KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Every little step helps, as a pest control company does its part to assist an education initiative for urban poor and undocumented children.
Entopest Environmental Services Sdn Bhd is providing free monthly maintenance treatment for Buku Jalanan Chow Kit’s (BJCK) new premise, helping them to eliminate and contain pest from entering the facility.
The company has been operating for the past 13 years, and also provides washroom services. It was acquired by Ancom Crop Care Sdn Bhd in 2016.
Entopest’s general manager Regine Lim said they are simply contributing back to a good cause.
She first knew of BJCK from her outgoing predecessor Roy Heng, whose position she had very recently taken over.
Lim approached the organisation a month after they moved into their new premises, offering to help.
“When I visited the shop lot shortly before maintenance treatment began, I was taken aback by the number of pests including cockroaches and rats in the surrounding area, even though the volunteers had done their best to clean up and refurbish the place,” she told the Malay Mail.
Now in the second month of treating the premise, Lim said its volunteers have reported a drastic drop in pests from before. She said they are not only limited to the monthly routine.
“The building is old, there could be potential termite infestation in the coming future. We will also provide additional treatment in the event of a dengue outbreak if need be.”
“The pests has an adverse impact on the studying environment for the children and their teachers. By sponsoring the monthly management, we are hoping the public can realise they can contribute to similar charitable initiatives through any means possible, and not just limited to donating funds alone,” she said.
Founded in August 2014, BJCK is a non-profit initiative aimed at providing free education and social guidance for children living in the area, regardless of background.
Many of the children are from urban poor families, or are undocumented with no identification. Led by co-founder and private college lecturer Siti Rahayu Baharin, the classes were conducted in an open-air carpark every Sunday night behind Alka Ria, near Jalan Chow Kit.
After generous donations for a more permanent location, BJCK refurbished and moved into a shop lot along Lorong Haji Taib 1 in November last year.
The move was in part to secure a private premise where the children could be educated without fear of any disruptions or threats.
Regular volunteer and mathematics teacher Amiruddin Faris, 25, expressed his appreciation to Entopest for helping them to relieve an additional burden.
“The shop lot had been unused for some time, and from what my fellow volunteers relate to me, you could see rats running all over the place. Even more shocking was opening the emergency exit door, where the wall was covered in cockroaches,” he said.
The reduction in pests went a long way in making classes more conducive for the students, as Amiruddin acknowledged it was a challenge to reduce the number of pests given the surrounding location.
“The core of dedicated regular volunteers is about ten, with a class of 30 students on average. We are fortunate as well since the premise owner is sympathetic to our effort, and reduced the monthly rental for us,” he said.
“Our needs have changed from the time when we operated outside, when most costs were for food and learning materials. Now we factor in rental and utilities, so public donations are still welcomed,
“Equally as important are professional volunteers. It would be very helpful if we could consult someone on how to properly abide by the rental regulations,” Amiruddin said.
Other professionals, including lawyers and psychiatrists, are also welcomed. He cited an example of one volunteer who is a qualified psychiatrist, providing counselling to some of the children who have experienced trauma from domestic abuse.
“The children are eager to learn and they enjoy their classes, and some of the urban poor prefer this to their school.”
“Their background demotivate them from going to school. By providing them with a safe learning space, we also fill their time with positive activities and ensure they do not fall in with the wrong company,” he said.