Outreach to refugees turns 1

 The Kuala Lumpur Corps’ outreach to Pudu refugees celebrates one year.

One year ago The Salvation Army Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Corps rented a shop in Pudu to use for its Help Centre, an outreach store for refugees in the area. Today, one year later, its doors are still open.

Numbers from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reveal there are more than 100,000 refugees in Malaysia with more than 90,000 in Myanmar alone. Members of the Chin tribe comprise the majority of Christian refugees in Myanmar. As refugees, they can only secure jobs such as odd jobs in restaurants and construction. Because of their minimal income, they must resort to living with other families in the city, sometimes two or three in a room designed for one.

With the assistance of UNHCR, The Salvation Army was able to hire a refugee as a full-time community service worker at the center. The employee works in all responsibilities of the ministry: selling merchandize, packing food parcels and distributing them to vulnerable families who cannot work, are sick or are single parents watching young children.

Since its opening, the Help Centre has distributed food boxes to 61 families, benefitting more than 200 adults and children.

The center also offers weekly English classes for youth.

The Help Centre is supported by the Kuala Lumpur Corps, which has taken on the role of overseer. It organized a Christmas get-together and luncheon at the corps. This was welcomed by the refugees, giving them an opportunity to forget about their current needs by singing Christmas carols, listening to the Christmas story and sharing life stories with each other.


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