Saturday, January 13, 2007

2007 Project: Charity / Yee Ren Jing Sheh Home for the Handicapped.

Music: The Arcade Fire - Black Mirror (click to download, thanks to Theroux for the file.) *Uh I hear Muse influencing this?!*

Blog updating has been a pain in the ass for the past week or so. Just when I thought I could get the momentum going, Mother Nature had other plans in mind. But I'm glad that I'm able to utilise Photobucket and Mediamax now so I'll try my level best to keep you guys posted on some stuff I've drafted out so far for '2007 Project'.

During the last week of December 2006, I've managed to visit a handicapped children's home in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. Being charitable has always been easy for most Malaysians but I wanted to take a first look at the plights faced by organisations like these that help poor, disabled children throughout their suffering years.

The Yee Ran Jing Sheh Handicapped Children's Home, founded in the year 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, is a charitable social welfare home assisting the poor and orphaned spastic children. At the end of 2002, after the tenancy of their former home was terminated, they've relocated to the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia - Bukit Tengah, Bukit Mertajam, Penang. It has been a long 4 year journey for the committee behind this organisation ever since; juggling through their daily routine of caring for these special children and their day jobs. It is by no means a hectic task as it involves over 45 people (children and adults) under their care. Although densely populated in the home, there are 22 children on the waiting list.

Currently, YRJS gets the support from the public to cater for the inmates' needs consisting of food, lodging and medical care. The monthly expenditure is about MYR 4,000.00 (for electricity and water). Food is adequate for the time being with a surplus stocked up in their storerooms located on the 2nd floor. The children here are nursed by 7 full-time staff workers.

Through my observation in the home, it is to note that most of the inmates here are bed-ridden and suffer from moderate cases of hydrocephalus (water build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain leading to enlargement and swelling), rheumatoid arthritis (frozen and locked joints) and deformational posterior plagiocephaly (flat facial bones on the back of the forehead). None of the children who live here have any medical treatment that can help cure their present conditions except to relieve the pain. Physiotherapy remains a sole & primary means of reducing the pain experienced by the children here.

The committee members are dependent on funds raised through fairs, donations from various NGO organisations (this can be rather sparse during non-festive seasons) and on-off contributions from avid philanthropists. After interviewing the head of the committee, Mr. Goh, it is understood that the centre currently does not need any food aid. However, he welcomes any fringe donations of mattresses, baby and adult diapers. It is also noted that Yee Ran Jing Sheh requires a van to transport the children to and fro the hospital so that they can receive treatment and physiotherapy sessions more often. He also requests for our aid to help to raise funds to purchase the land for their new home which is slated at MYR 1.4 million. The land’s funds has been raised through two food fairs generating MYR 400,000.00+ but they are still short of MYR 200,000.

Readers, of course, there's other more pressing issues in the world today. Famine, disease, malnutrition, world debt and the list goes on. I choose to believe that I could give my share of help for the kids that I can see every week - just 30 minutes across the Penang Bridge. You could help too. You choose. Life's made up of decisions aplenty.

Do drop by Yee Ren Jing Sheh Handicapped Children's Home at TBP 3730 & 3731, Jalan Belimbing, Ladang Chip Joo, 14000 Bukit Tengah, Bukit Mertajam, Penang. If you're new to the area, dial 6-04-5024803 or fax your inquires or pledges to 6-04-5025902.

Here are some snaps that I've managed to take during my visit:

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