Run for Hope
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
Growing up, Kelvin Wan said that his family was neither rich nor poor but he experienced and understood the meaning of hunger.
After finishing his Form 5, being the eldest sibing, Kelvin decided to work part-time just to support his family as his younger siblings still needed care and support.
“During that time, I only earned about RM300 every month. By the end of the month, as I used most of money to support my family, I was left with only RM50 to spend for a month,” said Kelvin.
“Basically, you will only have about RM2 to spend a day for a meal, but that was not enough and I could not even afford plate of chicken rice to eat,” he said.
Kelvin was stuck with only RM50 per month to spend on food during his workdays for three years.
“So, I told myself, if I got better next time, I will help those in need and those who are hungry, hoping that they would not experience what I went through,” he said.
With the intention to do good and help people, Kelvin began to look for various NGOs and associations that needed volunteers. But it was not until 2011, that an experience changed not only his life but the lives of more than 130 families in Kuching.
“In 2011, an old man approach me and asked me for food. When I followed him to his home in Kampong Kudei, which was a swampy area, I found out that he lived in a wooden house with no electricity with his old wife and two daughters who both have Down Syndrome,” he said.
Sympathising with the family’s living condition, he began buying them food with his own money and visited them once every two weeks but it was not long until families living around the area began to ask for his help.
“I felt happy helping them, but not long after that the number of families I helped increase and I did not have enough money to help them all,” he said.
He began asking his friends for help. Within a year, Kelvin managed to help about 50 families, and since a huge amount of money is needed to help the less fortunate, Kelvin’s church pastor suggested that he set up an NGO of his own and have it registered to make it accountable.
In February 2012, Hope Place was finally registered at Registrar of Societies (ROS) and got its license.
“Since we were registered, we now help to distribute food to more than 130 families in Kuching to support and spend about RM25,000 worth of food to give away,” he said.
Hope Place is an NGO that visits poor and less fortunate families by contributing essential food items such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, biscuits and noodles as well as adult pampers and milk powders to the elderly and disabled children respectively which out their ais deliveries to family once every two months.
As part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), Affin Hwang Asset Management is organising a charity run, Run For Hope 2015 to raise money for Hope Place on October 4th (Sunday) from 6 am till 8.30 am.
“Apart from doing our CSR, this charity run is also about raising awareness for Hope Place so people could step up and help,” said Affin Hwang Assets Management Regional Manager Sarawak Shen Yeo.
Expecting to have about 1,500 participants, the run now has 600 registered participants. Participants can choose to participate in the 3KM VIP & Fun Charity Run or 6KM Charity Run.
Runners will be given a T-shirt and participating medal and to those who registered by August 16th will be given gifts of DVDs and pictures of the run.
Those who are interested in participating can get the forms at Affin Hwang Asset Management Office at Jalan Laksamana Cheng Ho, Brooks at Green Height Mall, T4 at CityOne, Shine Pharmacy at Brighton Square, Hope Place at Jalan Dogan Batu Kawa, Krista at Taman Centurion as well as during City Jogger Club (CJC) Run every Thursday at MBKS Building at 7 pm before August 31st.
Among those invited for the charity run are Tan Sri Datuk Sri William Mawan Ikom, and Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.
Check out Affin Hwang Facebook page and click ‘Like’ for more information about the run.
For more information, Hope Place can be reached at 013 5672775 from Monday to Friday from 9 am till 12 pm. Those who wish to donate may request for a receipt from staff at Hope Place and may do direct banking into Persatuan Kebajikan Harapan Kuching Maybank 5112-8900-1160