NEEDY CHILDREN’S BREAKFAST PROGRAM
ROYAL PRINCE OF WALES NO. 1555 E.C.
In the year 2016 while I was with a few teachers from Penang Free School, I learnt that there were some students from poor families who stayed away from the canteen during break time. It was very upsetting to know that this was happening as these kids could not afford a meal. I brought it up at our Charity Sub Committee Meeting and the Needy Children’s Breakfast Program was initiated under the Mastership of WM, WB Paul Morach. Brethren of the Lodge loved the idea and contributed generously. We met up with the teachers concerned and about 40 students were recommended for this assistance. The amount was about RM600 per week. The program was well received and the School Management truly appreciated our initiative. However, after a couple of years the Parent Teacher Association of the School and the Old Frees Association felt that they should run the Program and we were truly thankful to them for their decision and we were glad that our initiative was well received and the in-house organization took them over as we could channel the amount to other schools.
Thereafter, we identified more students who were from SMK Mak Mandin in Butterworth. The number of students fluctuated from 20 to 30. Appreciating our effort, the canteen operator agreed to contribute by providing a simple lunch with fish or chicken and vegetables accompanied with a drink for RM4.00. The School Teacher, Mr. Ricky Ong handled the program well and did such a good job coordinating it.
Subsequently, two other schools namely SRK Tamil Ramakrishna and SRK Tamil Rajaji were included in the Program. As we found the children very deserving, we supported about 25 children in each school.
With the exception of Covid period, the program is being continued very successfully until now.
In the year 2019, we discussed the Program with the Official representing DBB and sought their indulgence in providing assistance. Thereafter, The Board proposed a dollar-to-dollar program. It was well received and on completion of our fund raising, the District contributed a sum of RM12,250.00. The same appeal was put up this year and once again the District has supported us with another sum of RM7,800.00 half of which was paid on 24 March 2023. Now and then a few of us from the Charity Sub Committee visit the schools to meet the teachers and even the children.
On another note, a very good friend of ours, Brother Dr Sritharan of Lodge Scotia appreciated our effort and pledged a sum of RM,1000.00 per month for 12 months, three years ago. This year too he has pledged a sum of RM500 a month for two years. Hence, his total contribution towards this project is RM24,000.00.
As at now the only school which is getting the aid is SMK Mak Mandin and we are in the process of working with three other schools mentioned earlier for this year’s disbursement. Two new schools have approached us and we are in the process of providing assistance to them. The cost for each student ranges from RM4 to RM5 currently.
The Needy Children’s Breakfast Program is our pet project and we foresee that we will continue it for a long time. May the Architect of the Universe bless the Brethren of RPW, Brother Dr. Sritharan and the District Board of Benevolence for all the selfless contribution which has made this program a great success.
Let our basic tenants brotherly love, relief and truth guide us and bless us with the ability to provide for more such children.
Yours fraternally & in Service
Vijaya Kumar Karuppiah
The Royal Prince of Wales Lodge No. 1555 E.C. Penang
Children of Various Schools having their Breakfast
Coupon System in SMK MAK MANDIN