Amidst the year end busyness, this year, just like the last, saw a very muted celebration.
With the recent flash floods hitting Klang Valley and several other states, ravaging homes and destroying livelihoods, many families were robbed of their yearly gatherings with friends and loved ones. As we keep our fellow Malaysians in thoughts and prayers as they go through a trying time, this year is definitely one for us to count all our blessings.
A festival is one that every child look forwards to. This Christmas being no different. With that in mind, staff and students of BAC Education came together to fulfil Christmas wishes of children, teenagers and young adults from 3 orphanages – Persatuan Kebajikan Harapan Selesa , Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Mary KL and Stepping Stones.
Just two weeks before Christmas, a Wish List was put up, and in less that 24 hours, all names on the list found a ‘Secret Santa’. Days leading up to delivery, gifts started filling-up a room at the Brickfields Asia College PJ Campus.
On Christmas Eve, a team from BAC Education visited the three homes mentioned above to deliver the gifts.
Greeting us at our first location – Persatuan Kebajikan Harapan Selesa in Setapak, was a young boy, Keshikan. Running across the street to help unload gifts for his fellow home mates he regards as his brothers and sisters, we could tell that he was definitely taught well.
Persatuan Kebajikan Harapan Selesa, a home tucked away from the busy main road, is run by husband-wife duo, Esther Shamla Jonah and Jonah Xavier Rajen, who have been dedicating their time and service for the past 30 years. 18 underprivileged children call this place home, the youngest being 5- years old. Esther explained, the oldest among the lot, is a 24 years-old young girl, who is now doing an internship. She went on to say that their roles as guardians include preparing these children to be ready to face the outside world, and to be independent.
When asked how the home has been managing with funds, Esther said, “We have been solely relying on the donations of the public and corporate organisations who contribute now and then, and we are grateful that we have been able to manage and provide for the children.”
Just 7 minutes away from this home was our next stop – Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Mary KL, an orphanage which has been in operations for the past 18 years. Here is where 55 disadvantaged children stay, 40 of whom are school-going. Greeting us at the gate itself were the older children, who took turns to receive their gifts, and unload heavier items from the vehicle.
Formerly known as Sanctuary Care Centre, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Mary KL is a Private Independent Welfare Organisation founded in 2003 by the Late Rev. Dr. Mary Rayapan. This home runs on donations from good hearted individuals, well-wishers, philanthropists and a couple of corporate organisations. This place houses children from poor and dysfunctional families, also those with single parents or are fully orphaned. The youngest child staying at this home is a 1-year-old.
The third home visited was Stepping Stones in Taman Seputeh. As the final set of gifts were dropped off towards mid- afternoon, a comforting thought is that these children, many coming from abused, neglected, underprivileged and troubled families, are now living in a caring loving environment.