Feeding KL’s homeless during Ramadan

Jamny Rosli
Volunteers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia distribute packs of food to the homeless. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Being homeless means never being certain where or when you will get your next meal. Being Muslim and homeless during the fasting month of Ramadan makes it harder still

But thanks to organisations like the Institut Onn Jaafar (IOJ), the homeless community in the national capital can be assured of having some food every Wednesday, before the requisite dawn-to-dusk fasting begins.

The IOJ “jom sahur” campaign is into its third year now. “Sahur” is the pre-dawn meal for Muslims before they begin their day-long fast.

The sahur campaign is a switch from IOJ’s regular “jom bekpes” weekly morning soup kitchen programme, also carried out on Wednesdays, for Ramadan.

“We rope in student-volunteers from local public and private universities to give out the food and socialise with those who receive it.

“In this way, the homeless not only will receive food, but also be reminded that society, and the youth in particular, still care for them,” IOJ chief executive officer Charles Mohan said during the meal distribution programme last night.

Sponsored by Pelaburan Mara Berhad this year, students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia started distributing 350 packs of food to the homeless at the government’s Homeless Transit Centre near the Pahang Roundabout, and in front of YCK's KL Krash Pad in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman from 11pm yesterday till 1am today.

Pelaburan Mara Bhd group CEO Datuk Nazim Rahman said the community programme was an effort to celebrate the holy month with the less fortunate people.

“We strongly believe in giving back to the society and every little help goes a long way,” he said.