Monday, 12 March 2012

Alex Arokiam - A Man with A Heart of Mother Theresa

The Honorable
Mr Alex Arokiam
Chairman of Positive Living Community

Sitting under the porch of Rumah Oasis almost close to 12noon, there was a cool breeze blowing through the shades in spite of the scorching afternoon heat. Mr Alex Arokiam took his time to relate to us the story of how he moved from the City of Kuala Lumpur and set foot with his family in this serene village embraced by cool mountains ~ Batu Arang. A town located some 30km away from the City.

We listened to him attentively, figuring how this honorable man devotes himself to the destitute.

He patiently narrated his encounters during his younger days where he was actively involved with the local NGOs doing voluntary work. That was when he got called up by the Bishop of St.John's Church in Kuala Lumpur to help set up a halfway shelter to help drug addicts who are homeless and also those who are suffering from AIDS.

During the conversation, Alex said that the majority of the drug addicts and AIDS patients whom he met were 'victims of circumstances'. He elaborated that most of them were from out of town, have limited education background and came to the city with much enthusiasm in search of a better life. These group of youngsters were all ill prepared both mentally, skill-wise and financially to face up to the challenges of the competitive city life. Consequently, they will be forced into a tight corner under the pressure of city life with no money, no family support, no friends, no place to stay and the list goes on. According to Alex, these are the normal circumstances that will make these once budding youngsters to become vulnerable and eventually lead them onto the path of drug abuse and some to be infected with AIDS as a result. It was a hard fact to face and some of their own families even chose to turn their backs on them.

Rumah Oasis is a home that houses most of the bedridden AIDS patients. The full time caregivers were well trained to administer medication accurately and punctually, so that the treatment will be in line with the result expected by the hospitals, the medical program is fully sponsored by the government and the method of treating HIV / AIDS has since evolved to a more advance and humane approach which gave encouragement to the patients to avail themselves for treatments. Gone were the days of the "Cold Turkey" method, says Alex.

Unfortunately, out of the 31 inmates that Alex is taking care, only 22 of them are Malaysians who are eligible to receive fully funded medication from the Malaysian government. The other 9 patients are refugees from Myanmar who are not eligible for Malaysian government funded medication, hence Rumah Oasis with have to bear a portion of the medication costs together with the partial subsidy they received from their own government.

Apart from the first stop at Rumah Oasis, we also moved on to the second home, Embun Pagi Organic Farm. A home that provides rehabilitation and recovery program to the drug and alcoholic & AIDS patients.

This long shaped building houses 12 patients presently. They are the physically stronger group who have their disease contained with medication, but have no home or family to go back to, they will learn vocational and living skills here that allow them to support themselves and reenter society at a later stage. Embun Pagi Organic Farm, Fish Farm and Open Range Poultry & eggs produce contribute to the bulk the home's source of income for continuous sustaining of the home's operations.

After a brief lunch at a coffee shop near the town center, we arrived at the third home. It is a home for "After Care" program. This home is basically for the disabled and in need of continuous support for managing their daily lives.

A portrait of Mother Teresa drawn by one of the inmates was prominently featured at the entrance wall. This simple house presented a very clean and tidy image to the visitors, not forgetting a kitchen with a beautiful lake view that captivated my attention.

We were "exploring" further to the adjacent land with a free range chicken coop. Plants bearing fruits are definitely more fertile in this "zone". With Alex's blessing, we were plucking away some juicy berries to bring home with.

Not wanting to end our recci trip empty handed, we bought some big fat Tilapia fish from Alex, a few packets of air dried Misai Kuching tea leaves, a plastic bag full of mixed vegetables with herbs... some can even continue growing in my own backyard.

Now, let's work on our next Charity Drive, visiting the Positive Living Community, Batu Arang. Schedule on Saturday, 28th April 2012.

Are you free to join us?

Contact & Address :

019- 2287750 Alex

Positive Living Community
Lot D 1224 SU 4 Off Jalan DPP
48100, Batu Arang
Selangor, Malaysia

Touring around Embun Pagi Organic Farm

Savoring "Misai Kuching" tea...yummy

Sights to behold

1 comment:

Lovequotes said...

Thank you for sharing such information which is important and helpful.