By Mei Kuan
This month saw the launch of Caring Hearts, an appeal by The Salvation Army (TSA) Ipoh to replace its annual fund-raising food fair made impossible by the current pandemic. Aimed to raise RM150,000, this fundraising campaign runs from August 1 till October 31.
All donations will go a long way in helping The Salvation Army in Ipoh provide love and holistic care to the residents at its Children’s Home, Boys Home, Home for the Aged and to the needy families served by its community services.
Present at the launch were Dato’ Dr Madhuri Majumder, Patron of TSA Ipoh and Major Francis Ng, Regional Officer for TSA in Malaysia who shared his inspirational journey from an orphaned boy to leader of TSA in Malaysia.
“Can a child with parents grow up an orphan? Let me share my story with you. I was born in a large leprosarium hospital in the 60’s, just outside Kuala Lumpur. You see, my parents had leprosy,” he explained.
Francis was forbidden from living with his parents since he was born. He was required by law to be physically separated from them to avoid being infected by leprosy. He grew up and moved from one welfare home to another, apart from his parents. He was moved to The Salvation Army Ipoh Boys Home at the age of 13.
“There were 60 other boys being cared for there at the time. Growing up in Ipoh Boys Home was like living with and having a very big family. School work, reading and sports kept me busy throughout the week. I also attended Sunday school and youth camps during the holidays. I really enjoyed my days in the Home and my newfound family and friends. I felt the calling to become a Salvation Army Officer when I was 17 years old, at a youth camp. I answered the call and entered the training college for officers. It was there that I met my wife, Mary Ng,” he recalled.
Francis and Mary were appointed as the Regional Leaders of TSA’s work in both West and East Malaysia on July 1.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to give hope to other children who may be fatherless, too,” he continued.
“The Ipoh centres are very proud that one of our former residents has gone on to become our leader. It is TSA’s mission to teach, train and empower its residents and clients so that they can become successful and give back to society. As we launch this Caring Hearts Appeal, we encourage the public to partner with us in our mission to help those most in need and continue our essential social services,” Nigel Jones, Secretary of The Salvation Army Ipoh Centres enthused.
Financial donation can be channelled to the Maybank account 5005 1196 0246 (The Salvation Army). For more info, call 05 254 9767 / 012 372 1014 (Whatsapp) or visit The Salvation Army Ipoh Facebook page.