An Unplanned but Meaningful Stop to Bring Smiles to Rumah Kebajikan Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna

profile image Projek57 Malaysia 25 Sep 2017
Our Unity Ride crew and cyclists are preparing for the 7th Leg which starts at Melaka’s famous clock tower. This is one of the most historical places in Melaka also known as The Stadthuys (meaning city hall in Dutch) or The Red Square, due to its red exterior. The Stadthuys was built by the Dutch in 1650 as the office of the Dutch Governor and Deputy Governor. There is a Church at Stadthuys and next to the Church there is one remaining and oldest Dutch building which is now the History and Ethnography Museum. 
Mohd. Fauzi Yusof from Team Allianz joins Collin and Sadiq in this 7th Leg. While our team was busy with the preparations, a curious family noticed Sadiq and asked to take a photo together. They were impressed with Unity Ride’s mission when Sadiq explains this to them. 
As our Unity Ride cyclists flag off from The Stadthuys, it started to pour heavily! The rain was too heavy for Collin, Sadiq and Fauzi to continue. They had no choice but to stop at one of the shops and order Mee Bodo. Mee Bodo is a type of fried noodle which is well-known within the Melaka community. It was a sumptuous breakfast while they waited for the rain to stop.
Once the rain stopped, our 3 gentlemen continued their journey to Sungai Long. Along the journey, they make an unplanned but very meaningful stop at Rumah Kebajikan Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna. RumahKebajikan Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna is a shelter home for unfortunate boys. Each boy in the centre has a tough past dealing with issues such as absent parents, runaway siblings, neglect and death. These experiences have caused the boys to grow up before their time and in some cases, to rob them of a proper childhood. 
Collin and Sadiq gave each boy an Anak-Anak Malaysia band and spoke to the Royan family who helps runs the shelter home. Thankfully, the home works to help these boys out. They are provided with food, care and education. But most of all, the home provides them with the guidance needed for them to become respectable men in the future. In fact, one of the home’s previous resident is now a doctor!
The Royan family really inspired us with their dedication to these boys! After spending some time with the boys and the Royan family, our cyclists continued their journey to Sungai Long.
We spoke to some of the boys who shared their stories with us.
Uthaya Kumar, 15, Melaka.
"I have been here more than one year ago. If you ask me how much I like this place, it’s medium. Here is strict. More discipline. Less freedom. But I like it anyway because here I have guidance.

Before I came here, I lived with my mother and sister. My father doesn’t stay with us because he doesn’t want to live with my mother. My mother works and my sister goes to college so, at home, I have no guidance. Every day, I would not study. Just play all day and my exams had low marks.

Now, in the home, I can focus on my education and football. But when the exam comes, I don’t play football.

I want to be a policeman when I grow up because a policeman is a gentleman. He protects the country. I also hope to take care of my family well one day.

My meaning of unity is following the rules of the country. Don’t do negative things like vandalism, alcohol and gangsterism."

Trishan, 13, Melaka.

"My name is Trishan. I am 13. I have been here for about 2 months. I really enjoy it here because I get to have friends and able go to school. It's just me and my mother in mine family. My father passed away a from heart attack when I was younger.

Before I came here, I was very lazy. Every day I just play football, watch cartoons, or make trouble for my mother. So, I came here to change. Now being here, I learned mantras and pray. I enjoy the prayers. I also enjoy reading books. I don’t have a favourite. I like all the books. 

When I grow up, I want to be a pilot. Because, before he passes away, my father said to me, “Trishan, when you grow up, be a pilot.” So, I will be a pilot no matter what. I have a wish to be clever. There are many things I don’t know and want to learn.

To me, being “unity” is like how we are in the rumah. We live together." 

Sadis, 10, Melaka.

"I came to the home one month ago. I enjoy it here so much because over here, they take care of me. I have food. I have friends. I don’t have worried. I get to play with friends and do yoga. My best friends here is Vasan and Kugulan.

Before I come here, I have to find my own food. I eat once a day. My parents have no money. After my mother goes to work, I tumpang the bus with the other guys to find food in town.

During this time, my good memories are playing with my siblings. My saddest memory is when my sister ran away from home because of school problems. That time, I was very sad.

I want to be a lawyer when I grow up. I like to talk honestly and give answers in a perfect way. My wish is to be successful so that I can take care of my family.

What is “unity”? I think the meaning is doing everything together."