There are people in this world who are able to walk past others in need, lament about the situation and move on – my friend Nizam does not fall into that category
“I just need to help people,’ he said.
I first met Nizam some time back at a traditional archery tournament where I took photographs of his daughter Izzah, as he coaxed her on how to use a bow and arrow.
Her botched attempts to let the arrows loose were immediately followed by a few seconds of Nizam’s high-pitched, squealing, laughter - you won’t miss hearing it, it comes at you like machine gun bullets and is always attached with a smile.
I immediately liked this guy.
Three years on, with hours of Facebook and verbal contact between us, we meet for breakfast at a local café; I’ve finally convinced this humble, but not so shy guy, to fess up.
“Four or five years ago my life changed when I met this old lady in Lenggeng that a friend told me about. She was living in a house that was more like a chicken coop, all torn down and broken everywhere. There was no running water, no electricity and I was so shocked, how can a human being stay in a house like this,” he said.
Nizam decided to do something for her despite some locals being annoyed at his involvement, but as he said “I could not let her stay like that.”
It was a wake-up call for a man who cares about others.
So he started calling around, badgering his friends, asking, “how can we help? how can we help?” he repeats.
Between them and Baikul, an Islamic charity agency, they raised enough to build a one-bedroom house for her and also supplied some furniture and home goods with donations from his friends.
“That started everything. It motivates me and also gives me strength to carry on because sometimes people have got a lot of sickness. I need to help people,” he laughs.
Since then, the former travel agent specializing in adventure went into partnership with a friend through the RND café in Senawang and he now constantly looks for ways to help the needy.
This month he helped raise enough funds to sponsor seven orphan boys from a new orphanage in the area, Walidania, to attend a science eco-camp for three nights.
“I’m just the ‘middleman,’ he laughs, (I duck for cover, here it comes), and humbly neglects to mention, because that’s who he is, that he bought ice creams for everyone at the camp who could not afford it after watching some of the wealthier eco- campers enjoying the treat on a hot day in the forest.
RND café, through Nizam, sponsors and helps to find donations for voluntary NGO group Perkasih N9. The NGO distributes food packages in Seremban to the homeless as well as look after destitute families who find themselves alone.
“Luckily my friends, when I tell them the problem with the people, they never hesitate. I have one very close friend, he came from a poor background but is now quite well off. I just tell him these people need help and on the spot he sends money, never asks anything,”
Next month Nizam will take some students from Malaysia’s KDU University to Thailand to do a program there but only for a few days as he doesn’t like being away from his wife for too long and for good reason-NIzam’s wife, Ruzilena Mohd Zin, is battling grade 4 breast cancer.
Ruzilena has fought the cancer for a while now and although her chemotherapy and radiation treatments have finished for the moment she must still take a chemo pill daily to suppress any further growth.
“It is so sad as she goes through all the pain and suffering, but we still have hope and pray that Allah will keep her well.
Ruzilena supports Nizam’s endeavors to help others and has returned to her work as a contract manager at Plus.
“Her will power is so strong and I have to be there and support her, always. What keeps her going is the desire to see our daughter get married.”
Nizam welcomes any help or donations which all goes directly into improving other people’s lives. You can help out if you like by visiting his RND Café Facebook page for a contact number or simply patronize the café which offers Western and fusion lunch and dinners as well as offering home delivery.