It has been a total of 6 years since we went into the Ulu Tupai slum area to do community work to the poor. Various projects have already been carried out in this area. This slum area has many social problems not only poverty but drugs, alcoholism, family problems and fighting too. Many children there neglect their studies. Rev. Bah War spends most of his time doing home visits, counseling and various relief work to families who need help. We help seniors to change their identity cards. Besides that, those who need medical services we refer to the right doctors, even those in private practice. Most of these doctors are our friends and they give the poor free service even medicines too. We also provide transport to those who need it. Once a month, we go down to Penang to collect one van-load of food to the Taiping hard- core poor (our clients).
We work with Rev. John Mathuni, Tamil Methodist Church, for the tuition classes. There are about 15 young children from primary school who come for tuition. Recently we are working with Aunty Pauline Dass, St. Louis Catholic Church, in developing tuition classes and a learning centre. As for the Income Generation Project, our first project was help a family rear turkeys at Ulu Tupai. We started with 10 small turkeys. We subsidized them everything including turkey feed. Rev. Bah War goes there to supervise that project. We also provided a pair of goats to a chairman of an Indian temple. He is also poor. Subsequently, we helped a few families in our chicken rearing projects. From this year Pastor Manuval joined us as a full-time worker. He joins Rev. Bah War in the various social services for the poor.
Since the beginning of the year 2008, we thank and appreciate the CIMB Foundation who have given us grants for chicken rearing projects as Income Generation Projects for the poor. We identified about 13 poor families around Taiping and an estate in Bagan Serai (about 45 minutes from Taiping town). We build chicken coops, provide chicken feed and get them markets for their animals. With our conditions and supervision they are able to managed it. We are changing the concept of welfare to one of empowering. The next project we hope we can launch are farming projects.
Our objective for out-reach is to reach to those unreached in estates, smaller towns or slum areas out of Taiping. We goes as for as Matang, Kuala Sepetang and few estates in Bagan Serai. We usually reach-out by doing counseling, advice if there are any legal problems, distribute food provisions, used clothes and implement chicken rearing projects for the hard-core poor.
The places we are covering:
At Matang and Kuala Sepetang, we started 2 years ago. We also reach out to the Lauderdale estate and Batu Matang Indian Primary School by giving out clothes, bicycles and as well as motivation talks. We also collaborate with the Taiping Lions Club in eye checking projects for needy students
Kuala Sepetang work started off very slowly. We had just helped 2 disabled friends in disabled people registration in the early years. But in early July 2008, we were privileged to work with a couple who just came back their home town, Kuala Sepetang, for their semester break from Taiwan Bible College. They refered many cases of the disabled and as well as single mothers to us. In mid August, Taiping Chinese Methodist Church started Methodist Caring Centre in this town. We are working closely with them. In early September, we were blessed to receive an opportunity from the headmaster of a Chinese Primary school there to give a motivation talk. More than 200 students attended.
We used to go to Bagan Serai and few estates at least twice a month. Pastor Manu and I visit a few hard-core families and distribute food stuff. We also distribute clothes to estate people. We usually plan a date and time for certain estate people to meet at a common location to choose used clothes from us. We also started chicken rearing projects for identified families. If we receive the grants for farming we will extend to them in Bagan Serai too. We are praying and hoping to start a Bagan Serai PPKT centres by next year.