Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saving Lives

On a rainy Saturday afternoon last weekend, I made my way to a quiet house in PJ which housed homeless kids under the Shelter Organization.How I ended up there that afternoon is a whole other story.

One of my friends gave me a call one day and met up to tell me all about the Shelter Organization and the work they were doing. He wanted to see if we could use blogs as a medium to help spread the word about what Shelter really is about and I was open to the idea.

So I paid a visit to the Shelter home to meet one of the people behind Shelter. His name is James Nagayam.In the afternoon that I was there, James shared with me many things that were alien to me until I set foot in that home.

Lots of people think that Shelter homes are for kids that have lost their parents at a young age. While that is true... that is only half the story. Many of the kids that need help today are migrants who are unable to study or work in this country, kids who have no birth certificates meaning they technically don't exist and aren't allowed to live a normal life and most importantly abused and sexually abused children.

I'm going to start with the migrant population.

Migrant Population

The registered migrant population in Malaysia currently is at 2.6 million. Now there are NO refugee camps in Malaysia, that means refugees in Malaysia are scattered all over the country with most of them in Klang Valley sharing spaces in groups of up to 20 people near construction sites or low cost apartments. Now here's the question.... what's gonna happen to these people if they can't go to school or work. Sooner or later... the only other means of finding a living is... through crime right?

Abused and Sexually Abused Children

Many children are not as lucky as many of us when we were growing up. Sure my Dad beat the hell out of me when I was growing up as a kid, but after he knew he had taught me my lesson he would come back and give me all the compassion I needed as a kid.

These parents who beat their children beat them till kingdom come and leave them on their own to lick their wounds.

That doesn't even bring up the sexually abused children problem!

James told me that when you talk to any of the sexually abused children who were 3-5 years old and show them a doll asking them where their father had touched them, they would point at the right places.
Kids in Prison

Then there are the kids in our prison.

Currently there are about 2,700 young prisoners in prison all over Malaysia, about 700 of them along are in Kajang Prison.

In Malaysia, a child can go to prison as long as he's 10 years old.

10 YEARS OLD!!! How could they have known any better!!

Missing Girls

About 8 girls go missing a day. That means 240 a month and 2,880 a year! Now 2,880 is the student population of my entire secondary school.

Where do all these girls go? Many to child prostitution rings. How sick is that!

While many of us grow up with ice-cream, toys and barbie dolls for the girls, these girls grow up in brothels.

Heck I met one child there who was left at the home by his parents because his parents owed Ah Long's a great deal of money and wanted to give him protection.

Another child had lost both his parents at a very young age and now only relies on the volunteers at Shelter for compassion and love.

The people at Shelter have taken in all these unfortunate kids and done their very well in putting them in comfortable homes.

These are kids that have as much promise as all of us had when we were their age.

Kids that are smart and creative. Just look at what they did here.

They built a house with just plastic forks, combs and sponges.

And just like me when I was young, they had little comic stickers all over their cupboards.
and enjoyed putting on bunny ears on their elders when they were having pictures taken.

When I hear all these stories.

I want to be able to help and sure I don't have millions now to donate so I'm gonna do whatever I can with the readership my thousands of readers have blessed me with and shed some light on these issues.

In this entry, I am hoping to educate, not solicit eventhough Shelter's funds are audited. If any of you want to help out whether in terms of monetary means or volunteer work you can pay a visit to Shelter's website here.
For the rest of you, just think about these issues over this weekend. Issues that we can't ignore because it's happening in our own backyard.

And issues that one day will affect our way of life.


§oŁЇtǺ®ÿ ®o§ě said...


Thanks for your post. I've been wondering where and how do I get to do charity and voluntary work after my A level finals. Now I know and what's best is working with kids. (:

I guess we just never really thought of the other kids with those conditions.

Thanks for opening my eyes to more in-depth knowledge about kids in homes. (:

RedAlf said...

it's so pitiful. the harshest of the harsh reality.
man, i'm only 21 but looking at them and comparing to myself, life's unfair to them even more.

pinkpau said...

stewie this post is so touching. thank u for sharing with us :) it's a real big wake up call.

joshuaongys said...

there're many and really many other homes like this... sigh...well, "blogs as a medium to help spread the word about what Shelter really is about" sounds interesting =)

Paint Me Gorgeous said...

the little boy in red is very manja! did u meet his sister? looks EXACTLY like him, macam photostat.

good that you're spreading the news.

Anonymous said...

Great great post.. i used to be an anonymous reader for a long time, but this post is really good.. so good that it made me tear..

Keep on writing!

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JacJac said...

so touching.

Good job in spreading the words around. Better than nothing

Ganbatte ne


jessbabe said...

eugene my boy.. aren't his eyes captivating???

this shelter home seemed famous, many people been there including me :P

Your Humble Servant said...

Pity them

zє๓ค๔-ﻮคlz said...

Hello I am just a passer here (:

Uhhm, just wanted to say that, my (primary)school is bringing the top 20 leaders in our school to go to a shelter, like they did last year. They have chosen 23 & I'm not in there...
before I read your post I was like "nvm after all I so pai kia they choose me for what luh".
But now, I really feel like going D:

gah D:

3POINT8 said...

Hopefully they have a brighter future ahead of them...

And So i Am said...

I did my internship with the KL United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and though nothing much can be done for these refugee kids, yes the UN is actually trying hard.
This situation is happening as Malaysia government is still refusing to accept refugees nor offer help. Help is only offered to the Rohingyas (Muslim from Myanmar) by giving them work permit. for the rest of the other refugees they have to seek help from the UN but due to lack of man power and finance, help cannot be offered to all. however, the UN is working hard to replace them in the 3rd country where they'll then have brighter chances of living a better life.
However we cannot blame the government for not recognizing them as refugees who can seek refuge from our country as Malaysia is yet to be really successful developmental wise and to cope up and having to juggle these will be a problem to our country too.

It is sad that this is happening and I'm glad someone has finally seen the need to see to this situation. Those who wish to help can contribute (not only financially but also man power wise!) help to the shelter organization mentioned by timothy tiah or also the Woman's Aid Organization (WAO) or the UNHCR! =)

radical85 said...

so the kids call u uncle timothy or koko? XD

ladybird said...

I'm so touched reading the story.

Haha....I guess your Mr Happy's shirt did make them happy perhaps??

février said...

aw, you're so sweet :)

cendolic said...

I was there last year and the boy in red left a lasting impression on me.
He taught me a lesson that I didn't even knew I didn't know. He put me to shame. There has GOT to be More than this... but I can't find it.

KY said...

I wanna give chipsters!

Genova said...

it's a nice post. many things that i am not aware of.

Anonymous said...

good post tim.

Belle said...

need anything email me

i can say i cant do donation since i need that much for myself..but atleast paying a visits, spend some time with the children. i can do that.

it's already affecting us actually. where does those flashers, molesters, prostitute, murderer come about? they are usually being brought up without a family or there is nothing they can do to their life nymore.

curryegg said...

Sexually abuse?
The toy? OMG... should tell Mr bean about his toy.. lol..
And it's great to see you helping them around.. good job!


Linora 'Aronil' Low said...

Tim.., when you blog about stuff like this, you are really all heart :) Keep it up man and do let me know if you need help in spreading word on this.