Feeding Vulnerable Communities during the Covid-19 Pandemic

June, 2020

Caremongers Ampang distributing food to needy families

The Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia has had a devastating impact on low-income communities, especially the homeless, urban poor, migrants, refugees and Orang Asli. These communities have been supported by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who have been working tirelessly throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) to ensure no one goes hungry in these difficult times.

ECM Libra Foundation is doing its part by supporting key charities in their valiant efforts. While the Foundation’s primary goal is to fund education for the underprivileged, these extraordinarily tough times and the harsh impact this pandemic has had on the most vulnerable called for a swift out-of-the-box response.

In aid of the homeless and urban poor, the Foundation has lent a helping hand to NGOs Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, Kechara Soup Kitchen and Buku Jalanan Chow Kit by contributing meals and donations to feed 600 people a week.

Airasia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes assists in distributing the Foundation-sponsored food packages to the urban poor at Chow Kit

Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, founded by Datuk Munirah Hamid, operates four nights a week, feeding more than 800 people a night with their volunteer network. Since the MCO, they have been delivering home-cooked meals to the temporary homeless shelters. The Foundation has contributed 320 meals a week, which Pertiwi distributes to registered single mothers living in the Chow Kit area. These families live in single unit cubicles in the Chow Kit area with the mothers usually providing for two to three children in a typical household.

Also, in the Chow Kit vicinity, the Foundation is funding Buku Jalanan Chow Kit - a free school for 60 young kids. Buku Jalanan, together with their affiliate Dapur Jalanan, also provides dry groceries to some 60 families whose kids attend the school, in addition to providing them home-cooked meals.

The Foundation is also supporting the efforts of Kechara Soup Kitchen by providing 200 meals for the homeless and urban poor in Titiwangsa and Setapak. The NGO cooks for more than 7,000 people from the B20, migrant, refugee and homeless communities.

The pandemic has not spared the poor under the care of our partner organisations such as PEMIMPIN GSL and Global Peace Foundation Malaysia (GPF).

PEMIMPIN GSL founder Cheryl Ann Fernando and her team reached out to the 45 schools under its leadership development programme and discovered many of the students’ families were struggling with inadequate supply of food and daily necessities.

One of PEMIMPIN GSL’s school leaders highlighted that 17 students from SK (2) Kuala Ampang and their families needed a helping hand. The Foundation then channelled some funds to a small group of volunteers from Caremongers Ampang to help deliver food boxes to the affected families. While Caremongers Ampang is not an NGO, it is a subset of Caremongering Malaysia community that uses social media as a platform to connect like-minded volunteers with the aim of caring for the vulnerable during the Covid-19 crisis.

Among the Orang Asli, many families have lost their traditional sources of income, forcing them to turn to the forest for food, according to Dr Teh Su-Thye, chief executive of GPF. With the Foundation’s funding, GPF team was able to provide basic food essentials to 252 OA families in Rompin, Pahang.

The Foundation continues to work closely with these tireless NGOs and other compassionate individuals in making sure that no one goes hungry during this trying time.