The Pahang Social Welfare Department initiated its first ever field trip to Yayasan Ipoh (YI), a donor-funded rehabilitation centre in Bercham, last week.
The one-day session was aimed to enable the 72 participants from Bera District – made up of government officials, volunteers, parents and the differently-abled of all ages – to learn firsthand the intricacies of how the non-profit organisation runs, while raising funds to support the rehabilitation services of its therapy division, Persatuan Pemulihan Sultan Azlan Shah (PPSAS) since 1982.
To kick off, Dato’ Dr Ramanathan Ramiah, CEO of YI cum Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon of PPSAS gave an introductory talk.
The event was officiated by Nor Tipah Majin, Director of the Perak Social Welfare Department.
She commended the initiative of the Pahang Social Welfare Department in supporting the educational trip as mooted by parents of the differently-abled and coordinated by officers of the Community-Based Rehabilitation Association in Bera District.
The seminar proceeded with staff members of YI presenting lectures on the professional holistic services available at its one-stop centre comprising physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, daycare for special needs children, hydrotherapy and horse riding for the differently-abled.
The issue of funding shortage in its effort to better serve the community was also discussed.
Present were Murni Azniza Umar, Officer of the Bera District Social Welfare Department who led the entourage, Dr Ragu Raman Abdullah, Member of YI Board of Trustees and officials of the Perak Social Welfare Department.
Murni expressed her utmost gratitude to all for making the programme a success.
Dr Ramanathan shared with Ipoh Echo, “They wanted to come and see how we manage this place because they heard so much about us, a non-profit organisation which runs efficiently with minimal expenses, supported by public donations and offers various therapy services under one roof complete with affordable, minimal charges.”
After some enlightening question-and-answer slots, the participants were divided into smaller groups for a guided tour of all units at the 8-acre site. Recently the disabled-friendly and smoke-free space was upgraded with additional facilities such as more covered parking lots, handicapped parking for motorcycles, shaded drop-off zones and extra toilets for the public among others.
As its number of patients increases over time, extra efforts are being made by YI to ensure that no one is left behind.
A 117-square metre Physical Fitness Rehabilitation Gym which is fully equipped with 17 pieces of gym equipment was launched last year.
Besides housing the only specially-built dark room (for those with hyperactivity) and white room (for those with hypoactivity) in Perak, the premises also feature a sensory garden and an Independent Living Centre.
The end of the productive day marked the beginning of bigger things to come as it inspired the plans of the Pahang Social Welfare Department to set up an institution similar to YI in Bera District to serve the community there. Therefore, the enthusiastic department is set to return for more visits for further discussions.
Yayasan Ipoh recorded a total of 3,411 patients of all ages with 8,521 therapy sessions in 2021. Besides that, it has been appointed as PERKESO’s (Social Security Organisation) rehabilitation panelist for over two years now.
Presently, YI is in dire need of funds to keep afloat as monetary donations have continued to further drop drastically since the pandemic hit the country.
Readers who would like to donate to YI can channel their contribution to the CIMB account number 80-0504634-2 or Hong Leong account number 231-010-20711. Tax exemption receipts would be issued for donations of RM50 and above.
YI opens from 8am to 5pm six full days a week (closed on Sunday).
To learn more, visit www.yayasanipoh.org.my or call 05 5481905. It is located at Lot 158413, Lorong Bercham 11, Bercham, 31400 Ipoh.
by Tan Mei Kuan