Stepping up efforts to help the poor

(From left) Volunteers Walter Yeoh, Ong Koay Guat, Dr Pixie Low, Yeow Ewe Chuan and wife Tracie Yeow at the food pack presentation session to affected families from the school.

THE Covid-19 global pandemic has impacted lives beyond most people’s imagination.

Several organisations and individuals have been providing food and financial aid to vulnerable communities.

The need is huge and although response from Malaysians has been encouraging, there are some who are slipping through the cracks.

One organisation that has shifted gears since the movement control order (MCO) was announced is Pertubuhan Perubatan dan Kesihatan Awam or Medical Awareness Camp Outreach (Maco).

It was set up in January 2015 by a group of specialist doctors and volunteers to provide free medical services to the poor.

Maco president Dr Toh Cheng Teik said since its formation, it had conducted more than 20 medical camps for urban poor communities in the Klang Valley and as far as Tanjong Malim, Perak.

Funding for Maco’s activities is through donations from supporters and friends.

Maco has been providing daily meals to 21 children from SJK(C) Damansara.Maco has been providing daily meals to 21 children from SJK(C) Damansara.

Beginning this year, Maco’s objective expanded to include the welfare of the poor.

The first project undertaken was to provide daily meals to 21 poor pupils in SJK(C) Damansara so they could concentrate better in class.

The initiative was carried out in collaboration with another non-governmental organisation, Generasi Gemilang, under the Super Sarapan programme.

“When the movement control order was imposed, we decided to extend help to the families of these 21 poor pupils whose monthly household income is below RM2,000, ” said Dr Toh.

“Under the first phase of aid, each family was given rice, cooking oil, eggs, biscuits, sardines, baked beans, instant noodles, fresh vegetables and washing liquid.”

A donor presented the head of each household with RM100 cash for their utility bills while Souls International Sdn Bhd donated face masks and hand sanitiser to them.

Dr Toh said Maco planned to continue providing essentials to the families during the MCO and hopefully beyond, until things return to normal.

Maco was also sharing its experience and collaborating with a group of volunteers to introduce a similar programme in another primary school in Sungai Long, he said.

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