Urgent appeal for funds to buy van

IMC beneficiaries taking baking lessons at its USJ 12 centre.

AN education and training centre for special needs adults and children is seeking to raise RM90,000 from the public to purchase a new 18-seater van.

With an academic and daycare facility located in USJ 4, Subang Jaya, a bakery and craft facility in USJ 12 and a hostel in Puchong providing basic life skills training, Persatuan Insan Istimewa IMC Selangor heavily relies on private transportation to ferry its dependants to and from its facilities.

IMC provides vocational skills through training in baking, craft, sports and household skills.

The association works with 70 beneficiaries who have Down Syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cerebral palsy and other conditions.

IMC co-founder Raaginee Shalesh, 47, said the association’s resources were shrinking, adding that its existing 10-year-old van is often in the workshop and is expensive to maintain.

“The van has broken down in the middle of the road several times while transporting our special needs children.

“Some of them turned aggressive and we had to call for assistance.

“As repair costs have become a huge financial burden, we really need a new van.”

The estimated cost of a new vehicle is RM140,000, with IMC having collected RM50,000.

“We hope to raise enough money soon so that the children can be transported safely and comfortably,” she added.

Raaginee co-founded IMC with her husband Sunny Shalesh, 49, a football coach for the disabled. He led the Malaysian team to victory at the 8th Asean Para Games in 2015.

Although the lack of funding remains a concern, the idea of quitting has not crossed the founders’ minds.

“We believe that these special needs individuals can one day contribute to society.

“That is why after 28 years, our devotion to the cause has not wavered,” Raaginee said.

Meanwhile, IMC is also in the midst of setting up a restaurant in Puchong to be run by its special needs adults and overseen by a staff member.

For more information about its activities, call Raaginee at 017-884 8943.

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