HELP University continued their latest Corporate Social Responsibility Project by donating a much needed van to Jinjang Utara community.

By Lim Vin Tsen

This van will be used to help ease the burden of ferrying the underprivileged students to their schools as well as to carry out other activities. Datin Chan Kam Yoke, HELP University’s Group CEO and Co-Founder handed out the keys to the van to Pastor Jonathan and Pastor Mary who services the community involved. Pastor John said that this generous gift was an answer to his and Pastor Mary’s prayers for this community. “We are so excited,” said Pastor Mary. “Lots of problems could be solved through this because transportation for children was a great problem.” When asked what other activities has HELP contributed to the community here, Pastor Mary said, “We have been doing the Literacy programme, the English programme and also the Numeracy programme with HELP. After that, Adam gave over fifty uniforms to the children, two sets of uniforms each and shoes too.”

“The children in the community have been dropping out from schools and slacking behind because of inconsistent attendance in school.” Said Pastor John. ”The reason for this is because they are unable to afford the fee for the school bus fare. As their parents deal with the rising cost of living, the cost of the school bus has rose over RM100 per month per child.” This has proven to be an added burden to homes with just an average income of only RM500-1000 per household and as the parents struggled to meet to meet the basic needs, this means sacrificing expenses that are less critical to their daily needs.

According to Pastor John, “Some of the families living here can have as many as ten mouths to feed and paying for the school bus fare is the last thing on their minds. Unfortunately for these children, their school attendance depends on whether or not there is any money left over each month for bus fares. With such irregular attendance, it is not wonder that the children eventually then to fall behind in school and will drop out.” This is why it is important for the children to receive an education to break the bondage of poverty. Without a proper academic certificate, the children are resigned to a life time of hard labour and a bleak future. They will thus be regaled to repeating a vicious poverty cycle over and over again if nothing changes for them now.

Mr. Adam Chan, Director of Corporate Planning, HELP University Group with Datin Chan Kam Yoke, CEO HELP University Group with the children from the Rumah Panjang community in Jinjang Utara

Mr. Adam Chan, Director of Corporate Planning, HELP University Group with Datin Chan Kam Yoke, CEO HELP University Group with the children from the Rumah Panjang community in Jinjang Utara

The van in this case will provide vital support for the children to go to school and to stay in school. Instead of raising funds for 10 -15 children who are desperately in need of transportation each month, the van can be used to transport these children to and from school each day. It will cost only a fraction of what it would cost to pay for individual school bus fare each month.

Raymond Mui, from Acts Global Networking, an NGO that supports community programmes said, “We realised that education is the only key to help the children in this community overcome their current situation in life.” “They needed an outlet to help better their lives and future as well and that was when HELP University stepped in. The children not only received English Literacy and Maths aid at HELP but those who are deemed worthy after high school are even offered a scholarship by HELP.”

“In fact,” Richard pointed out, “Adam Chan, the Director of Corporate Planning, HELP University Group said anybody, any child in this Jinjang Utara community that is worthy in HELP University and has proven to make their grades can consider themselves worthy of a scholarship at HELP University.”

Adam Chan launching HELP’s University’s Jinjang Utara Rumah Panjang Literacy and Numeracy Programme


“HELP has been involved in this community for many years,’ said Adam Chan, “And when we discovered that the children needed transportation to go to school, we decided to donate one of our old vans to the community to not only ferry the children to school but also to their tuition centres and activities as well.” HELP University’s Literacy and Numeracy Programme is the latest Corporate Social Responsibility project by HELP. It is aimed at uplifting the social and educational status of the Rumah Panjang community in Jinjang Utara who have been living in conditions of extreme poverty and deprivation for decades.

The Jinjang Utara Rumah Panjang Literacy Programme started in 2014 and the programme started with Jolly Phonics to teach the children how to read, the children were then moved on to Jolly Grammar, whereby English was taught by students in the BA TESL programme. In 2017, HELP started the Numeracy class (Maths) taught by the students from DOMS. This continued towards the end of 2018 when we decided to move the programme back to Jinjang Utara to alleviate many parents’ concern as to their children’s whereabouts during the tuition classes. In moving the classes to Jinjang, HELP will save on transport costs as it cost RM600 each week to ferry the children to and from Jinjang to KPD Block A. The savings was then used to hire part time tutors to teach the children.

The Jinjang Utara Rumah Panjang Literacy & Numeracy Programme

Right now, HELP is waiting for the authorities to approve the rent for one or two units within the flats so HELP can continue with THE tuition classes. Once this is approved, the rented units can be used not just for tuition but also skills classes for the youths and a place for the mothers to come together and perhaps sew or cook to raise money for the project (and support their families). Having the units will be ideal as it will overcome all the problems associated with poor attendance and transportation costs.

Since becoming involved in the community, Acts Global Networking has been working to raise the funds for the project that paid for the buses, teaching and learning materials. In addition, Adam Chan contributed new school uniforms and shoes (2 sets per child) for over 50 poor children in December 2018.
The A-Levels students in early April organised a donation drive and collected two car loads of clothing and food stuff for the poor families such as rice, cooking oil and canned foods.

About the Rumah Panjang Jinjang Utara (RPJU)
With a population of over 2,000, the RPJU area is littered with dilapidated rumah transit, where they have been waiting for 40 years for relocation to new abodes under Projek Perumahan (PPR). The average monthly income for each family is less than RM1,000. Even if they qualify for low-cost housing with monthly rental as low as RM40, they cannot afford to move out. The entire longhouse is built on a landfilled rubbish dump. It is notorious for the high crime rate, drug abuse, gang fights and conflicts; it is also frequented by drug addicts, alcoholics, gangsters, prostitutes and petty criminals.

The rumah transit are not built to last, and pose a health and safety hazard for the families. Each unit is a cramped 480 sq ft space for an entire family of up to 10 people. The children have been growing up in a hostile and abusive environment. Some were abandoned by parents and most are neglected in an environment of abject poverty. Violence is rampant and teenagers are recruited by gangs to push drugs. With homes so broken and crowded, teenagers have no place to go to and they are easy prey for gangs who offer them financial and communal support/relief, including a sense of belonging.

Pastor Jonathan Ambalagan and Pastor Mary Ramamoothy started the community work and have been reaching out to the children for the past 14 years. Their main focus is education and social service to instil moral values in the children. Over 100 children attend their session every week, and many of them have completed their secondary education. A few are even completing their college education through the sponsorship of benefactors like the HELP Education Group.

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