KOTA KINABALU: Smiles were plastered on the faces of some 40 orphans and single mothers when they were treated to a sumptuous breaking-of-fast buffet dinner at a hotel in the city here.
“I have never been to a hotel before, and it is nice here because I like the food and ice cream,” said a four-year-old boy when met at the Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu.
He was among the children, aged between four and 14, from Rumah Anak Kesayangan Sabah who were invited to the event along with their caretakers on Thursday.
A six-year-old girl, seen enjoying her ice cream after her meal, said the buffet was the most delicious treat she had ever tasted.
Supported by Nur Muhammad Welfare and Education Organisation Sabah, the centre manages two homes – one in Taman Sempelang in Sembulan and another in Taman Chin Sang in Likas – that shelter more than 100 children.
It is learnt that 30% of the children sheltered in both homes are orphans while the others are from underprivileged families.
The homes also house single mothers.
Running at a bare minimum and with the rising cost of living, the centre is in constant need of financial support for its day-to-day operations, including food and beverage, personal hygiene products, health supplements and groceries, which are rationed on a daily basis.
During the buffet dinner, hotel general manager Suresh Ramasamy said the activity was held in conjunction with Marriott International’s “Serve 360” initiative to do good in every direction.
“We are committed to contributing to the company’s overall goal of 15 million hours of volunteer service to support the priorities and community engagement strategy.”