divide and how it affects opportunities (ever heard about the cycle of poverty?). At the same time, I feel blessed to witness and appreciate the flowering hope of change and progress that are continuously watered and nurtured by (among others) the in-house teachers, social workers and other full-time staffs at YCK. I learnt to really appreciate their contributions.
I believe that the cycle of poverty can be broken through education for the underprivileged. This kind of journey won’t be all nice and dandy and can be exhausting and tiring at times, especially when you do not see any change right there and then. But it dawned upon me that one person couldn’t change the world, alone. It is a collaboration of so many people working together. The final outcome might not be evident or obvious, but in a bigger picture, you might have already been a part of that progressive chain. And the take-away lessons taken from the volunteering experience at YCK are of very precious value. And I guess… those are things that really matter.
I have always believed that volunteering is not just about giving and contributing.
THANK YOU Yayasan Chow Kit for the amazing opportunity and medium for me to “give” and “teach” and at the same time to “receive” and “learn”.
February to June 2014
PETALING JAYA: A TOTAL of RM140,980 was donated to 17 welfare homes and organisations, here, recently.
The funds were raised through the "Be The Difference" campaign initiated by Groupon Malaysia, Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation and GRIM Film. The campaign ran from Oct 29 to Nov 11. The funds will be used to pay for the daily expenses of the homes and the development projects of the organisations.
Groupon Southeast Asia and India general manager Joel Neoh handed the cheques to the representatives of Malaysian Nature Society, Dyslexia Malaysia, Yayasan Chow Kit, St Barnabas Home, Shepherd's Centre Foundation, HOPE Worldwide Malaysia, Kiwanis Job Training Centre, Rumah Kasih Nurul Hasanah, Precious Children Home, Rumah Hope, SPCA Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Sawarak SPCA, House of Joy, Good Samaritan Home, Shelter Home for Children, SPCA Selangor and Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better.
Neoh said it was their fifth campaign and each year they organised campaigns for charity homes and NGOs.
"There were other initiatives that we held early this year which were with Unicef, World Food Programme, HOPE Worldwide and World Vision Malaysia," he said.
He said the campaign aimed to encourage Malaysians to help charitable causes.
He said the Internet was a powerful medium of communication and had the potential to achieve more than just business success.
"Usually people are very cautious in disseminating their credit card details when making online transactions," said Neoh. "But we didn't expect the campaign would receive overwhelming response from Malaysians.
"It shows how social e-commerce can inspire Malaysians to take meaningful action."
He said they wanted to prove that group-buying was beneficial to the community.
"This fact has been proven through our campaign.
"We are motivated and will continue to advocate for deserving causes in the country."
Neoh added that it was done through a microsite introduced by Groupon.
Neoh said Malaysians had more than 300 hours to contribute to the local charities which were chosen by the 17 finalists of Miss Universe Malaysia 2013.
Kanak-kanak tanpa dokumen
Kuala Lumpur: Malu dan tidak faham undang-undang antara punca ibu bapa lewat atau tidak mendaftarkan kelahiran anak mereka sehingga berlaku kes kanak-kanak tanpa dokumen pengenalan diri.
Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN), Datuk Jariah Mohd Said, berkata ada ibu bapa yang berkahwin dengan warga asing atau mempunyai anak tidak sah taraf tidak tahu bahawa setiap kelahiran wajib didaftarkan.
“Kadang-kadang ada kes ibu tak tahu mana bapa dia, ada juga kes membabitkan pasangan belum berkahwin. Jadi mereka nak datang ke JPN malu sebab takut orang tanya itu dan ini soal maruah,” katanya.
Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri Program ‘Street Children’ di Chow Kit Bersama Ketua Pengarah Pendaftaran Negara di sini, semalam.
Jariah berkata, mengikut Akta Pendaftaran Negara 1959, setiap kelahiran di negara ini sama ada warga negara atau bukan warga negara mesti didaftarkan dan JPN akan mengeluarkan sijil lahir kepada kanak-kanak berkenaan.
Katanya, untuk kes membabitkan ibu warga negara Malaysia dan bapa pula tidak dapat dikesan, taraf warga negara kanak-kanak itu secara automatik mengikut warga negara ibu dengan syarat hendaklah disertakan dengan dokumen sokongan untuk menentukan ibu itu lahir di Malaysia,” katanya. - BERNAMA