JOHOR BARU: Within just a few hours, the Johor Future Home programme volunteers managed to complete minor repairs and repaint the home of single mother Khatijah Diran, instantly putting a smile on the face of the 73-year-old widow and her daughter.
Khatijah, who takes care of her only daughter, a 52-year-old bedridden stroke patient, said that she never dreamt she would have been able to upgrade her house.
“Every month, it is a struggle making ends meet,” she said.
"I used to sell kuih for a living but after my daughter suffered a stroke eight years ago, I had to stay at home to take care of her.”
The family now depends on aid received from the state Welfare Department as well as Johor Baitulmal.
It is barely enough to cover her daughter’s medical bills, daily expenses and the rental for her flat.
Khatijah was among five families in the Sri Stulang Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) to be selected for the Johor Future Home programme. It involves giving rundown homes of the underprivileged a much needed facelift.
Another recipient was car wash worker Badul Hisham Ahmad Zabir, 54.
He was touched to see his four children looking so happy after their home was given a fresh coat of paint.
“I am the sole breadwinner even though I am physically disabled after injuring my right arm in a car accident over 20 years ago.
“If it was not for this programme, I do not think my house could ever look as beautiful as it does now,” he said.
Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad who launched the event said that each house received an allocation of RM500 to conduct minor repair works under the programme.
The volunteers from the Darul Tazim Volunteers Club, Johor Youth Council and the state Youth Development Centre helped with the painting and carried out minor repair and maintenance works, he said.
He added that in total, 300 houses from 10 areas in the city were selected for the programme targeting poor families, single mothers, the disabled and other underprivileged groups.