Published on: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Seri Mengasih Centre Board of Management Chairman Datuk Safari Manan said after 31 years of being involved with the setting up and managing the centre, he realised that by working with the children, he learned how to appreciate what he has and what others are capable of making up for what they are lacking.
"Remember in the earlier days when people were chained to the bedposts and left in their rooms all by themselves, they were not allowed to venture outside of their homes because their parents were ashamed of their conditions.
"Now, we have a choice. Whether we want to keep them locked-up in their rooms or make them learn something for themselves so they could take care of themselves and be able to fend for themselves. That's the choice we have to make.
"Making the difference for them and by doing that, we appreciate.
We are grateful for what we are. I hope by being here, you will be able to witness and find meaning in what we have done for them," he said during the Baila Fitness Glittering Charity Nite 2013 in aid of Seri Mengasih Centre at the 1Borneo Grand Ballroom here.
Safari also told a story about one of the students in the centre who now can tend for himself and even get a job to support himself without relying on anybody.
"I assure you that it is not in vain and it is not something that is wasteful.
The people in Seri Mengasih are in need of help, whether it's financial, in kind, in services or even in the good thoughts about them," he said.
The Charity Nite was organised by Baila Fitness and managed to collect RM50,000, half of the RM100,000 initial target.
Baila Fitness President Mary Florence Gomez said that Seri Mengasih was the second beneficiary of the club's social community activity after Palliative Care Association last year.
State Community Development and Consumerism Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun praised the efforts of Baila Fitness members for helping the students in Seri Mengasih Centre.
"Seri Mengasih is a very special place and I can assure you that Datuk Safari and the members of the board as well as the staff at the centre appreciate your effort greatly and all that you contribute will be put to good use.
"We need more people like yourselves in our community to give good examples, especially to our children," she said in her speech read by her Permanent Secretary Datuk Asnimar Sukardi.
The fun-filled night was filled with entertainment activities performed by special guest singers and dancers from in and out of the country.
However, the most interesting was the dance performance by the students of Seri Mengasih Centre.