Two and a half weeks have passed since the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the team has been tirelessly calling, screening and working with the suppliers to distribute various types of aid since we launched Projek Sinar. This week alone, food aid has been distributed to 260 families in 3 communities!
Earlier in the week, one of our staff shared how she thought the calls would get easier since we've been calling families for the past week. Truthfully, they never get easier. We are still hearing of big families with 7 to 12 members all stuck at home with very little left to get by. When asked what do they have left to eat, one man shared "Kita makan nasi goreng dengan telur." (Translation: We eat fried rice with eggs). When we probe further to ask what they plan to have for dinner, they will say "Tengoklah dapur ada apa. Kalau tak, tengok jiran ada bagi apa kita makan saja" (Translation: We'll see what we have in the kitchen. If not, we'll see if our neighbours give us anything and we'll have that).
Despite these hard conversations, what keeps many of us going is the fact that we know a need is out there and there is a way to fulfill this need. In fact, just seeing all the photos & messages the families send over after receiving the food aid puts a smile on our faces. Their short text saying how thankful they are or sharing about how their children are so happy to see a packet of Milo drink makes all the work worth it.
Family Case #1 Pn. Su's* husband was working as a security guard, but since the MCO started he could not work and there was no income for the family. They had to ration food to the extend of eating just 1 meal a day. All that was left when we called them was just rice. They had no eggs or even vegetables. When the food aid arrived last week, her husband could only stare at it with gratefulness as he was thinking about what's next when their food finishes. "Sangat terharu apabila nampak bekalan," Pn Su said (Translation: I was so grateful to see the food). It was their first time receiving aid. She was really happy when their family was chosen because she has only ever seen other families receiving aid before this and it has really helped them a lot.
Family Case #2 En. Han* had been working as a rider until the MCO period started where he could not work. No one else in the family was working and their savings were not enough to last them till the end of the MCO. When we called, En. Han's wife explained that she could not purchase a lot of things because the mart nearby their home had run out of stock when the panic buying first started. Speaking to her after the food aid was delivered, she said "Apa yang diberikan sekarang pun memang sangat-sangat cukup & ia memenuhi keperluan kita. Terima kasih banyak-banyak." (Translation: Everything that was given is enough and it fulfills our needs. Thank you so much.)
Family Case #3 Pn. Ani* is a single mother who lives with her 2 children, daughter-in-law and 2-month-old grandchild. With only RM20 left, she shared that her work in the factory was stopped when the MCO came into effect. Her son has also been jobless for a month and her daughter-in-law had just given birth 2 months ago. She explained that whatever money she had each month from her work was only enough to purchase instant noodles, eggs and sugar, nothing else. Even then, her pay wasn't fixed and she was not paid before the MCO. When we spoke to her after the food aid delivery, she conveyed her gratitude to those supporting people in need during times like these.
*All the names of the recipients have been changed to protect their identity.
A Collective Effort
All these stories that we get to hear is only possible with what every one of you have contributed. Some of the amazing small business & artists who have started to pledge part of their profits to help fund Projek Sinar are:
Not to mention, these corporates who have helped us share about this cause in one way or another:
NGO Collaboration Necessary
As we enter a new phase of Projek Sinar, more and more families are now calling in to request for aid. However, due to limited resources, we see the need to collaborate with other NGOs who are helping the low-income B40 communities to see if we can work together. Many NGOs are doing their part and we hope that collaborating will help us fulfill the needs that we see. If you know of any NGOs within the vacinity of the PPR Beringin, PPR Sri Pantai or PPR Taman Putra Damai who are doing similar work where we can refer cases to, do reach out to us on social media or firstname.lastname@example.org.