Monday, June 14, 2010

Raba'ah's Plea

Ustazah Raba'ah Abdul Aziz who, together with her husband Ustaz Zawawi Ramli, co-founded shelter home Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih in Puchong, Selangor Darul Ehsan in 2006.

Frankly, it was an insignificant effort on my part. All I ever did was write about it, which was nothing to shout about since the article also served my own admittedly selfish interest of filling my blog pages.

I had not expected the cascading effect from such a trivial (to my mind) post. I only learned about it after a recent meeting (our fourth in just as many years) with the gutsy lady in the thick of it all, within whose slight frame dwells a heart overflowing with love and compassion.

Comely ustazah Raba'ah Abdul Aziz cut a pretty picture, which was hardly surprising considering she once owned a boutique. But from a house of fashion to a house chockful of orphans and destitutes, that was some incredible journey she had made.

In 2007, whilst serving Tan Sri Muhyiddin Charity Golf (here) as its public relations consultant, I had singled out Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih (here) as one of the beneficiaries of TSMCG's annual donation drive.

Last year, our paths crossed again when a close friend informed that the shelter home needed rice to feed its 100 inmates. Ramadan was then around the corner and the home was running on empty.

In this land of plenty, with Baitulmal (here) dragging its feet despite having half a billion ringgit of zakat (property tax/tithe) money that ought to have been disbursed quickly and evenly to help the needy, this orphanage's lack of rice was particularly galling to note.

The problem faced by the home was further compounded by the fact that it also provided assistance to some 100 single mothers and mualaf (Muslim convert) wives abandoned by their husbands.

To these unfortunate women and their children, Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih was their lifeline. It was to the shelter they turned to when they ran out of food and money.

We brought TV3 into the picture and the story appeared on primetime news not long after. Almost immediately, Bernas dispatched a truckful of rice to the home. Many generous Malaysians also came forward to help. Syukur, Alhamdulillah.

Two months ago this blog highlighted a company that markets an American-manufactured cleaning device called FilterQueen (here), for the simple reason that I was impressed enough with what the contraption could do to remove dust mites.

Last month, the FilterQueen management requested a meeting with yours truly to convey their appreciation for the blogpiece and to ask for help in identifying a suitable charity for a monetary donation.

Visions of solemn-eyed boys and girls of Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih immediately came to fore. I placed a call to Raba'ah to convey the good news from FilterQueen and we met a few days later to hand over the cheque.

Thanking the donor profusely, she said the money was timely. "Every year it's the same, Kak. We would have enough to get by when the new year began but our coffer would dry up a month or two before Ramadan.

"Things usually got back on track after Hari Raya when money came in from Muslim well-wishers who paid their zakat direct to charitable bodies like ours."

Despite the ever-present challenges, Raba'ah and Zawawi persevered. In fact, they had just established another shelter, Rumah Sentuhan Budi, in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur.

The orphanage, located in two adjoining semi-detached units rented at RM2,000 per month, currently houses 20 underprivileged children, mostly orphans.

"If we keep thinking about obstacles, we would never get anywhere, Kak. We would rather get started and deal with the problems as we move along. Kepada Allah kami berserah."

Raba'ah and her team now have 140 orphans, wargamas (old folks) and destitutes under their wing at the two homes, and this number does not include the non-residential dependents.

Nearly 100 single mothers and 10 abandoned mualaf wives, as well as two cancer-stricken mothers (also abandoned by their respective husbands) also latch their hopes on Raba'ah and Zawawi.

One of the two ailing mothers is now completely bedridden and depends entirely on Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih to survive. Although very sick, she is raising six children on her own.

Raba'ah said the single mom does receive welfare support but it isn't enough, because her medication alone costs almost RM100 a month.

She reiterated that the shelter never turned anybody away, no matter how straitened its own circumstances. She said the poor was always at their door, mostly for beras (rice).

"People need to eat, that's reality. We need foodstuff and household items, Kak. If only we have people who could sponsor fish, chicken, eggs, flour, detergents .... everyday stuff, we'd be very grateful indeed."

For the new shelter in Sentul, among its immediate needs are a grass cutting machine ("the yard needs constant trimming to avoid snakes"), a photocopier ("we do a lot of printing & photostating for the children' s schooling and lessons") and some computers.

Please let me know if there are any available for donation. Alternatively you can contact Puan Nora, who manages the Sentul shelter, at 016-3079287.

Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih
Lot 115, Lorong Bistari 5
Kg Sri Aman, Jalan Jurutera
Batu 13, 47100 Puchong

Tel: 03-80618050
Fax: 03-80607514

Ustazah Raba'ah Abdul Aziz (019-2227339)
Ustaz Zawawi Ramli (016-3627913)

Bank Account:
Maybank 512343531956 under "Rumah Limpahan Kasih"


Lyza said...

Salam Aunty Kama, I am extending the plea through my fb, any contact no for the Puchong house?


Kama At-Tarawis said...

wsalam lyza & thanks for your quick response. I have just added the puchong shelter details to the entry.

Wan Sharif said...

God bless you..Puteri
Will keep refering to this entry (albeit cut and paste to personal file for future use) may also collect money amongst my friends over here.. Salam.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

what a wonderful response, Wan. Tqtq! You brought tears to my eyes pagi2 hari..:-)

ninotaziz said...

Dear Kak Kama,

I hope you don't mind, I have pasted this on my FB notes:

Raba'ah's Plea by

Just forwarding a post by blogger for a good cause

Ustazah Raba'ah Abdul Aziz who, together with her husband Ustaz Zawawi Ramli, co-founded shelter home Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih in Puchong, Selangor Darul Ehsan in 2006...

Kama At-Tarawis said...

you're most welcome ninot..

Snakebite said...

thanks for this piece. will call the number. hope they accept small amount

Kama At-Tarawis said...

snakebite - dont worry, they accept any sadaqah - in cash or kind - dengan tangan terbuka. May God bless you..

Anonymous said...

Salam, minta izin nak war warkan and buat posting ya.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Anon - tak perlu izin, dear, silakan dengan senang hati :-)

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Puteri,
Collected +RM200 thru circular.. will collect myself tomorrow.. I complain macamana nak bagi beras bernilai RM200 kepada 200 orang.. friends said collect in 10 days time after gaji.. Told them.. beras tak ada ..masa ni!!
Should I wait till then or send the money tomorrow?..

Kama At-Tarawis said...

wan - you can wait till month's end sebab they hv just received some $$ from a donor that could last for at least a month. at least kalau dapat gaji buleh bagi lebih sikit, kan..

Wan Sharif said...

Thanks Puteri,
Now that there will be enough rice to go around.. I can breathe a little easier.. now I have collected 1000 +,
will go and disturb the big bosses in the afternoon to see whether we can add another thousand to the coffer..
Not that difficult really..just print your entry.. use artliner to highlight the pertinent detail.. then tell them the no rice story.. la Voila.. the money trickle in..
will wait till the gaji time.. as per your advice, hopefully can give them some amount that can ease them till Ramadhan...

Anonymous said...

called the ustad on the number given. asked for acct no. so that i can make a small monthly contribution. he said he will msg me but never did. sent the same request to both the numbers via sms. no reply. i suppose they only accept big contributions. sorry then, i misunderstood. my bad.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Anon - sorry for not putting their bank account number earlier on. It is on their website, though. I have just added it top this post.

Anyway, the ustazah is in Egypt making arrangements for their students there (they hv just sent some students over the study Arabic), that's why she's not answering her mobile. As for the ustaz, he's left running around in the absence of his wife, perhaps he has forgotten. my apologies on his behalf.

Anonymous said...

i just transfered rm200.00.alhamdullilah shukur Allah membuka hati saya.Ya, Allah jadikanlah hamba mu ini insan yang bermurah hati.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Anon 4.12 - May you have Allah's blessings always. Thanks so much. Bergenang airmata saya..

Superfluous_Babe said...

kak kama...
kalau saya nak bayar fidyah, boleh ke terus "pegi/bagi" dekat RALK ni or do i need to go through pusat agihan zakat or something?

Kama At-Tarawis said...

SB, you boleh bayar terus kat RALK. All you have to do is pi jumpa dengan Ustaz Zawawi. He'll know what to do. lebih kurang macam bayar kat counter2 yg majlis agama bukak at shopping malls and masjid jugak.

Anonymous said...

Hey great post. Thought I'm not sure I agree with you 100%. Keep em coming. Are you interested in having anyone guest post opposing views?