Friday, August 12, 2016

Pampering The Single Mums

Parents Without Partners Bhd’s poor single mums were given a creative pampering for the first time in their lives by US based Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Three young girls from YWAM, Courtney, Allison and Melissa had travelled to many of poorer parts of the world assisting the poor and the needy communities where the need was greatest.

This time, they paid a visit to Malaysia and were introduced into the personal lives of poor single mothers living in at government low cost flats at Lembah Subang in Selangor, Malaysia.
Courtney, Allison and Melissa shared a passion to care for the needy while building up their intrinsic worth, value and personal identity.

The three vibrant young women had gone through quite a number of unnerving experiences on their global charitable travels but nothing prepared them for the conditions they saw in what was supposed to be a modern country like Malaysia.

Led by social coordinator, Jayapratha the trio arrived at Lembah Subang, only to discover the elevator had not been functioning for the past two months. For the locals, this was nothing new, it often happens due to poor maintenance and vandalism. We were left with no choice but to walk up the flight of stairs, all the way up to 12th floor! While walking up the stairs, they saw firsthand the pitiful condition of the stairs, it was a veritable eyesore and the urine stench as well as the stench from the rubbish being dumped was nauseating. The safety factor of walking up and down the stairs was shocking due to the lack of metal railings to hold on to, on some flights of stairs. Making the matter worse was that there were no lights at all forcing the team to use their mobile phone torches to light up their way up.

Kalawathy a single mother of one daughter had her front door wide open to welcome the very tired bunch. The visitors were given a very warm greeting and gratefully agreed to be seated while waiting for the other single mums to show up. While waiting for the others to show up, Courtney, Allison and Melissa chatted with Kalawathy to learn more about her plight. When the other single mums arrived, they were given a short introduction to the three Americans and were pleased to be told that they had a treat in store for the single mums - nail polish and henna art pampering!

The 3 single mums were given the opportunity to choose their personal choice of nail polish colour which would be then painted on their nails. Mellissa and Allison begin pampering the single mothers with a hand massage each, something the single mothers had never enjoyed before because such manicure treatment usually costs around RM100 and above in spas. For these single mothers it was offered for free of charge by YWAM girls.

Nanthini, a single mother of 4 kids, said she had never had the thrill of pampering her hands, “This is my first,” she said. . Even her 4 year old daughter was given a manicure treatment, and like her mother, was thrilled to bits to have her nails painted! Kalawathy and her 13 year old daughter as well as her niece grabbed the opportunity to be pampered by Melissa and Allison while the henna art was carried out by Courtney. Kala, Nanthini and the other single mum were flabbergasted by Courtney’s artistic henna art work, and praised her talent in this skill which originates from Indians rather than a Westerner!

A very pleased Kala, prepared a simple lunch for everyone, offering fried chicken sambal, simple salad, rice and coffee. Everyone found the simple spicy meal, enjoyable time.

When asked, what they enjoyed the most from the pampering of single mums’ session, Courtney, who heads the YWAM team, shared that she was happy she could bring a refreshing and enjoyable talent to PWP’s single mums. Allison on the other hand enjoyed making people laugh and loves to hang out and casually chat with them. Mellissa shared that she loves to connect with different people, hear first hand their struggles and their challenges as well as how they are able to overcome such difficulties.

The trio, Courtney, Mellissa and Allison were delighted that they together with PWP could be a real blessing to these hardworking single mothers and families. Truly though, it was only a couple of hours, it was still a great time of bonding , a time of fun , a time of pampering and personal sharing , all of which was worth their weight in gold.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jumble Station Hari Raya Celebration.
Jumble Station had the Hari Raya celebration with its Muslim staffs on Tuesday, 21st July held at Reading Station. We had a Pot Bless dinner with each staff contributing a dish or two. From ‘ketupat’ , succulent mutton ‘rendang’, chicken cooked in coconut with chilies and turmeric, mixed vegetables, spaghetti and many more.
The table was filled with lots of home cooked food, local desserts, kuih nyonya and cordial drinks.
The celebration was filled with love, joy and laughter. The kids were blessed with "Duit Raya" by Mdm Lian See Lim.
Jumble Station wishes all "Selamat Hari Raya"

Friday, July 8, 2016

A volunteer shares her Reading Station experience.
Reading Station (RS) is a place with great potential. Every child who walks through the door is bursting with potential that’s just waiting to be nurtured. Many of them lack the learning environment and the opportunity that some of us possess but that can change, not overnight, not even over a period of a year but over a long period of prayer, hard work and Godly faith. That was the essence of what I felt when I first visited Reading Station recently.

What is really amazing is to see children both so obedient yet extremely hungry to learn. In my first session with them, they courageously overcome their innate shyness and showed great improvements by the end of the class session. Of course, we had fun. I know I did and I know my four year old son did. He told me in the car on our way back home, ‘mommy, I like it when you are the teacher’ – that was music to my ears.

My second session was different but equally interesting and encouraging. I was asked to bring props for a drama class and being the least imaginative person you can think of, I thought of balloon sculpture as a way to reach out to the kids at RS. I used to do that for other disadvantaged communities so balloon sculpture it would have to be and it was my hope that the children at RS would be as interested in learning about balloon sculpturing as the children elsewhere.

However since I’m pretty terrible at it, I roped in my hubby to help out and he willingly agreed to assist. Since it was also Father’s Day we thought it would be a good opportunity to show our two boys that we can be spiritual parents to other children, some whom may be fatherless.

So there we were at RS complete with balloons, pumps, pens and all…and lo and behold, no one was there. It was the fasting month and many children had to help out their family at the daily food bazaar. Only two new students finally turned up but we wanted the previous batch of students to also attend and enjoy this second session. So armed with balloon sculptures, we went to a couple of flats and knocked on doors. The earlier batch of kids all could not make it for various reasons but we met a few new children along the way and they were really excited to see the balloon animals and the flowers. I was praying for at least 10 students and 15 of them would be great and mercifully we finally drew in 15 children. At one point, we literally had children following us to the Reading Station and it was very encouraging. Needless to say, my boys and my hubby too had great fun that day and I had a lot of exercise so that was a nice bonus. All in all, it was a great day.

Challenges? I am not quite in a position to share on challenges since I’ve just started volunteering. But, something else, more challenging comes to mind. As we went knocking on doors looking for students, I was reminded about the poor living conditions of the place. Lifts were broken down (and waiting for lifts took a long time), doors have fallen apart, graffiti filled the walls, rubbish even faeces decorated the stairwells – all these were not exactly the most conducive of living conditions.

My thoughts were that many who live there either don’t have much of a choice in the matter or they themselves contributed to the terrible condition because they are bitter with life. The challenge I realise is that we need to do something about it. Not at once, maybe not in the very near future but there has to be a long term plan to transform the entire community and improving its environment. Of course that’s easier said than done but we have a powerful God of the impossible and with His help we can make an impact on the children we serve and also in the process make an impact on their parents, their friends, relatives and the entire community. It may take years of hard work but I believe that God has a purpose for this community, a purpose that is far beyond the reading classes and interesting activities we now hold. What we are presently doing is opening a door to this community who really needs support.

My message is, if you are already volunteering and serving the disadvantaged, continue your amazing work. If you are not, do consider giving a little of your time to Reading station and see how God works. I’m starting small myself due to my other commitments but I believe as we each bring something small to those at Reading Station, God will perform his great miracle of impactful change.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wishing all our Muslim friends, Selamat Hari Raya.
From the Management and Staff of PWP.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Wishing all fathers, a Happy Father's Day

From the Management & Staff of PWP

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Volunteering for a charity can be a hit or miss affair as some of us have discovered but a group of UM students who recently volunteered at Reading Station have found the experience both enlightening and unforgettable.
Nur Ashikin Abdullah Sani said that the experience she gained from participating in the volunteer process was "indescribable". "It was eye opening for me to see the hope and happiness shining through the children's eyes when they saw us, that was truly beautiful. It made me realize how fortunate I am to be raised in an environment where my families supported me and there was no barriers between me and my dreams." She added that RS' program helps poor children understand that it's okay to be children, it's okay to have fun and discover the beautiful world of knowledge. I hope that this program will attract more support and volunteers to help out these children and families in need. PWP initiated it, it's up to us to see it through."
Aneesa Aldous Mohamed found the experience at Reading Station, USJ 1 on the 8th of May 2016 a truly rewarding one. Nervous at first, she expected the children to be playful and might not be able to focus on the activities planned. "Surprisingly, they exceeded my expectations, they were cooperative and very eager to participate in the activities planned. I feel RS is a great opportunity for them to gain more knowledge as well as train them to become active in a community." It was a great opportunity for me to help inspire them to read and learn English.
I am thankful for this experience as it made me realise different people with different backgrounds have less opportunities to study and although I grew up in Subang Jaya, I never knew there were really poor people in this area. I was shocked that the children had to live in such conditions.
I'm amazed with PWP and it's social coordinator Ms. Jaya determination to educate the children and encourage them to attend classes. I also realize the importance and responsibilities of the community to step out to help educate and guide these children by volunteering. I hope that the activities we did had an impact and would help the children in the long run," she added.
Anyone keen to help out at Reading Station do contact Jaya at 019 - 233 1730 (9am - 5pm) for inquiries .

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Promoting Reading Station

Reading Station, a community corner designed to reach out to poor kids in Angsana low cost flats Subang Mewah Subang Jaya is now a reality.
Here is a place where kids can come to learn to read and communicate in English, share their views, and most importantly grow in the love of the language.
Since December 2015 the Reading Station opened its doors to the youngsters every (Tuesday) for reading purposes only . Despite the small numberof volunteers in the Reading Station, the kids are beginning to embrace the concept, the environment and , the culture designed to inculcate a love for reading.
Their keenness induced PWP open the premises on Sundays too where the kids can discover the joys of reading, drama, music and songs, /dance, as well as arts and crafts.
PWP Social Coordinator, Jayapratha together with Operations Manager, Adrian Ong stepped up the exposure by giving out flyers to the many residents at Angsana Flats in hopes of encouraging them to turn up for Sunday classes. In the process, PWP discovered that the parents are excited. They expressed their desire for their kids to learn ,to achieve their fullest potential and not waste time watching TV or grow wild on the streets.
Since many of these parents can’t afford to send their children for tuition or to the public library. Reading Station is now the nearest community library for them.
On Sundays the hours are from 2pm – 3pm for the Singing /Dancing/Drama/Story Telling, followed by Arts and Crafts from 3pm to 4pm. When the children were asked what they really liked on the first day of orientation, one kid said “lukis!” (drawing) another said “menari” (dancing). When asked what they want to be when they grow up , one said “fashion designer!” another “teacher!” “engineer!”so on. What it shows is that these kids have the same big dreams as their urban counterparts.
What Reading Station needs now are truly dedicated and keen volunteers willing to share their time and skills on Sundays. What’s lovely is the PWP has started to receive callsand queries from some folks and this is a positive sign indeed. Nevertheless we need people willing to commit their Sundays and be rostered to help out as helpers to break the vicious cycle of poverty by inspiring a whole new generation of English language and creative youngsters of the future. Together we can make Reading Station a catalyst for success in Malaysia.
For more info call:Jaya.B @ 019 - 233 1730 (9am - 5pm)