JOHOR BARU: The Care Haven home for orphans and underprivileged children here is one step closer to reaching its goal of building a nature farm.
The home’s founder, Rev James Thhm, said the RM20,000 funding from the Star Foundation was timely as public donations had slowed down greatly since the movement control order (MCO) was imposed early this year.
“During an event in February, we got to know about the foundation and decided to try our luck.
“It was a surprise when the call came in July to notify that our application had been approved. We are thankful for the contribution, ” he said.
The cheque was handed over by The Star’s Johor bureau chief Nelson Benjamin during a simple ceremony at the home in Taman Bukit Rinting, Pasir Gudang.
Thhm, who founded the shelter 17 years ago, said during the MCO period, the kids started using Facebook Live to hold cooking shows as well as to sell pastries and kaya made by themselves.
The home currently has 28 residents aged between two and 25. They are mostly orphans or abandoned children as well as those from poor single-parent families.
Thhm said the home initially aimed to raise RM1.8mil to build its Green Smile Nature Farm in Kota Tinggi, which can provide shelter to about 80 underprivileged children.
“The construction of the 0.89ha nature farm has reached about 50% progress and is due to be completed by early next year, ” he said.
”Some generous donors contributed construction materials for the project which covered a majority of the cost, but we still need about RM800,000.
“Once completed, we hope to provide the necessary education and skills training so that the residents can be independent and make it on their own, ” he said.
Thhm hopes to expand the farm into an agro-tourism facility to achieve the home’s ultimate mission of becoming self-sustaining without having to rely heavily on donations in future.
Star Foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group that aims to support impactful initiatives to help a diverse group of beneficiaries.
Visit starfoundation.com.my for more information.