Holistic Approach towards Ending Poverty: Socio-demographic Profiling of Charity Right Recipients in Perlis
“They showed that charity isn’t always about we giving away some cash but we also can do charity by our expressing our kindness towards others.”- IIUM Student (Participant of Foster Family Program Perlis)
That’s probably one of the biggest gems the participants of IIUM-MMM Charity Right Community Engagement (Foster Family) Program gain during the three days event that had taken place in Perlis from 14th to 16th February 2020.
The first IIUM-MMM Charity Right Community Engagement Program was successfully organised by IIUM in collaboration with Mercy Mission Malaysia (MMM) on 14-15 November 2019. Apart from motivational program with students from SK Seberang Ramai, SK Simpang Empat & SK Padang Keria (facilitated by STEADFAST Club under CENSERVE), there was also foster family program involving the Charity Right recipients.
Apart from exposing the students on the reality of the less fortunate people on the ground, the aim of the foster family program was to map a socio-demographic profiling of the family of recipients of Charity Right: Feed to Educate Program. During this engagement and stay, facilitators need to complete a set of questionnaire, which include sections on education, financial, and health background of the family involved.
Upon the success of the first program, all stakeholders involved realize the need to ensure the continuation of the program and making sure that more families are involved. Upholding the spirit of Leaving No One Behind and Rahmatan Lil Alamin (mercy to all mankind), the second program was conducted with more participation from the students. The duration of stay with the foster family has been made longer to provide ample time for the facilitators and the family to build rapport thus ensuring the richness of the data collected which will help in understanding the full picture of the socioeconomic and health background of the family.
The program was conducted in a way that the morning was filled with activities with the school students focusing on their motivation for education, and giving them Basic English language exposure, while the later evening was spent with the foster family. In this program, facilitators were trained to sharpen their leadership skill, communication with various ages of society, adaptation to new situation, and teambuilding skill. Apart form the soft skill obtained, specific skill on data collection and observation were also incorporated as part of on-job training in this program.
Sejahtera Centre for Sustainability and Humanity IIUM Team, led by our Director went to visit some of the recipients’ family. The whole visit was eye opening to us all. Children with stunted growth, house with no proper room, the struggle to get clean water and sanitation, and access to a meal once every other day are common scenarios we encounter during our visit. While some people in other parts of the world specifically Malaysia are enjoying various scrumptious delicacies, there are some who could not even afford a decent meal once a day. While we are arguing about which hotel is the best to stay for the next vacation, there are still who find shelter in a small hut with no rooms or toilets.
As we successfully conducted the program and strengthen our profiling database, we are now moving forward to involve more stakeholders especially the related agencies and community leaders to discuss on the long-term solutions for the problems. Clearly, eradication of poverty and zero hunger are not achievable by just giving stipend or other ‘quick fix’ solution. Various stakeholders need to be hand in hand in achieving these goals.
Putting all the story of living proof of unsustainable development and economic gap aside, what amazed us the most is the ability of the affected family to happily greet us and offer their genuine smile even when the world around them seems to be collapsing. Upon returning to Kuala Lumpur, there is one conclusion all of us could agree on; “What we did was just a first step and we definitely need to do more”.
Our heartfelt gratitude to the agencies involved in ensuring the success of this program; Mercy Mission Malaysia,Majlis Agama Islam Perlis, Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Keria and Sekolah Kebangsaan Simpang Empat.
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