Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a holy time when Muslims around the world practice whole-day fasting. A lesser known fact about Ramadan is that Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset to gain empathy for the underprivileged. Hence, the holy month also reminds Muslims to be generous and give to charity, known as Zakat.
If you’d like to consider pledging or giving to a charity foundation this Ramadan but are unsure of their causes, this article is for you. We’ve rounded up a list of projects that you could be a part of this Ramadan, as well as how to make a contribution. And not all of them involve money! Go ahead, read on and pledge your kindness to those in need in this holy month.
What a difference a meal makes: Charity Right
Established in 2012 as a food rescue initiative by Mercy Mission Malaysia, Charity Right is currently supporting over 1,000 poor students and their families through their “Feed to Educate” program.
Through this program, low-income families are provided with a monthly supply of fresh and canned food for a whole year. By doing so, it reduces absenteeism among school going children. This is based on the charity organization’s findings that school going children are obliged to work instead of attending school to provide supplementary income for their parents. Tracking the overall academic performance of the students that receive the food supply, Charity Right said they found absenteeism reducing and grades improving.
How to Help
For RM 30 per month, you can provide partial food assistance to one person each month. For RM50 per month, you’ll be providing full food assistance to one person every month. For RM100 per month, you’ll be feeding two people. The charity also accepts any one-time donation of any amount. Visit www.charityright.my/ for more info.
Let’s go from #Beg2Bekas: EcoKnights
Pertubuhan Alam Sekitar Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor, also known as ‘EcoKnights’, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes sustainable development by providing environmental friendly solutions in everyday life. Some previous programs include the annual Eco Film Festival, Zero Kitchen Waste Workshop, a workshop on making soap out of cooking oil, the Hutan Simpan Bukit Nanas Conservation Project and various programs catered to school children.
How to Help
For their “Green Ramadhan Campaign”, EcoKnights are looking for volunteers to assist them in its ‘No Plastics’ mission, as part of the River of Life program to keep Klang River garbage-free. From May 13th to 24th, volunteers are needed to hand to the public reusable bags and containers at the Kampung Baru Ramadan Bazaar between 4.30pm and 7.30pm. Check out the EcoKnights Facebook page for more info.
A packet a day keeps the hunger away: PERTIWI Soup Kitchen
PERTIWI Soup Kitchen project distributes basic pre-packaged healthy meals and clean water 4 nights a week mainly in Chow Kit, Kota Raya and Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur, targeting the urban poor regardless of race or religion. This community outreach effort is run by Pertubuhan Tindakan Wanita Islam (PERTIWI), one of Malaysia’s longest running NGOs focusing on outreach, social work and the education of women, teens and children, since the 1960s.
How to Help
Individuals or corporations may donate funds to keep the meal provisions running. An amount of RM1,200 is enough to feed at least 300 people. You are also welcomed to be a volunteer to distribute the food packets to those in need.
Spread the word! Go to PERTIWI Soup Kitchen’s Facebook page or visit http://pertiwi.org.my/.
The suspends is feeding me: Suspended Meals Malaysia
A “suspended meal” is a concept of paying it forward, only that this time, you’re buying a meal for another person in advance. Inspired by the idea of suspended coffees, Syed Azmi Alhabshi made waves when he posted on Facebook a picture of a bag of kuih at a Ramadan bazaar in Johor Bahru, with a sign saying “Free kuih! Take some for your family, as well as for your neighbors”. That post went viral and got the ball rolling on the suspended meals movement in Malaysia, which is simply known as Suspended Meals. This movement is also being joined by various restaurants and soup kitchens.
Here’s a list of some restaurants and organizations that support the cause:
- Skohns Canteen, Damansara Perdana
- Dua by Skohns, TTDI
- The Nipah Restaurant, Bayan Lepas
- Gerai Nasi Lemak Malaysia, Bukit Setongkol
- Charlie’s Cafe, Taman Bukit Desa
- Menara SSAS, UiTM Shah Alam
- Masjid AL-Hasanah, Bandar Baru Bangi
- Masjid AL-Ghufran, TTDI
Help spread the good word by approaching your neighbourhood restaurants or hangouts, and share with them Suspended Meals MY’s Facebook page for potential partnerships.
Enjoy a meal cooked by refugees PichaEats
Refugees are often very poor and traumatized from the dangerous passage they had to endure when fleeing their respective countries due to war or persecution. As of end December 2018, there are 163,860 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia. However, as Malaysia does not recognize refugee status, refugees cannot work or go to school and as such, struggle to put food on the table. Through Picha Project, you can provide an opportunity for refugees in Malaysia to start a new life by simply placing an order of delicious and authentic meal cooked by them.
How To Participate
Order a meal to be shared with family and friends. Picha Project specializes in cuisine of the refugees’ homeland – from Iraqi falafel, Palestinian hummus to Afghani dumplings & Syrian sweets – with everything made with authenticity and love. To find out more, visit: https://www.pichaeats.com
Want to know what else Malaysia has to offer? Book a trip to the city with Traveloka. Don’t forget to share your memorable moments by tagging us @TravelokaMY on your Instagram shots. We’d love to see them!
By Imara Natchiar