Unsung heroes of Kuala Lumpur

By Wafi Rashid & Izzud deen Redzuan

KUALA LUMPUR, 11 December 2014: Crew members of IIUM.fm and the editorial team of IIUMToday had the opportunity to help out with 1Charity, a soup kitchen based in the heart of Kuala Lumpur last Thursday. A total of about 30 students were present on the night including four from IIUMToday.

All students gathered next to Bank Muamalat’s headquarters in Masjid Jamek (opposite from the Masjid Jamek LRT station) at 9 p.m and began preparing food for the homeless approximately 30 minutes after a briefing on job delegation by one of the veteran volunteers.

There were some rules that we need to understand when doing the volunteering work such as looking at them when they thank you and welcoming them with our pure heart. The delegation was told not to step on the boxes nearby because that is where they sleep at night. Those boxes are their home, their floor, and their shelter from the cold of the night.

As time went on, the queue grew longer but a few minutes after 10 p.m, the food was ready and the line began to move with priority given to women and children. The menu of the night, white rice with ikan masak lemak, cucumbers, some pineapples and bird’s eggs and for dessert, coconut jelly.

According to head of the kitchen that night who only wishes to be known as Kak Suri, every night brings a different menu to the less fortunate folks of Kuala Lumpur. She cooks the food for about 200 heads in her own house and jokingly asked if we wanted to help her cook. Unfortunately, I would probably be doing more harm than good if I were responsible for preparing food for hundreds of people.

1Charity is an organisation that aims to help the less fortunate and homeless people of Kuala Lumpur by providing them with dinner and sometimes, clothes.

After the food was served, some pre-loved clothes were laid out on a sheet of plastic handled by IIUM.fm volunteers and those who needed clothes were welcome to take any one piece that appealed to them.

Close to 200 homeless and less fortunate people of Kuala Lumpur turned up and the sights that some of us witnessed that night was enough to reduce us to tears because we then would realise how fortunate we are to be where we are today and that there are millions of people wishing to be where we are today.

One volunteer, Nurman Lazim described the experience as “fun” and says he feels “alive when feeding the poor”. When asked if he would like to volunteer at the soup kitchen he answered “of course!” , excitement ringing in his voice.

Kak Suri claims that the charity does not gain much media attention and she intends to keep it that way in order to avoid any conflict with higher authorities. When asked if she was the founder of the charity she denied saying, “I’m not the founder, we (referring to her crew) all founded this together”.

She remains humble about the organisation and welcomed us to help around the kitchen whenever we wanted to by just simply walking in. She thanked us for our help and would be grateful if we could drop by any other time.

These people work on their own accord, motivated by the reward that awaits them in the hereafter, worldly rewards are not a factor in their tireless endeavour to help anyone who needs help. These people do not seek to please the public but seek the pleasure of the Almighty. These are the real unsung heroes.

Feed the homeless programme with 1Charity happening at Bank Muamalat nearby LRT Masjid Jamek every Thursday and Friday from 9:30 p.m onwards until the food runs out. Anyone can be a volunteer or make donations to 1Charity and for more info on the programme can be found here 1Charity Facebook Group.***

Ahmed Wafi

The first step to being good at something is to suck at something. I like running and boats.

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