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Website launched to help public find assistance

23 Mar 2020 / 11:31 H.

PETALING JAYA: With our movements now restricted, some selfless souls have come forth to not only offer help to the needy and elderly, but also draw others to do good.

Malaysian author Hanna Alkaf created a website called #KitaJagaKita that lists organisations and individuals who wish to assist those affected by the movement control order (MCO).

Her aim is to help those without anyone to turn to for assistance.

The website lists non-governmental organisations, including Mercy Malaysia, Women’s Aid Organisation and Befrienders KL

There are also independent organisations like Puak Payong, which offer assistance to students, Buku Jalanan Chow Kit, that distributes food to families in the Chow Kit area, and The Lost Food Project, which channells surplus food to the needy.

Hanna, 34, said she created the platform with a friend, Andrew Loh, who was part of the Pulang Mengundi team. Loh had seen Hanna’s tweet and expressed interest to be part of the #KitaJagaKita initiative.

“Within 24 hours, we created a group and an online directory was set up on Wednesday,” Hanna said, adding the directory was from research on communities needing help.

Upset after hearing about concerns raised after the MCO came into force, Hanna said she decided to act. Together with a 10-man team working around the clock, she got the “verified” directory up on the website.

“We match people who want to help (the rakyat, corporate sponsors) with people who need it.”

There are categories in the directory like monetary donations, volunteerism, and services on hotlines and helplines that provide psychological assistance.

Malaysians can volunteer for these categories.

“If there any corporations that want to help, it would be good,“ Hanna added.

For more information on #KitaJagaKita, visit https://www.kitajaga.us/or email the team at kitajaga.us@gmail.com.

Another good samaritan is Joseph Mathers, 29, from Scotland, who started a “caremongering” group on Facebook, to help the vulnerable groups in the wake of the MCO.

He created “Caremongering Malaysia – A Community Response to Covid-19” and called on young people to offer care, especially to their elderly neighbours, by checking on them, doing their groceries, or picking up their medication from pharmacies during this trying time.

“Scaremongering is a big problem. I wanted to switch this around and get people to connect at a more positive level instead,” he told Bernama recently.

He also spoke of his grandmother and how he can relate to the needs of the elderly, especially those without anyone to support them.

Joseph, who has been in Malaysia for the past two years, said he was surprised how fast Malaysians took to his initiative.

“People just joined the group so quickly,” he said, adding that the site now has over 500 members.

Another kind-hearted soul is Amrick Singh, representing the Subang Jaya Gurdwara.

“Do you know anyone in Subang Jaya who is unable to cook his or her own meals due to old age and disabilities? Subang Jaya Gurdwara will deliver meals to them,“ said the president of the Subang Sikh Association in an online post.

“On Saturday, food was prepared for 20 people and today (Sunday) for 30. We have 15 volunteers who are helping to prepare and send the meals.”

Packed meals are either for two persons or sufficient for two meals.

“It feels great to help and surprisingly, there are people offering to help deliver the food or contribute small sums of money to keep the project going,” Amrick added.

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