Welcome to Emmanuel HomesMarch 8th, 2011 | Posted by in Charity
Meet Jafferin: he was 16 when he approached Emmanuel homes as his family couldn’t afford the US$66 annual fee to send him to school.
He comes from a family living on an open-landfill near Kudat, where they live from sifting rubbish and recycling what they find.
Jafferin saw a lifeline with Emmanuel Homes and grabbed it by both hands. He studied very hard and is now studying civil engineering under a government scholarship.
While on vacation near Kudat, I have met Howard Stanton, which was actually acting as our villa manager, but in reality he is truly a man of all trade, dive instructor, survival jungle trainer and especially has an immense heart.
It’s on our way to the local market that Howard told me about a project that was going on in the region to help orphans and poor children. This was our 2nd day of vacation and we eventually diverted the discussion to food. It brewed within myself right away and I had to find out more.
Helping Giving Bread is a totally rewarding experience and seeing the reality is often painful… but somehow, I like the way it hurts.
Howard told me the story of another little girl who had her first birthday celebration during the monthly birthday party and it was the first time in her life that she had her birthday celebrated. An intense and genuine emotion was all around on the day…
Tucked away in the Most Northerly corner of Borneo, is a small historic trading town, Kudat, that is the indigenous home of the Rungus people. The Rungus people are a very quiet, friendly and simple group with their main source of industry being farming. The area of Kudat is the second poorest area in Malaysia and as such times are hard for the people trying to survive on a subsistence lifestyle in a small market economy.
Throw into the mix alcohol and a high rate of Unemployment and then the ones who suffer are the ones that are truly the vulnerable, the kids.
There is hope though, a local Teacher who has Indian origins, but hails from West Malaysia, has seen the need for these kids to succeed and thrive so that they can break out from the cycle of misery and poverty that has faced their Mother’s and Father’s for generations. This teacher, who prefers to remain at a low key position, anonymous, due to possible recriminations, has recognised that these kid’s (12 -19) should not be written off but rather embraced and nurtured. As a consequence of this recognition and forethought, forethought in that they will be the ones who can achieve and give back to their community once they have achieved their varied goals of ambition, the teacher has set up four houses to act as secure and safe sanctuary for those fortunate enough to be able attend. The “scheme” has been running for Five years, starting with 8 students, now heading into it’s 6th year with 54 !
A lot of these students come from very broken and unhappy backgrounds quite a few are orphans, this you would never know from looking at their smiling and happy faces. To see these kid’s, as happy as can be, in their new found sanctuary of learning and portal of hope is actually very humbling and at times very emotional. Every child is taught the rights and wrongs, given good discipline, motivated to achieve, guided and nurtured as if they are the teacher’s own children (of which he has three of his own).
When stepping into one of the four houses it is like stepping completely into another world far removed from the ones that they have all come from, there is order, cleanliness and a great feeling of pride as each one of the kid’s embraces every visitor that arrives to view their house.
The kid’s are really motivated, they realise that with the opportunity that they have been given comes the key for them to escape to a better place and achieve, all over the walls are motivational sayings and charts showing the achievements of each individual and their ambitions ; doctor, graphic artist, astronomer, teacher, policeman, nurses …….
The houses that this teacher has set up offers a magnificent ray of hope to these children, this is all funded off the back of private donations, your money in this impoverished area would go further than you would ever imagine, you have the power to empower a whole generation of people that matter and are prepared and want to give back to their community, so that better things may come for their people.
Like I mentioned earlier, Howard got himself fully immersed in the local community and is helping the local community in a super-natural way!
Howard came up with a business plan to open a beach restaurant and jungle bungalows where he would employ the kids from Emmanuel homes once they finish their higher studies. The beach restaurant was about to open and two ex-Emmanuel Homes resident were about to become the managers of the restaurant.
Howard drives around in a vintage green Land Rover (… until you seat inside – then you feel the authenticity of the vehicle – which is actually a Toyota with a Land Rover body). Driving with him was worth my entire trip to Borneo! While driving around, children and grown up would wave at the car and scream Howard’s name. He would stop along the way and pick up anyone who needs a ride.
Further than that, Howard employs local people to build the restaurant’s furniture, deliver food, paint… basically for everything. He is literally creating a reviving micro-economy in the area!
We must help!
As a chef, I couldn’t bare seeing such poorly appointed kitchens for people who where looking at having a real start in life. Howard was telling me how meals were prepared and it’s far from great.
Above is the area where all the food is being prepared by the children themselves. It needs a stronger working table and a proper sink.
The thought of monetizing my blog for whatever revenue never occurred to me, yet, the thought of collecting donation towards a charitable goal came to mind while I was visiting Emmanuel Homes.
On the right hand side column, you will find a donation form. The goal set is US$ 2000. A small amount that will do a tremendous difference in the life of these 60 kids and the way they start in life.
The money will go from you to the Kids at Emmanuel Homes directly. No organizations or BS fees in between – straightforward. I will post the progress and all the update of what is happening with the donation on the blog.
Please, let’s all help these kids getting their fair chance in life and donate today – any amount already makes a difference!
A big THANK YOU from the Children at Emmanuel Homes!