Give of Yourself This Christmas

We have to thank Erina and Lawrence of Cooking Island for the opportunity last night to visit Children’s Protection Society (CPS) at Jalan Scotland. They were organising a little dinner plus an early Xmas celebration for the 17 children of CPS; they invited us to join them, together with another family.

Erina and her husband brought dinner for the children – fried noodles, fried chicken, curry puffs and fried rice. Since she specialises in cooking supplies, Erina also baked for the children cheesecake, each with lovely chocolate santas on top. Lilian and her family brought toys and pizza.

We thought long and hard about what to bring for these children whose ages ranged from five to 17. In the end, we decided to buy them Faber-Castell stationery (something they could use for school) and Kit Kat (who can say no to chocolates right?). We spent the night before wrapping these gifts individually because children do so love wrapped gifts. And after all, this is the Christmas season!

Initially, the children were quiet but once they warmed up to us adults, it was all systems go.

The children of various ages were all at once friendly, mischievous, adorable and plied us adults with questions and more questions. They grew excited when they each received a number of presents – their happy faces were the thanks we needed. From toys to stationery to M&Ms and Kit Kat, each child received their share with loud choruses of “thank you uncle” and “thank you auntie”.

I believe we got more out of last night than the children. We had a chance to make some children smile and laugh. More than material possessions, sometimes children (what more children who have not had a regular family life) need the gift of adult attention, a caring gesture and a heartwarming smile.

Many of the children have not had much schooling; a girl of 13 was just starting Standard One next year. Many of them are young and have just started primary school though academically they still have much catching up to do. Some need to be motivated to study.

Another girl just finished her Form 5 and is looking for a job. She told us shyly that she likes to teach young children as well as cook. One six year old boy has speech difficulties; he cannot speak although he is intelligent.

The children of the home are like regular children except that they have had tumultuous childhoods and backgrounds – either parents are not around, or they are neglected or parents are unable to fully support them. Some children are placed in the home for their own safety – if they return to their families, they will be used to beg on the streets. Mostly they arrive at the home by way of the Welfare Department.

According to the home administrator, Miss Nirmala, CPS needs donors for milk, rice, Milo, stationery, clothes, school uniforms, etc. as well as donation in cash to help the home. If you can help, please do so.

Sidenote: If you are in the Klang Valley, why not support Montfort Boys Town which has been around for 47 years? We heartily support them and have been contributing to them for a few years now. Montfort teaches skills to youth so that they are able to fend for themselves when they enter mainstream society. They now not only teach boys but also girls. I’ve always been a big advocate of teaching someone to fish instead of feeding him fish so Montfort gets it right. They teach the youth computer maintenance, welding, printing, carpentry, machining, graphic design and motor mechanic. Learn more at www.montfort.org.my

Give of yourself this Christmas… and watch lives change.

*Please understand that we have intentionally taken photos which do not show the faces of the CPS children as we respect their privacy.

** How to get to CPS: As you drive down the flyover near the state mosque/Mesjid Negeri (Green Lane), keep to your left. You will see a blue road signboard on your left about 50m as you drive down the start of Jalan Scotland. Turn left into this road. CPS is the house right in front of you as you turn into this cul-de-sac. You can park in the compound of CPS.

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