Bringing the Plight of Children in Jinjang Utara to the Forefront: An Outdoor Christmas Party

Beloved children of Jinjang Utara

On 3rd of January, Acts Global Networking (AGN) and Church of Acts threw an outdoor Christmas party for 1500 children at Padang Bolasepak, Kawasan A, Jinjang Utara, Kuala Lumpur. 

Built on the city’s rubbish dump, Jinjang Utara is littered with dilapidated rumah transits that are currently housing 2000 families. They have waited for 40 years now to relocate to their new residence under Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR), 38 years later than the promised duration.

 

Children having fun in the party
Children having fun in the party

 

The integrity of the rumah transits is questionable because they were not built to last. This poses a safety hazard for the family staying under the roof, which has now grown over the years to include three generations with an average of ten people per family cramped in a 480-square-feet space. 

YB Chua Tian Chang, invited guest for the Christmas party, stressed that the compromised infrastructure of the transit houses calls for immediate attention from the authorities to build new transit houses and the construction of PPR with a recreational space for children.

The children in Jinjang Utara have been growing up in a hostile and abusive environment. Some were even abandoned by their parents. Pastor Mary Ramamoothy of Church of Acts had been to police stations numerous times to counsel victims of Jinjang Utara for cases of murder, theft, and rape.

 

From right to left: YB Hannah Yeoh, Dato’ Chua Jui Meng, YB Chua Tian Chang, and Rev Raymond Mooi
From right to left: YB Hannah Yeoh, Dato’ Chua Jui Meng, YB Chua Tian Chang, and Rev Raymond Mooi

 

Realizing the plight of the children, AGN and Church of Acts started and have been running a weekly Sunday school for the past 14 years to instill moral values in children and to encourage them to aim high for ambition. Over 100 children came every week, with some of them even completing their college education through sponsorship by Life College.

Besides Sunday school, AGN and Church of Acts would also make weekly home visits to know each family’s respective needs. For the past 14 years, AGN has been fund-raising to support the Jinjang Utara families’ needs including food and education (canned food, school bus fees, etc). Children as young as 3-4 years old are often deprived of food for many days and survive on occasional leftovers offered by some kind neighbours. 

 

Clowning act for the children of the Christmas Party
Clowning act for the children of the Christmas Party

 

Rev Raymond Mooi, founder of AGN & Senior Pastor of HIS Church recalled one of his early memories of visiting one rumah transit. In one particular home, he was shocked to learn that a boy had sores on his body due to sleeping with his family and sore-infested dog on the same filthy, smelly and ruined mattress. After attending the Sunday school, the boy stopped lying, which impressed his parents so much that they wanted to come to church. And this is only one of the life-changing stories that happened. It is because of these changed children’s lives, which resulted in the birth of the Church of Acts, serving this community since 2002.

However, Rev Raymond Mooi shared that the crime rate has recently risen in Jinjang Utara, with a seeming revival of the underworld activities targeting children for recruitment. Hence, a youth center needs to be urgently instituted to cater for a safe and healthy environment for youths to spend time, learn, and receive counseling during critical periods.

 

The children receiving their Christmas gifts
The children receiving their Christmas gifts

 

While AGN, Church of Acts, and HIS church have the manpower that would wholeheartedly serve, they looked forward to accepting funds from the public and government alike. 

YB Hannah Yeoh, honorary guest for the Christmas party, agreed with Rev Raymond, saying that more programs should be developed with the non-governmental organizations (NGO) targeting children in low-cost area to curb social ills before they grow.

 

The volunteers of the event handing out goodies
The volunteers of the event handing out food

 

The Christmas party was packed with exciting games, performances, Christmas skits, clowning, magic tricks, festive gift for every child and a Christmas draw. A school bag was donated to each child together with food and gift items totaling to over RM50 per child. YB Chua Tian Chang, YB Hannah Yeoh and Dato’ Chua Jui Meng were the invited guests of the party.

 

ABOUT AGN: ACTS Global Networking (AGN) is a non-profit organisation mainly focusing on education and social concern activities. One of the community activities that it has been involved in over the past fourteen years is its “street ministry” where the organisation reaches out and helps the hurting and neglected children and youth in Jinjang. AGN has been extending support, counselling and meeting the material needs of this needful community for over fourteen years.

 

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