A GROUP of Syrian children were treated to a Raya shopping trip at Aeon Quill City Mall in Kuala Lumpur by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry.
Nineteen girls and 23 boys, aged from six to 17 years old, were from different locations in the Klang Valley, under the purview of Malaysia Life Line for Syria (MLL4S).
Accompanied by their teachers from Jasmine Ash Sham Alternative Education Centre in Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur, each child picked out new Hari Raya clothes.
Present was Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who said this was the first initiative to take Syrian children on a festive shopping trip under the ministry’s corporate social responsibility programme.
“We live in a peaceful country and should help those in need.
“They deserve to be happy celebrating Hari Raya and we hope to bring cheer to the children,” he said, adding that the ministry would look into future discussions with the Home Ministry to provide MLL4S further assistance, especially for the children’s education.
MLL4S chief executive officer Syahrir Azfar Saleh said this was the first time the children had the opportunity to shop for new clothes for the festivities.
“We truly appreciate what the ministry has done and look forward to more collaborations to help these children,” he said.
He added that Jasmine Ash-Sham Alternative Education Centre, established in January 2012 under the supervision of MLL4S, was running solely on donations.
“Our aim is to help the children get a proper education and not end up on the streets begging.
“We hope the war will end soon. We are not helping them to stay in Malaysia but to get ready to go back and develop their own country,” he said, adding that there were currently 50 students and that they hoped to expand the capacity to accommodate 100 students.