JOHOR BARU: Three decades ago, a young mother gave birth to a pair of twins but later abandoned one of them who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as she could not afford to care for the girl.
Pastor Benedict Rajan took in the child, known as Sarah.
That was in 1989. Pastor Rajan, who was then with the Johor Calvary City Church, went on to set up Pusat Kebajikan Kalvari (PKK) to help the poor and needy.
“Sarah died two years later but she inspired the creation of PKK which has touched the lives of many,” he said.
Today, PKK has grown into a huge non-governmental organisation with 25 homes spread around the city, helping some 600 inmates comprising children, old folk, teenagers, gamblers, alcoholics, single mothers and drug addicts.
Pastor Rajan, 65, said there were now about 400 drug addicts living in the homes.
He said PKK had employed about 40 staff, many of them former inmates who had been rehabilitated and wanted to be useful to society.
“During these 30 years, we have had many success stories. It is a joy to see them getting accepted and reunited with their families. Some of them got married, others got jobs. Some even started their own business,” he said.
Many of them who first came in were suicidal and depressed, he said.
PKK, he said, was one way for the church to contribute to society, he said, adding that the core values were to provide food, shelter and spiritual fulfilment.
Asked about funding, Pastor Rajan said that besides donations, PKK has also been developing a 5ha site, which was donated by a Singaporean couple in Pasir Gudang eight years ago.
That site, he said, was once a jungle but it now featured among others, a durian orchard, vegetable plots, birds’ nests and a solar farm, which generates power and sold to Tenaga Nasional.
“We even have a 4,000sq ft mangrove which we hope to rehabilitate and preserve due to its biodiversity, including migratory birds and monkeys,” he said, adding that all money earned was channelled to PKK.
PKK, he said, had an expenditure budget of more than RM3mil annually. Those who come to the centres need not pay any money.
Asked about their plans, Pastor Rajan hoped that PKK would continue to grow and help address the social ills in the city, especially drug abuse.
Those interested in helping PKK can contact it via www.pkk.com.my.