KUALA LUMPUR – December 5, 2016: Badariah Abdul Hamid used to spend her days up in the sky, tending to the needs of those en route to various destinations.
Eighteen years later, the former air stewardess is still looking after the needs of others but with her feet firmly on the ground.
Unlike her previous care who were always going somewhere, those within the Selayang-based Rohingya community she has been taking care of over the last three years are not planning to go anywhere.
“We decided to be a Rohingya-focused charity because we noticed the lack of charities taking care of their welfare,” she said of her volunteers who call the organisation she founded, B&A Garage Giveaway .
“And those that help the community are inconsistent in their care-giving. The 10 of us would normally encourage the public, through the use social media, to drop off basic items such as rice, sugar and flour at our community centre in Selayang,” said Badariah.
She and her team choose to set-up the community centre in Selayang because there are about 10,000 Rohingya refugees living there, hence easing their monthly food distribution efforts.
“Once we have gathered enough food and pick the distribution date, we will call in our volunteers and the selected Rohingya families to collect the food that we packed for them,” she told The Mole.
But handing out some 700 to 1,000 bags of basic necessities is not the only effort by Badariah and team to help the community which has been systematically prosecuted in their country, Myanmar.
“We also do fundraising to buy them clothes, cooking utensils, mattresses, furniture and electrical appliances,” said Badariah.
The centre doubles as an informal school for Rohingya children. It’s called Sekolah Pelangi Kasih (Rainbow of Love). There are currently 75 children attending from 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Saturdays. Lunch and tea are provided free.
“Our school and syllabus are recognised by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) but neither them nor the government has provided us with any financial aid. Everything we do so far is purely crowd-funded.
“We will also invite volunteer doctors and dentists to our centre to conduct a monthly health screening,” said Badariah.
The latest garage-giveaway activity of Badariah’s team will be on Dec. 17 from 11am to 1pm.
Those who are interested to contribute to the cause or know more may contact Badariah at 019-3563836.