Ampang shelter gets much-needed makeover

Chew (right) and Shyam with a model of Yellow House at the launch of the renovation project.

Having served as a shelter for the homeless and refugees for 12 years, Yellow House in Ampang is in urgent need of repairs.

Among its issues are a leaky roof and rundown furniture.

Pertubuhan Kebajikan Masyarakat Yellow House founder and president Shyam Priah said there would be a “waterfall” in the house whenever it rains.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, most of our funds were devoted to rural food aid programmes and that leaves little for repairs.

“It was also during that period that there were a lot of thunderstorms, hence, leaks in the house have been more frequent.”

(From left) Yeoh and Chew getting a tour of the shelter with Shyam explaining its needs. — Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The Star(From left) Yeoh and Chew getting a tour of the shelter with Shyam explaining its needs. — Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The Star

Shyam’s prayer for a timely injection of funds was answered by YTL Foundation, which approached her about the renovation project.

Both parties formed a partnership and started a fundraising campaign to rejuvenate the home, which will also cater to future plans for the urban poor and refugee communities.

Renovation work for Yellow House started on Sept 4, with an estimated cost of RM275,000, and is expected to be completed within six months.

YTL Foundation donated RM50,000 to the fundraising campaign, matching the RM50,000 that Yellow House had raised to-date.

The balance of RM175,000 will be raised through the campaign and donations from the public.

Built by Shyam’s father and grandfather in the 1980s, the house has sheltered 6,000 homeless individuals and refugees as well as hosted 1,000 international volunteers since the shelter started operating in 2011.

The shelter also conducts an upskilling programme to help the homeless and refugees.

“We train them in capacity building, financial literacy and survivor resiliency over four months to make sure they will not need to go back to the streets.

“With this rejuvenation project, we can do more for the community,” she said during the launch of Yellow House’s Rejuvenation Project fundraising campaign at the house in Lorong Ikan Emas 2, Kampung Ampang Campuran in Selangor.

In her opening speech, YTL Foundation programme director Datuk Kathleen Chew said Yellow House’s impact on marginalised groups inspired her to collaborate with them to bring a new lease of life for the communities they serve.

“With the assistance of YTL Construction, we are delighted to contribute our resources to undertake the renovation of the Yellow House building, including finances and manpower.

“The rejuvenation of Yellow House carries the express mandate to increase its functionality, not just in creating a welcoming atmosphere for volunteers and the underserved communities, but also in enabling Yellow House to add on social initiatives,” she said.

YTL Construction director Yeoh Pei Tsen said the company was utilising bamboo as a more sustainable material.

“As the design and construction partner, we are working with Stewards of Environmentally-Aware Development (Sead) to incorporate bamboo for the house’s facade and the courtyard in the middle of the house.

“It encourages natural lighting and open spaces and Shyam can optimise the spaces for various projects,” she said.

During the renovation, Yellow House will not be running its upskilling programme for the homeless and refugees but will focus on community farming instead.

However, several projects are planned for the renewed building, including a co-working space, a farm-to-fork initiative and a repair cafe.

These initiatives will enable Yellow House to have diversified revenue streams to continue with its social mission while sustaining its operations financially.

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yellow house , ampang , ytl foundation


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