Sunday, August 23, 2009

Where Love Flows

Ustaz Zawawi Ramli (Ayah), co-founder of Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih. Kedah-born Zawawi used to teach in a religious school.

Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih seen from across the road. It is located in Kampung Seri Aman, Batu 13, Puchong, Selangor.

Hostel for boys. It used to be two housing units tenanted out.

The cramped open-sided dining area for the orphans and other inmates.

The shelter's well-tended plant nursery. The majority of potted plants here are orchids donated by well-wishers.

The newly opened foodstall. One of the boys make a mean roti canai!


Ustazah Raba'ah Abdul Aziz (Umi), founder of Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih. She once ran a boutique.



Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih (also here) appeared on my radar two years ago when I was asked by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) client to prepare a list of deserving causes to receive its annual charity contribution.

Guided by a list provided by a relevant government agency, I duly identified an Indian orphanage in Sungai Petani, Kedah, a shelter for Muslim orphans and the poor in Rawang, Selangor, a church-run old folks home in Pandamaran, Selangor, a religious school badly affected by floods in Pagoh, Johor, and a hospital-based society for needy patients in Kuala Lumpur.

I remember only too vividly speaking on the phone for the first time with ustazah Raba'ah Abdul Aziz, founder of that shelter in Rawang. As soon as I introduced myself and told her the reason for my call, she broke into gentle sobs.

Quietly she confided that the year-old shelter was in dire need of funds to feed its inmates comprising orphans, old folks, single mothers and destitutes.

She added that our NGO's promised contribution was godsend, the culmination of her fervent doas. It was my turn to hold back my tears. We met a forthnight later at the cheque presentation ceremony held in conjunction with the NGO's annual dinner.

Our path crossed again three days ago when I accompanied a TV3 crew to visit the shelter. Someone close had called me two weeks before, informing that the shelter needed help, with the onset of Ramadhan.

After confirming the news, I did the only thing I could think of - alert a friend in TV3 - with the hope that the station could highlight the issue and give the good ustazah and her stressed-out team some breathing space.

Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih has undergone a lot of changes since. Raba'ah and her husband Zawawi started the shelter in 2006 by renting a terrace house in Rawang and turning it into a hostel for orphaned girls, single mothers ad the elderly.

In 2007, her father generously bequeathed their ancestral home and the land where it stood in Kampung Seri Aman in Puchong, together with five other houses belonging to the family and previously rented out to tenants, to the cause.

"My late father was only a factory worker who didn't even have his own transport to go to work. He took the bus daily," Raba'ah recalled. "But he was as generous and kindhearted as they came and I'm only carrying on his good work."

With the help of donors, Raba'ah and her husband renovated the houses into several hostels for boys, a shelter for the homeless (including the elderly, single mothers and converts abandoned by wayward spouses).

The shelter currently houses some 100 inmates, of which 80 are either orphans or children from poor families. Due to space contraint, the girls remain housed in their rented premises in Rawang while the boys are grouped together in Puchong.

The shelter has three vans provided by generous donors, thus solving their transportation problem of ferrying the children to and from schools nearby. But Raba'ah opined that those vans sometimes break down because, more often than not, the shelter cannot afford to send them for service.

To help cut down expenses, the shelter started a vegetable patch. They even managed to grow green grapes. The vegetables however, are hardly enough to cover their own need and they still have to depend on market purchase.

Most of all, however, the shelter needs rice, lots of it. "Rice is so expensive and we have so many mouths to feed. But we have to replenish our stock very often because the poor around here also come to us for rice; we have never turned anyone down because we know hunger only too well."

Raba'ah said apart from shelter residents, they also have 300 orphans, 70 single mothers and 10 abandoned converts registered with Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih. "They live nearby and we provide for them as we do our own."

In fact, the shelter provides seed money for single mothers under their care to start business so that they can be self-supportive. Currently, the women are involved in the business of Raya cookies.

"Some of our girls are also interested in baking and I would dearly like to see them getting professional training in bakery so that they can run their own business some day," said Raba'ah.

The shelter has a pretty well-stocked nursery with plants (nice orchids among them) donated by well-wishers. The boys make the compost themselves and take turns to water and care for the plants.

A month back, the shelter received a whole range of kitchen equipment, from freezer and fridge to cookers, crockery, cutlery and tables and chairs, from a kind-hearted stall operator who has ceased business.

An extension to the boys' hostel was duly built, turning it into a foodstall. The warong offers roti canai, local dishes like fried rice and noodles and laksa, teh tarik, juices and such. According to Raba'ah, business is not too bad, with support from villagers nearby.

Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih needs RM40,000 a month to run the facility. Their only regular donor currently is Pusat Zakat, which gives RM50,000 a year, in two portions of RM25,000 each time. Understandably, the amount is sorely inadequate.

"We need to constantly find money to run this place. It's so stressful but we try our best; it's a responsibility we undertake. We wish we have regular donors to help ease our perennial financial problems," said Raba'ah.

The money is needed mainly to buy food and for the children's schooling expenses, apart from to pay utility bills, to put petrol in the vans, to pay the workers, general maintenance and upkeep of all the hostels and other premises.

"Our workers are not salaried; we don't have the means to pay them. We offer them a token sum each month which they, thankfully, accept."

Raba'ah and Zawawi are in the process of raising funds to build a new complex on a piece of wakaf land adjacent to the premises. The land has been donated by Raba'ah's family to the shelter.

This new complex would house among others, more hostels, quarters for the elderly, a bigger dining hall, an additional surau, a workshop for single mothers, a sick bay and a 'transit hostel' for visiting orphans from other parts of Malaysia.

Yet another piece of land, next to the premises, were recently bought for RM130,000 with the help of generous donors and local people, some of whom paid RM10 apiece for a stake in 'saham akhirat', as Raba'ah good-humouredly called it.

A new and bigger hostel for girls would be built on this newly purchased land. Raba'ah said it made good sense to house everyone within the same compoud.

"Susah orang susah kita, senang kita dikongsi bersama. Itu motto kita," (Your hardship is ours, but our wealth is for sharing. That's our motto)," Raba'ah concluded with a smile.

PS:

1) Please don't forget to visit the website of Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih for details in the event that you want to pay your zakat or make your amal jariah. Giving direct is more personal.

2) Also, the children need Raya clothes.

3) If you wish, you may sponsor a child for RM200/month. This covers all his/her expenses i.e. food & lodgings, schooling & transportation, pocket money etc. Check out the website for more details.


17 comments:

NanaDJ said...

Thank you Puteri, a very timely information. Salam tou you both.

Naz said...

Salam Kak Puteri,
Syukur Alhamdulillah dengan adanya manusia manusia seperti ini.
I will check out their website.
Thanks for informing :)

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, I am touched that there are a lot of people doing such good deeds and you have done you part too. Iskandarsyah is the same, tirelessly working to help others. May they get the help that they need.
will certainly visit the site.

amish said...

Kinda sad as the MP is fully aware of such establishment but did nothing!

oops did I just say that? said...

Salam,

Pure coincidence that my parents and I we donate to this same Rumah Limpahan every month.Not a huge amount, but I hope a little goes a long way..
Probably it's the nearest one that we know off near Subang..

Happy fasting..

edelweiss said...

Kak Puteri,

Thanks for sharing :)

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Puteri,

My utmost respect & salutation to all u magnanimous wonderful people who spared your time, effort & good fortune to help those less fortunate. My late mum is one of those philanthropic souls too & I think that’s the reason why my siblings & I plus our next generation are all blessed too with a decent lifestyle.

Selamat Berpuasa in this holy month of Ramadhan to you & the Abu Clan.

Tommy

Kama said...

NanaDJ, Naz, Kak Teh - Wsalam, indeed masih ada manusia yang murni hati who would sacrifice semata2 untuk kepentingan anak yatim and the underprivileged. May Allah swt beri balasan yg setimpal dengan pengorbanan mereka.

Amish - talking about politicians these days.. susah worr.. juat like the MP under whose care this Puchong is.. asyik nak berpolitik aja, penduduk terbiar. I was told he never jenguk langsung the place.. aduuuhh camno tu..

Oops - syukur there are ppl like you and your family yg memberi bantuan setiap bulan to help ease their problem. I would like to do the same..

Edel- welcome dear..have a good Ramadan.

Tommy - We did what little we could. I would not be able to rest easy if I knew those kids didnt hv enough food and here we are, eating ever so lavishly it's embarrassing..

Suhana said...

Salam Kak Puteri,

Minta izin untuk menggunakan article kakak dan sebarkan kepada rakan yang saya kenali.

Suhana

Kama said...

Suhana - W'salam Suhana, silakan dear, dengan senang hati :-)

Temuk said...

Assalamualaikum
Mohon izin singgah. Paparan puan boleh menyedarkan ramai orang yg tidak tahu & menginsafkan ramai orang yg tidak kenal erti kesusahan. Semoga, insya Allah, lebih ramai lagi yg bakal tampil membantu Rumah Limpahan.

Kama said...

W'salam Temuk. Begitulah hendaknya; semoga ada yg menginsafi betapa senang dan mewahnya hidup kita berbanding penghuni Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih. btw, tq for visiting.

Superfluous_Babe said...

teringat last year, me and sisters joined a berbuka puasa event by kelab alam maritim yang meraikan anak2 dr RALK. sayu sangat tengok diorg....

hopefully ramai lg yg blh menyumbang kearah kebaikan tak kiralah kat RALK or any other places/groups of ppl.

insyaALLAH.

Kama said...

SB - glad to know you hv been to RALK. Sedihkan, looking at all those innocent faces.... mailah kita pakat adopt satu sorang, tanggung expenses of one child...

Al-Manar said...

Isn't there such a thing as kementerian kebajikan dan masyarakat? Is there such a person as a wakil rakyat? I certainly have never met one in my area. How wonderful to see a person like you doing something, in whatever way you can. Semoga diberkatu Tuhan terutama dibulan yang mulia ini. Selamat berpuasa.
Pakcik

Kama said...

Pak Cik. Now dah takder Welfare Ministry macam zaman Fatimah Hashim/Aishah Ghani dulu. Nama ministry dah tukar, scope pun dah berlainan. Now dibawah Sharizat rasanya.

This couple ni pun dah letih naik turun tangga pejabat mintak duit zakat. Red tape berjela, katanya. A lot of time wasted, duit tak tentu lagi dapat.

As for wakil rakyat, kelibatpun tak nampak. Dia loyar macam bapaknya, now tengah sibuk 'berloyar-loyaran' turn naik tangga mahkamah saman gomen sana sini on behalf of 'whatchamacalit'. doh nok buak guane...

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Salam Hajah,

Tq for sharing. May I post this entry of yours on my FB. I hope more support would be pouring in for them, insyaallah.