Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Welfare group organises food and clothing giveaway for refugees and the underprivileged in Selayang

A Myanmar refugee leaving with a smile along with her son after receiving the donations.

OVER 500 Myanmar refugees and poor Malaysians in Selayang can observe Ramadan without having to worry about food and clothing for Hari Raya, thanks to the Malaysian International Welfare and Humanitarian Organisation (MyWelfare).

The organisation, a registered society that advocates and supports the welfare and dignity of the marginalised minorities in society, held a Ramadan Garage Giveaway event recently providing them with food packets, clothes and toys.

MyWelfare acting president Badariah Abdul said the organisation’s main focus was to provide welfare and support for refugees and asylum seekers, particularly the Rohingyas from Myanmar.

She also thanked Mon Space (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and executive director Datuk Seri Jessy Lai for donating an ambulance worth RM300,000 and St. John Ambulance Malaysia (Pantai Selangor region) vice-president Datuk Lee Kim Tian for agreeing to operate the ambulance on behalf of MyWelfare.

“We are also indebted to MBI International Sdn Bhd for giving us an initial grant of RM100,000 to enable us to launch our first programme,” added Badariah.

Also present during the charity event were Mon Space (M) Sdn Bhd treasurer Rothman Lim See Chong, Mon Space (M) Sdn Bhd hotel manager Liow Miow Keong along with MyWelfare community adviser Uztaz Rafik and Malaysia freelance journalist, fixer, producer and documentary filmmaker Jules Rahman Ong.

(From left) Lee, Lim, Liow and Badariah briefing St. John Ambulance members on the giveaway.

One of the main components of MyWelfare is providing assistance to refugees who had limited access to healthcare.

Among facilities provided by MyWelfare are Rainbow of Love Informal school for refugee children, free medical clinics in collaboration with IMAM Response and Relief Team (IMARET) and Buddhist Tzu Chi, assistance to negotiate for hospital access in cases of medical emergencies, food and clothing distribution via monthly Garage Giveaways and the collaboration with The Berani Project in developing skills training centre for refugees to earn a living.

Jules said over 150,000 existing registered refugees and asylum seekers with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) did not have official legal recognition in Malaysia.

“Refugees are not allowed to legally work, their children cannot attend formal schools and they have limited medical access.

“The absence of a legal recognition renders them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse,” he said, adding that MyWelfare was supported by public donations and contributions.