MPHS celebrates Sponsor-A-Meal in the spirit of Christmas
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
During this season of giving, an extra RM100 will be credited into the account of the welfare recipients of people with disabilities or special needs.
“Under the Sarawak State Welfare Department (JKMNS), when it comes to festive seasons, an extra amount is credited into the account of the welfare recipients. So, they will get an extra RM100 on top of what they received monthly,” said Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah in her speech during the third Sponsor-A-Meal project at Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suite (MPHS) on Dec 3, noting that the date is actually commemorated worldwide as International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD).
According to the IDPwD official website, the aim of the Day is to apply practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality.
During this special day, progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies are also to be highlighted, as well as promote public awareness to break barriers and open doors: for an inclusive society for all.
As of now, they are 53,528 recipients receiving donations from JKMNS during the festive seasons in Sarawak.
Aside from that, Fatimah also encouraged parents of children or people with disabilities or special needs to register to be able to enjoy various facilities and aid.
From January to November 2015, about 10,318 OKU received RM28,510,100 assistance in Sarawak.
Among the aid that can be enjoyed by people with disabilities or special needs are monthly allowance for Elaun Pekerja Cacat (EPC), Bantuan Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) Tidak Berupaya Bekerja (BTB), and Bantuan Penjagaan Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU)/ Pesakit Kronik Terlantar (BPT), 44 community based rehabilitation centers and 23 facilities.
According to Fatimah, under the welfare department, they aimed to get 5,000 registered OKU this year but from January to November 2015, they only got 2,788 people registered.
“We feel that there is a stigma attached to be an OKU. I am urging to the parents with children of OKU to register their child, so that they can use the facilities prepared for them,” said Fatimah on one of the reasons they fell short of their target.
“And the most important thing is that we want to see our disabled people lead an independent life,” she added.
As of now, there are 46,954 people with disabilities or special needs registered in Sarawak.
According to Fatimah, JKMNS proposed to have an MoU with health clinics especially in rural areas so that the medical teams can help carry out medical examinations and produce verification documents for OKU registration purposes.
In terms of education, Fatimah mentioned that there are pre schools, primary schools and high schools for OKU catering for those with learning, hearing and vision difficulties.
As of now, the total pre school, primary school and high school for OKU in Sarawak are 15, 117 and 45 with a total students of 52, 2,343 and 1,421 respectively.
In line with the Corporate Social Responsibility (SCR) slogan ‘Giving is Living’, Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suite’s organised the third Sponsor-A-meal attended by 170 guests from various charitable organisations in conjunction with the Christmas celebration.
Among the guests invited for the meal session identified by Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites were children from Rumah Kanak-Kanak Kuching Batu 12 and Pertubuhan Kebajikan Nur Murni.
Social Welfare Council of Sarawak has also assisted in inviting children from The Salvation Army’s Children Home, Sarawak Hun Nam Siang T’ng, Sarawak Society for Parents of Children with Special Needs (Pibakat), Dyslexia Association of Sarawak, Sarawak Association for the Welfare of Intellectually Disabled Children (Perkata), The Salvation Army’s Boy Home, and Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society.
During the meal session, the guests were treated to a series of entertainment by CatsFM; Mrs Sarawak 2014, Ezza Noni; SaifulMalaysian Idol; and other invited guests.
The third Sponsor-A-Meal project was made possible by the hotel guests where they contributed by purchasing a voucher worth RM10 to sponsor a meal and MPHS topped up RM10 for each meal to make up to total amount of RM20 to sponsor a meal for the needy.
The vouchers were bought from MPHS F&B outlets; Seattle Coffee & Tea, Ristorante Beccari, and Aurora Court as well as from the reception desk.
An ongoing project, there are no limits to the number of vouchers to be purchased and everyone is welcome to contribute. The hotel is targeting to serve another 100 of those in needs in the next meal.
Also present during the third Sponsor-A-Meal project was Social Welfare Council of Sarawak president Joan Irene Yong.
For more information regarding the Sponsor-A-Meal project, please contact 082-258000 or visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/sponsorameal