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CHARITY PROJECT FEEDING POOR STUDENTS IN THE PENANG FREE SCHOOL AND SMK MAK MANDIN

“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.”

Kathy Calvin

During the moment of last year (2016-2017), our Worshipful Master then – W. Bro. Paul Morach, had initiated a program to provide breakfast meals to poor school-going children to ensure that less financially able school-going children receive at least one decent meal per day during their schooling hours.

Amongst the Brethren of our Lodge, and over the course of 5 days in the year 2017, a total of RM7,200.00 was raised to enable our Lodge to provide funds for the meals for 15 poor students in the Penang Free School, at RM4.00 per student per school going day, for the period of 1st January 2018 to 30th June 2018 (120 schooling days).

During the course of this year, as we visited the school to talk to the teachers on the outcome of the intended effects of this assistance, the teachers had informed us that, when previously, the less financially able students would ‘disappear’ during recess times – to be anywhere other than in the canteen because they wouldn’t admit that that had no money for food, these students now happily join their classmates for their meals in the canteen. There has also been a noticeable improvement in the attention span of these students in the classrooms.

In our Lodge, a few Brethren had informed me that during their younger days, they had found themselves in similar positions where they would purposefully not go to the canteen during recess to avoid any embarrassment which they may cause to their parents for not having pocket money for their meals, and would rather satisfy their hunger by drinking water or tiring themselves out taking part in games during recess.

Such personal experiences of my Brethren have touched the hearts of all of our Brethren in the Lodge very deeply, and the Lodge continues to remain committed towards this worthy initiative.

In order to continue to provide meals to these 15 students (plus 5 more students which have since been identified by the teachers – now 20 students in total) of the Penang Free School for the schooling period of 1st July 2018 to 24th November 2018 (120 schooling days), a total assistance of RM9,600.00 is required.

An appeal in satisfaction of the foregoing mentioned assistance was initiated during our 1711th Regular Meeting that was held on Wednesday, 4th July 2018, and over the course of the next 7 days, and a total amount of RM12,250.00 was enthusiastically contributed by the Brethren.

As fate would have it, sometime in the month of June 2018 this year, some of the teachers of the Penang Free School who are directly assisting our Lodge in the identification and monitoring of the foregoing mentioned 20 students, had mentioned of the noticeable improvements of the performances of their students to their colleagues of Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Mak Mandin (located in the mainland of Penang), and the teachers of Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Mak Mandin have since approached our Lodge for help to also consider assisting their students with the provision of meals during their schooling period.

Being unable to find it in our hearts to inform the teachers of Sekolah Menegah Kebangsan Mak Mandin that our financial resources as a Lodge is limited, we conducted an inspection of the school as well as to conduct the necessary interviews of the teachers, and thereafter, and reported to our Brethren that the school, being surrounded by industrial estates and less affluent suburbs, has a greater number of students who are unable to afford meals in the canteen on a daily basis.

The canteen operator of the school is also of a helpful disposition, and he has agreed to our request that daily fruits and vegetables should be provided to the students whom our Lodge will be assisting to afford for them better and healthier daily nourishment.

Consequently, our Lodge has also decided to provide meals to 20 students of the Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Mak Mandin for the schooling period of 1st July 2018 to 24th November 2018 (120 schooling days), and a total assistance of RM9,600.00 is required.

On 1st August 2018, our Lodge had proceeded to provide assistance to the following, out of our Lodge General Account, in order that the 40 students from both the schools can have access to food during their recess time:

  1. Madam Mani Mahgali A/P Narayanasamy, RM8000.00, being the teacher in charge of organizing and monitoring of the 20 students of the Penang Free School whom we are assisting; and

  2. “Persatuan Ibu Bapa - Guru Sek. Men. Keb. Mak Mandin”, RM4250.00, being the Parents-Teachers Association of the SMK Mak Mandin which is assisting our Lodge in the monitoring and identification of the 20 school going children.

Our Lodge also does truly realize that this assistance to the 40 school children is only temporary, and will end on the last day of school on 24th November 2018, when the funding for the meals runs out. But in spite of this sad and stark reality, the fact that Freemasons are still able to keep 40 children fed in both the schools over the next 6 months would mean so very much to these students.

Appendix 1

Total donations received until 11th July 2018

  1. W. Bro. Benedict Chin RM 250

  2. W. Bro. Paul Morach RM 500

  3. W. Bro. Kenneth Khoo RM 500

  4. W. Bro. Dr. Teo Aik Howe RM 500

  5. Bro. Chew Yuen Lin RM 500

  6. Bro. Dr. Manjit Singh RM 300

  7. W. Bro. Tarlock Singh Sandhu RM 700

  8. Bro. Stephen Sinnaiah RM 100

  9. Bro. Loh Kooi Chuan RM 500

  10. Bro. Somakumar Marimuthu RM 100

  11. W. Bro. Sukhbeer Singh RM 100

  12. W. Bro. Joseph Tio RM 200

  13. W. Bro. Ong Eng Loo RM 100

  14. W. Bro. Dr. Manjit Singh Sidhu RM 100

  15. Bro. Dato’ Dr. Carl Tan Kah Keong RM 500

  16. Bro. Sasedharan Vasudevan RM 500

  17. Bro. Amit Singh Pannesar RM 200

  18. Bro. Ooi Inn Thiam RM 100

  19. W. Bro. Ravin <ohanraj Vello RM 500

  20. Bro. Robert Ashman RM 150

  21. Bro. Lim Choo Jim RM 100

  22. Bro. Pang Zip Yiap RM 300

  23. W. Bro. Thomas Ernest Stark RM 200

  24. Bro. Dato’ Jimmy Ong RM 500

  25. Bro. Dr. Lee Toong Chow RM 500

  26. Bro. Shivaruban Sivanandyan RM 100

  27. Bro. Mahesh Ganapathy RM 100

  28. Bro. Sree Vijayanayagam RM 100

  29. Bro. Kalai Selvan Subramaniam RM 150

  30. Bro. Jagdeep Singh RM 100

  31. W. Bro. Vincent Lai Kong Leng RM 100

  32. W. Bro. Vijayakumar Karrupiah RM 600

  33. W. Bro. Dato’ Syahril Rezwan Abdullah RM 100

  34. Bro. Michael Geh RM 500

  35. W. Bro. Nagarajan Subramaniam RM 200

  36. Bro. Joachim Loo RM 500

  37. Bro. Sivabalan Munusamy RM 277

  38. Bro. Hoe Cheah Seng RM 100

  39. Bro. Adrian Keith Thanaraj Samuel RM 100

  40. Bro. Dhiraj Ratani RM 123

  41. Bro. Teoh Ming Liang RM 100

  42. Bro. Koen Davina RM 200

  43. Bro. Dr. Shanmugam Arumugam RM 150

  44. W. Bro. Roger John Crow RM 100

  45. W. Bro. Dr. Dhiresh Kumar Chaudhury RM 250

Cheque presentation of RM4,250.00 to Persatuan Ibu Bapa – Guru Sek. Men. Keb. Mak Mandin of the Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Mak Mandin on Wednesday, 1st August 2018

Cheque presentation of RM8,000.00 to Madam Mani Mahgali of the Penang Free School on Wednesday, 1st August 2018