Bigger home for children


Social workers Suria Kumari (right) and Catherine Turner together with the children getting ready to move to the new home. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

THE Children Protection Society (CPS) in Penang will move to a new and bigger home on March 19.

Founder and president Datuk Seri Nazir Ariff said a simple opening ceremony would be held at the new site in Jalan Ayer Itam. It is located 10 minutes from the current place which has been home for vulnerable children of various races for 30 years.

Nazir and a few friends set up CPS in 1991. It is a not-for-profit organisation, without religious affiliation, that looks after neglected, abandoned and abused children from poor families.

Nazir said it all started when his son heard his maid crying every night after work.

“The maid told us that she had no one taking care of her two children aged two and four while she was at work.

“I tried to enrol them in an orphanage but due to some technicalities (the children are not orphans), our application was denied,” he said.

From that moment on, he was determined to start a home for neglected children regardless of race and religion.

The children helping social workers Elizabeth Savarimuthu (right) and Turner (striped shirt) to pack for the big move.The children helping social workers Elizabeth Savarimuthu (right) and Turner (striped shirt) to pack for the big move.

When asked about his hopes after the upcoming relocation, Nazir said he wanted to pass the baton to the younger generation and ensure they continue to take care of the children.

“Many of the children who stayed at the home in the past 30 years are now successful in life. Some became doctors, teachers and lecturers who want to give back to society,” he added.

CPS currently occupies a privately-owned building on two lots in Jalan Scotland while the new premises is owned by the Penang Island City Council.

In July last year, the home was given an order to vacate the current building.

The CPS management decided it would be better to find a building big enough for all the children to stay together.

Fortunately, they found a spacious council-owned bungalow in Jalan Ayer Itam.

The new home is surrounded by greenery, offering plenty of open space for the children to run around, ride bicycles and play.

Currently, CPS houses 30 to 40 children between the ages of five and 18 years along with 20 to 30 other children under its outreach programme in Butterworth on the mainland.

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