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Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 2:08:17 PM
by sheila sri priyaphotos by low lay phon
Grateful: Nikky Khilnani, 24, offering food to a homeless women and her child. She could’t speak Malay nor English, but seemed overwhelmed by the gesture of kindness.
A group of youth has embarked on a project to feed the homeless in Kuala Lumpur, hoping their move will be emulated by others as well.
Their aim is to influence others to reach out to the needy, do good and spread kindness.
Those inspired by the group can post pictures on their acts of kindness on the Facebook community site called Keep The Change.
Among the founders of Keep The Change are Azlan Mckechnie, 27, Nikky Khilnani, 24, Nadia Sabri, 30, Sanjaya Kumaraseri, 27, and Kirana Adhika, 23.
Most of them have full-time jobs, while some are undergraduates.
“We started an online community where the public could upload pictures and videos of them helping the needy, in this case, the homeless.
“The pictures and videos can motivate more people to help,” said Azlan who hopes the project will catch on.
He added that the online community was formed during Ramadan, and that the first batch of food was funded by his friends.
“Each of us donated between RM25 and RM50, and with that money we bought bread and eggs to make sandwiches.
“We distributed the food to the homeless near Pudu Sentral and Masjid Jamek area,” said Azlan.
Their act soon spread through word of mouth and Facebook, leading to more people coming forward to help and donate to a worthy cause.
“We welcome donations such as food and clothes,” he said.
Azlan said the group was also focused on providing food for the truly deserving and that the community does not have a specific food distribution location or even schedule.
However, the community members visit busy urban areas such as Chow Kit, Pudu Sentral, Petaling Street, Kota Raya and Masjid Jamek to carry out their charity work.
Based on their experience, the Keep The Change community said there was a need for more people to help feed the needy.
“We noticed that some of the homeless were old and malnourished.
“There were also a few mentally challenged ones and drug addicts. However, we do not discriminate and offer all who come some food,” he said.
He said the public who want to feed the homeless should go in groups.
“Be safe when going about. Some can react unexpectedly,” said Azlan.
Nikky, meanwhile, said he derived satisfaction from giving food to the needy.
“The public can do their bit, too. For example, when eating at a
fast-food outlet and they see a beggar around, maybe they could buy him a burger too,” he said.
However, not all the homeless were receptive towards such kind acts.
“Once, when we placed food beside a woman sleeping on the pavement, we were shocked when she suddenly woke up and tossed the food away. She was angry and her actions startled us,” he said.
A StarMetro team followed the group on one of their rounds on the second day of Hari Raya when ketupat, rendang, mineral water and clothes were given out.
Most of the homeless seemed grateful for the food and clothes and thanked the group profusely.
A mother and daughter who
could not speak Malay nor English and looked like foreigners, used their hands to gesture their appreciation.
For more information on Keep The Change, visit www.facebook.com/thehelpeteers
Tags / Keywords:
Central Region, Family & Community, keep the change
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