Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Star staff and NGO come together to distribute food parcels and necessities to refugees


Staff of Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd and its subsidiary Leaderonomics packing food and daily necessities for 100 refugee families throughout Malaysia at Menara Star.
Staff of Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd and its subsidiary Leaderonomics packing food and daily necessities for 100 refugee families throughout Malaysia at Menara Star.

BY JAROD LIM
 JARODLIM@THESTAR.COM.MY

 IN CONJUNCTION with the month of Ramadan, 31 volunteers from The Star media group helped pack food and daily necessities for 100 refugee families in Malaysia. The event, part of The Star’s Do Good. Volunteer (DGV) initiative is in support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Food Parcel Programme. Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd group marketing and corporate communication manager Siti Hajar Abdul Rahman said UNHCR had approached The Star to highlight that help was needed.

 “Each month, 100 families will be given food parcels that would sustain them for one month. “Refugees in Malaysia are not living under ideal conditions and even with assistance from NGOs and UNHCR, they are often left to fend for themselves. They do not have a regular source of income for their daily needs. “The Star media group is happy to support this programme,” she said. Bags of food comprising biscuits, noodles, rice, cooking oil, canned food and flour as well as daily necessities such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes were packed and transferred to UNHCR and The Sahabat Support Centre (SSC). UNHCR and SSC will then hand the food and necessities to refugee families each month.

 The contents are packed according to the different dietary requirements of each community. Editor of myStarjob.com Lily Cheah said she was proud to be part of the company’s engagement with the community. “Although packing food for the refugees is a simple task for us, what we are doing means a lot to the communities concerned. “This gesture can provide them with some relief,” she said. The Star’s Finance executive Joyce Rayappan said she was happy that the company provided a platform for employees to lend a helping hand to the needy. “I have always wanted to do charity but have not been able to because of time constraints.

 “Now, I can contribute to the needy as well as get to know other staff members from different departments,” she said. Siti Hajar said she would work with UNHCR to allow volunteers to deliver the food directly to the refugees. “This enables volunteers to understand the living conditions of the refugees and connect with them. “With the DGV initiative, we want to raise awareness on different causes and help connect volunteers to those that need help.

 “We hope our employee volunteer programme will inspire other companies to introduce similar initiatives. “It is an important and effective way to build relationships and engage with the employees while giving back to the community,” she said.