Soup kitchens can be found in many of the world’s cities. They exist to provide basic meals to those who go hungry, especially those who are also homeless. Homelessness has many causes and not everyone who lives on the street are lazy or are looking for handouts. Those in need may include children, parents and the elderly who simply cannot get enough food or proper nutrition. Soup kitchens provide an important way to give back to the community by offering a healthy meal to those who are in need. Malaysia’s economic success and prosperity has ensured that hunger is often not a matter of not having any food at all, but whether those in need are getting enough food on a regular basis. It also depends on whether we care enough to provide food for them.
The Rotaract Club
at Taylor’s College, Sri Hartamas
campus does care and on many Friday nights the club organizes trips to the center of Kuala Lumpur to volunteer at the PERTIWI Soup Kitchen
. Once there the students pack and distribute food and drinks to the homeless from all walks of life; from very young children barely old enough to walk to the very elderly, some of whom have been abandoned by their families and suffer from hurts that go far deeper than hunger.
Sometimes, they are also assigned to be runners to accompany young children, the elderly and those with walking difficulties to help them take their food packets and drinks from the food distribution booths to the places they call ‘home.’
, who organizes these outings for the Sri Hartamas students shares, “A smile for the needy helps to keep the heartaches at bay, at least for a little while. It’s heartwarming to see their shy smiles on their faces. Their sincere ‘thank you’ gives us volunteers a sense of purpose. If they can persevere on with their lives despite their life conditions, what does that say to us as students? We have a place to live. We have a family and friends. We have an education and only have to study in order to get a decent job in life. Their positive attitude is definitely a great motivation for all of us volunteers! Personally I find it very easy to be motivated when giving back to society. I consider it a privilege to be a volunteer, and to have something I can give to help others.”
However, Joshua wants to do more with his own life than just hand out a few meals. This experience, and many others like it, has given him a vision of his own future mission in life. “It’s time we ended hunger. It is time we put an end to our prejudice against the poor. Homelessness is not a crime and these people are not criminals; they are victims. It’s time we as young leaders of tomorrow lead the way to provide a helping hand to the needy, wherever they are.”
Taylor’s prides itself in inspiring young people like Joshua Low ‘to take their place as leaders in the global community.’ Those looking to join with him in this or any other community service outreach project at Sri Hartamas can contact him through the ECA at 03-6203 0168, or by email at Valarmathy Sarvanan Valarmathy.Sarvanan@taylors.edu.my
Written by Joshua Low