LEONG Swee Lin’s face lit up with a huge smile as she was helped into her brand-new wheelchair.
“Comfortable! I am very happy,” the 51-year-old exclaimed excitedly despite her limited English vocabulary.
Leong was one of eight disabled residents of Selangor Cheshire Home who were gifted with new wheelchairs from Star Foundation.
Housed in a large and neatly landscaped compound in Selayang, the home currently provides residential care to 25 disabled individuals who have no means or resources.
“With these new wheelchairs, our residents can now move about the compound for daily activities and hospital visits. We are very thankful to Star Foundation for this gesture of goodwill,” said Selangor Cheshire Home president Datin Paduka Khatijah Sulieman.
The home also runs an Economic Empowerment Programme (EEP) that has helped more than 180 youth graduates with disabilities gain employment in the hotel and retail sectors. “This is an impactful and life-changing programme but it is costly to maintain. We hope more donors can help us in transforming the lives of the disabled,” added Khatijah.
Nestled in a peaceful part of Ulu Yam Baru, Selangor Family Aid Association also received 15 new wheelchairs from the foundation.
Prior to this, the 97 residents at the welfare home for the handicapped and elderly had to share 12 units of old and worn-out wheelchairs.
“Most residents are bed-bound the whole day as we do not have enough wheelchairs to move them around. Whenever we have activities conducted by volunteer groups, it’s sad to see only a handful of residents who can participate due to lack of mobility support,” lamented home administrator Sagunthala Daku. “They may be old or disabled, but having the freedom to move about is a basic right and necessity. Star Foundation’s new wheelchairs are giving them this freedom for which we are most grateful for.”
Francis Peter Lazaroo, who is physically handicapped after a bout of polio at a young age, was another recipient of a wheelchair.
“Before this, I was using a loaned wheelchair. It’s so nice to have my own now. I will take very good care of this and hope to use it for a long time,” said the 65-year-old.
The wheelchairs were presented by Star Media Group executive editor Rozaid Abdul Rahman and Star Foundation assistant manager Selina Ng.
The foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group aimed at delivering meaningful initiatives with lasting outcomes to a diverse group of beneficiaries. For details, visit starfoundation.com.my