Alumni of drug rehab centres show how much they’ve changed

Word of encouragement: Loh (centre, in blue) greeting participants at the start of the Exodus Games as Lee (left) looks on.

OVER 350 participants took part in the ninth edition of the Exodus Games at the Matsushita Sport Centre in Shah Alam recently.

The games was organised by the Klang Valley Alliance which is made up of 17 NGOs, all drug rehabilitation centres.

It is organised every two years for the alumni of these centres.

Klang Valley Alliance chairman Pastor Richard Lee, who also runs Kenosis Home, a drug rehabilitation centre for men, said the games were to encourage the participants, who were all former inmates of rehabilition centres, to lead a drug-free life.

“We are all here as volunteers to show commitment to change. The participants are an agent for change as they are all changed people after going through rehab. They can be an example to others to achieve a drug-free nation,” he said.

Lee added that the stigma towards former drug users or drug addicts had not changed through the years and was the reason why many former inmates faced difficulties in their lives although they had changed after rehabilitation.

“We also need to help them as many of them have a hard time to look for jobs. We also need help from the private sector to employ them as workers,” he said.

The games was launched by MCA Central Committee member Loh Seng Kok.

Loh said MCA was ready to help former drug addicts with a microfinancing scheme implemented to give out loans to people aged between 21 and 45.

“We are willing to help if they are committed and we will give special consideration if recommended by the centre.

“We hope this small loan can help them to start their own business so that they can continue living a drug-free life,” he added.

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