SUNGAI SIPUT, August 7, 2012 - Basic needs and money is never an issue for residents of the Nurul Ihsan Welfare Home but they are really in need of academic success and spiritual guidance.
Mohd. Ali H.S. Ali, a warden-cum-committee member of the welfare home, said that the children there were never far from receiving contributions from a caring community in terms of material needs.
But he added that their academic performance should be given due attention, especially for those who are preparing for exams such as the Primary School Assessment Test (UPSR), Lower Secondary Assessment (PMR) and the Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM).
“We need more people to come forward in providing academic guidance and spiritual guidance for building self-esteem of about 38 of the welfare home residents. Currently, the needs have become critical and have to be addressed.
“These children should be properly guided to success including providing continuous tuition, career guidance and future direction, motivation and so on,” he said.
He said this when met during the breaking of fast reception attended by the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof Dato' Omar Osman with the Nurul Ihsan Home residents here recently.
Meanwhile, Omar said, USM is always ready to offer help to Nurul Ihsan residents, including conducting tuition classes and expose them to the experience of the learning environment on campus.
“We also provide the appropriate assistance to the children who are sitting for their examination and USM will always pray for the success of the Nurul Ihsan Home children,” he said.
Nurul Ihsan Home was first opened in 2006 and it is now located on 11 acres of land complete with prayer rooms, male and female dormitories, a multipurpose hall, dining hall, among other facilities.
Nurul Ihsan Home residents are mostly children who have lost their mother or father, or turned homeless as a result of family or financial problems.
One of the residents there, Zaidah Teh Abdul Rafor, aged 10, said she came to live in Nurul Ihsan Home when she was 5 years-old, together with her mother, brother and sister.
She said the hardship after the death of the father forced the family to stay at Nurul Ihsan Home while at the same time looking for companionship.
“I feel good living here with many friends and people who often come for all sorts of activities with us. I also enjoyed the opportunity to go to other places when we were invited,” he said.
However, when asked about the wonderful memories that she still has about her late father there, her eyes welled up, she told how glad she was to be able to share a cup of coffee with her father every night.
“Every day I would drink coffee with my late father, and during the fasting month our family enjoyed a meal of catfish cooked with chili,'' she said as she described the menu which is also often served at Nurul Ihsan Home.
Besides Zaidah are the twins who have lost their parents, Shahril Syafiq and Shahril Mohd Hanif. Hizi, 14, said that each Ramadan brings the feelings of sadness and melancholy as they will be thinking about their parents.
“I am sad when I think about my mother and father. We miss their love and our mother’s preparation of ketupat and rendang,” they said in a plaintive tone.
It was clear to Shahril Hanif, for the coming Hari Raya, he and his brother will be heading back to the kampung to celebrate with their grandmother and a brother who is now working. - Text and Photos: Marziana Mohamed Alias / Translation: Yong Check Yoon