We are just settling down after our continuous celebrations from December 2011,Christmas,the New Year and recently the Chinese New Year of the Dragon. As we celebrate these festivities with great joy we should spare some moments for those who are as not fortunate like us to appreciate this happiness in their lives.
With this motive a few friends and I decided to visit a spastic home in Bukit Tengah to see for ourselves what life is to these unfortunate people and what can be done to bring some joy for those in such a home.
The visit to the spastic home on 2months ago was a very humbling experience. It not only gave us the first hand information on the life of these spastic children but also the tremendous efforts and the sacrifices of the people taking care of them.
The home had 62 inmates of all ages, from children to old adults of both sexes. They were housed in 2 old single-storey houses, one for males and one for females located at in Jalan Belimbing in Bukit Tengah,Bukit Mertajam. They are being taken care of by 9 workers all female,5 foreigners and 4 locals all under the care of Ms Maliga.
Views of the handicapped home
The home is being managed by Persatuan Kebajikan Kanak-kanan Cacat Yee Ran Jing Sheh (Association Y.R.J.S. Handicapped Children’s Home), which according to Mr.GB Chuah, a committee member of the association, is a Buddhist organisation. However he was quick to stress that although it may be Buddhist-based but it is open to handicapped from all races and religions.
The containers to place old clothings The recycling centre
According to Mr.Chuah at present about RM20,000 is needed per month to manage the home which includes paying the staff,shelter, food, clothing, pampers and medical expenses.He said that it is a purely welfare home,been run solely on the generous donations from members of the public with no aid from any government agencies or the families of the inmates. To supplement the income they also collect old clothes and recycling items to be sold. Although the response from the public is generally good there are however times when they are acutely short of funds.
Generous donors with their contributions
They accept all forms of aid; cash, foodstuff, clothes and in particular adult pampers which are used extensively and are very expensive. Although they had a large number of inmates we were very impressed with the cleanliness of the centre and the inmates themselves who appeared clean and well dressed.
We spent about an hour in the home looking around and mingling with the inmates. Most of them were severely handicapped both physically and mentally. In fact only 19 out of the 64 of them could feed, clean and dress themselves, the rest need to be fed, bathed and dressed by the staff, which as we all know is indeed a tedious job. There were some who were so aggressive that they had to be restrained to prevent themselves to be hurt or others being hurt by their hyperactive behaviour. It was indeed a pathetic state to witness which made us realise how blessed we are.
The home from outside – clean and well maintained
The inside view of the children
Despite being so handicapped, they did not show any signs of sadness or disappointment in their faces which I suppose is the Creator’s way of protecting His creations. In a world where we are racing to accumulate wealth and more wealth, in a society that is driven by so much greed, jealousy and selfishness, these handicapped children are so happy living in their own world of contentment. They seem to be completely well protected from the cruel world outside. They were so eager to reach out to hold our hands and as they did so, we could feel the tremendous warmth in the grip of their hands.
The visit to the handicapped home was an eye opener for us. It helped us to realise how lucky we are being blessed with so much good things in life. As Charles Dickens rightly said, “Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some”. Very often we take these blessings for granted and keep cursing everything and everyone for the little misfortunes that may befall upon us. If only we start counting our blessings we will be more satisfied and happier in our lives. The visit to the home should let us pause to reflect on what we can do to alleviate the fears and sufferings of the less fortunate in our midst. It is in sharing the blessings we have that brings happiness.
The visit to the handicapped home brought these handicapped children into our lives and by you reading this story they have come into yours as well. It is often said that everything happens for a reason and people come into your life is also for a reason. The visit to the handicapped home should make us ponder on why these unfortunate children ever came into our lives. Should we just ignore them and move on as though they never exist? Or should we do something to help them in whatever little ways we can with the little we have? Let’s search our hearts for the answer.
What can do for Rumah Cacat YRJS
1. Collect cash, food items, clothing and recycling items and send them to the home.
2. Organise a fund raising dinner and donate all proceeding to the home
3. Celebrate some memorable occasions with them
4. Ignore them and move on to something other project as the home appears to have adequate support from the public
If we feel we should something let’s organise ourselves and plan our moves.