Helping out those less fortunate
With a bottle of water in one hand and a plastic bag full of fresh food in the other, a young child approaches an elderly man sitting on a park bench in Seremban, his parents follow him close behind, urging him forwards.
"Give...give......." they say.
The sustenance offered is taken with quiet humility and a smile is given in return by the elderly man, lessons are learned by everyone.
Above: Mani is a diabetes sufferer and has lost a leg to the disease. He sleeps at the same spot every night beside his wheelchair.
I read once somewhere that one true measure of the goodness within a community is how well they treat the less fortunate amongst them. If what I witnessed on Friday night is any guide then Seremban is in good hands presently as well as the future, with both the elderly and the young learning the communal benefits of caring for those less fortunate.
Every community has homeless people but unfortunately every community does not have an NGO like Perkasih N9, whose mission statement is simple - Do good - It doesn't get much simpler than that, no judging, no pontificating, just helping, listening and trying to understand and assist those who need a hand.
As secretary of Perkasih N9 Norfadilah binti Mansor explains. "We aim to provide food, approach them to advise them if they need it, and let them know they have a friend who is listening to them. Every one has their own life story and we approach homeless people with no assumptions in order to find out the real cause of the occurrence, to figure out a solution to a problem that the community suffers together."
Above: The Perkasih N9 group at the Seremban markets on their 100th mission. The area is a safe and popular spot for those who sleep rough outdoors as the activity at the markets is ongoing in the evening.
Last Friday night was Perkasih N9's 100th mission of giving food, offering medical service, or just a shoulder and an ear to those who need to "open their heart" on the streets of Seremban.
"There is a mixture of elderly and those with limited mental capacity sleeping on the streets of Seremban,
some of them work but the salary is not enough to rent a room so they must sleep outside, or in the bus stands or where ever they can," says Fadilah.
Above: Uncle Chin is 63 years old and says he has been on the street for almost 20 years. He works at the Seremban markets every day from the early morning hours helping the sellers. He sleeps on the bench he is sitting on and has little or no possessions.
Perkasih N9 has been going for two years now and has 80 members with 15 active on the Friday nights delivering care and food packages, but is always looking for help and new members to assist in the NGOs initiatives to help the homeless and also to provide for those in desperate need, for whatever reason.
Assisting families experiencing hard times is also becoming a priority and they have various ways of raising funds to help, including second hand clothes sales, which they sell at markets to raise funds, as well as accepting offers of help and donations.
Above: Pak Wan has been homeless for 45 years and one of the regulars making his home at the main bus terminal in town. He is very humble answering some questions about himself but stays quiet when he doesn't want to explain his situation.
Back on the street early Saturday morning, some members sit and chat to assess two new homeless boys, young men even, but far too young to be on their own, living on the street.
Time and circumstance, luck even, will determine if the two boys are sleeping outdoors next week, next month, or next year.
Perkasih N9 may have some say in the boys outcome by doing their best to ensure they come off the street before it becomes habitual, to ensure their safety and allow them to find a job when an opening happens.
Truly a blessed organisation worth supporting.
If you can help out, contact Pertubuhan Kebajikan Asnaf Setia Kasih Negeri Sembilan, Perkasih N9, by calling the Secretary, Norfadilah binti Mansor on 012 980 5132 - There is also their FB page Perkasih N9.