Establishment facing financial difficulty to cover operating expenses due to rising cost of living and dwindling donations

KLANG: A centre here that cares for physically handicapped youths and special needs children, especially those with Down syndrome and hyperactive disorders, has put out an urgent call for financial assistance.

S. Gunarasa, who operates the Pusat Jagaan Kanak Kanak Down Syndrome Dan Hyper Active in Bukit Tinggi 2, said the centre started in May 2011 and currently cares for 15 boys and youths who need assistance with their daily tasks.

“Most of those whom we care for have been abandoned by their families and came to us when they were children. Many arrived about 10 years ago and are now aged between 11 and 25.

“We started with just three residents, but over the years their admissions just grew.”

He said the centre needs about RM15,000 monthly to operate.

This includes RM1,700 for rent, about RM800 for electricity and just over RM200 for water bills, apart from medical expenses.

“Aside from providing the residents with a home, we also give them proper nutrition, counselling and care. Sadly, many of them do not even know their biological parents and consider our caregivers as their parents.”

He said the centre has a van, which was donated by the public in 2015, and is used as transport for hospital visits and activities outside the centre.

“We have always relied on public support and donations to run the centre. But ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country in 2019, we have experienced tough times.

“With the rising cost of living, many of our regular donors are also facing financial challenges, so we fully understand why they cannot help as much as they used to. That’s why we are sending out an SOS call to the wider public.

“Please help us as our residents have nowhere else to go and we cannot just abandon them. We also hope businesses and corporations will come forward with some financial assistance.”

Gunarasa said speech therapists and physiotherapists are a luxury which the centre cannot afford.

“We used to have students who came to our centre to do their practicals at no cost to us. But now, they don’t come anymore and we just cannot afford to hire qualified physiotherapists or speech therapists.”

He also urged the public to visit the centre to get a better idea of how assistance could be provided.

Those who wish to donate to the centre can do so through its CIMB Bank account at 8003676963.

Anyone who wishes to visit the centre can write to or call Gunarasa at 019 705 8797 or the office at 03-3323 2666.