Gaining empathy through volunteerism


(From left) Campaign leader Lee Siew Mun, Lim, Jamaliah, Pua and Ti at the launch of the Be An Angel Campaign.

HAVE you ever misused a parking lot designated for the disabled for your own convenience?

That was the question raised during the launch of “Be An Angel Campaign” by Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled held at Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya.

The campaign has been organised by the foundation for the past 14 years and its objective is to promote volunteerism and assist persons with disabilities (OKU) to live independently in the community.

Throughout the years, the 700-strong volunteers have also managed to assist the sick and elderly through the distribution of wheelchairs and other equipment.

“This campaign will provide proper training on the right techniques in assisting the disabled,” said the foundation’s deputy director Ivy Pua Ghin Chu.

“Volunteers and OKU will be given a chance to learn from each other to foster better understanding,” she said.

With the theme “Loving Hands”, the campaign emphasised that by becoming involved in volunteerism, love could be spread in society through the simple act of helping others.

Pua hopes that through social media, more youngsters will be inspired to join the volunteer training campaign.

Local YouTube star Ti Bing Yen was chosen as the Sunshine Partner for the campaign.

Ti experienced first-hand how the disabled go through their daily routines by travelling with the committee members on a wheelchair.

He urged the public not to abuse the amenities specially built for the disabled and offer a helping hand whenever they are in need of assistance.

“My journey with the group has taught me that life is full of obstacles but we can conquer every challenge with determination,” he said.

Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lim Yi Wei said Malaysians should learn how to share open space with others and treat the disabled with respect.

“Without being exposed to their struggles in life, you will not gain empathy.

“Without empathy, you will not find the motivation to make this city a better place for people with disabilities.

“Our society should celebrate the achievements of our Paralympians and look up to them as role models,” Lim added.

Bandar Utama assemblyman Jamaliah Jamaluddin said at the launch, “This campaign offers people a rare chance to experience life from the perspective of the disabled.

“I wish Beautiful Gate Foundation every success in recruiting more members for this meaningful volunteerism programme,” she added.

A training camp which is open to those aged 16 and above will be held from June 21 to 23 at Dynasty Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Registration fees for the camp are priced at RM220, RM180 and RM90 for adults, students and OKU respectively.

A 20-minute “freeze mob” was held just before the launch to increase public awareness of the disabled community.

Beautiful Gate Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on providing various services to OKU since its establishment in 1993.

The foundation is committed towards equal job opportunities, education and public facilities for the disabled.

For details, call 03-7873 6579 or log on to www.facebook.com/beanangelcamp

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