LIGHTS during Deepavali symbolise the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and hope over misery.
At the heart of such cultural and religious celebrations are the warm, happy moments shared with family and friends.
It is not only the spirit of giving but sharing with others, including the less fortunate, which is at the heart of the Festival of Lights.
And in this spirit, StarMetro is launching the “Do good. Grant-A-Wish” campaign to remind us of the little things we can all do to lend a helping hand to those in need.
It will be held in conjunction with all major festivals throughout the year, so what better time than to start right now, with Deepavali.
The boys from Ray of Hope Children’s Home are a happy bunch having overcome their troubled backgrounds.
We have compiled wishlists from three welfare homes in the Klang Valley. We invite you, our readers, to join us in helping to make their wishes come true and in the process, give joy and a ray of hope.
Anbe Sivam Charity Home
This welfare home’s doors are open to people of varying ages, backgrounds and races who are in need of sanctuary.
Ranging from pregnant women and babies to elderly folk abandoned by their families, their oldest resident to date was 92 years old when she passed away after a seven-year stay.
A total of 48 men, women and children aged from two years to 61 are currently cared for at Anbe Sivam Charity Home in Klang, said founder K. Muthurajah.
“We need about RM13,500 to RM15,000 monthly to run the home but most of the time we only have RM3,000 in funds.
(From left) Ray of Hope Childrens Home chairman of the board John P. Segajanantham, Rev. Raymond and treasurer Sandra Amarasuriya with the children.
“Since I am involved in recycling waste materials and bulk waste disposal, I use my own money to meet the shortfall,” he said, acknowledging that it had been difficult to raise funds in recent years.
Muthurajah is determined not to give up and is grateful to a small group of regular donors for their support.
“It gives me a chance to help children who are abandoned or feel neglected. There are still so many children out there who need help,” he said.
This home got its name from an autistic girl whom the founder, Jebamani Pakiathaiin, gave shelter to in 1993.
After taking care of four-year-old Ann Tan Swee Lan for almost a decade, Jebamani was inspired to do more by providing a home for other children with disabilities.
Anbe Sivam Charity Home children having fun during reading session.
In 2002, she established a care centre after having worked at a home for single mothers and their children for 10 years.
Ann’s Cottage has cared for disabled children from poor families – some who were only there during the day while others stayed there.
Most of the children were taken back by their families when they grew older.
Over the years, Jebamani has also sheltered single mothers – many of whom were victims of domestic violence.
Aside from the women who stay at Ann’s Cottage, she also reaches out to about 10 single mothers in the neighbourhood as well as other women who need help for things such as registering their children’s birth.
“Single mothers who live nearby are always included in any of our celebrations and activities because they have to work so hard and their children are left alone most of the day.
“The home runs on donations and although we get a steady income of about RM3,000 with the help of well-wishers, monthly expenses are approximately RM4,000,” she said.
Children decorating the home for a birthday party.
Their premises in Selangor currently shelters six women, four children and two babies.
Ray of Hope Children’s Home
Housing a total of 33 children aged five to 16 takes a lot of love and understanding and this can be found in abundance at Ray of Hope Children’s Home in Sungai Pelek.
The children consider the home’s founder Rev Raymond Raj their “father.”
“We opened the home in 2009 for both boys and girls in four separate houses, including one for single pregnant women.
“Many of the children have been brought in because of neglect or abandonment, while some have also runaway or are stateless and victims of human trafficking.”
Needing RM16,000 a month, bumps in the road are common for the home even with support from board members who are required to find donations or contribute RM100 monthly.
If you wish to donate any of the items in the homes’ wishlists, send your donations to Menara Star, No 15, Jalan 16/11, Phileo Damansara II, Petaling Jaya.
Girls from the Ray of Hope Childrens Home wish for musical instruments such as a guitar or violin to broaden their musical skills for performances in fundraising events.
StarMetro will be taking in donated items until Oct 13 and will deliver them to the three homes before Deepavali. We will not be accepting cash.
For details, call StarMetro at 03-7967 1388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org