HIV/AIDS has claimed millions of lives globally and continues to remain a threat nationwide. In the absence of access to treatment due to cost and other contributing factors, the number of fatality has continued to rise.
Smart Trends International has initiated efforts to raise funds and awareness among the community in the region to fight the spread of this epidemic as part of their key initiative in corporate social responsibility.
Group Chairman Dato Dr Emmanuel Benson has highlighted and stressed the importance of awareness as well as improving the quality of those affected and plagued with this illness through various donations drives and sponsorship programmes.
Smart Trends Rises to the Occasion
KUALA LUMPUR: People with HIV have been given another chance to reintegrate into mainstream society through the Women and Health Association of Kuala Lumpur (Wake).
Its patron, Datuk Dr Emmanuel Benson, said Wake, a non-government organisation established in 2001, has been running programmes not just for those with HIV but also for transsexuals and children.
“We have 27 inmates in our three shelters. We accept women, children and transsexuals – these people are often displaced. At the shelters, we provide them a place to stay while they get treatment.
“They also receive some vocational training to allow them to join society again when they are well,” he told theSun in a recent interview.
He added that right now, there are no babies at the shelter, the youngest child there being 12 years old.
Annually, it costs between RM300,000 and RM400,000 to run the shelters, and the residents try to raise the funds themselves.
“The patients are provided medication by the Malaysian Aids Council. We also provide them with counselling as it is a psychological battle because of the stigma attached to those with HIV.
“If the children have lost their parents to AIDS, most usually live with the stigma and discrimination attached to the disease.The counsellors have been working with us for 10 to 15 years,” he said.
Wake’s shelters use a holistic approach to the management of the children’s health and for the other residents of the homes.
The staff from the shelters conduct regular visits to areas where women work as sex workers, and provide counselling in regard to their health, including issues on HIV/AIDS and to guide them towards rehabilitation.
“We want those people to be able to lead a normal life eventually. With the current medication available, this is possible. We guide the residents towards this goal,” Benson said.
Currently, Wake is trying to find a building to accommodate its residents, and is seeking the government’s help for a plot of land for the purpose.
“If we can no longer house these people, they have no where else to go but back to the streets.”
Smart Trends Donates RM 10,000
A small feat that led to a great outcome as guests braved the heat and humidity to attend a charity dinner to help raise funds for the Women and Health Organisation Kuala Lumpur (WAKE), a shelter home caring for HIV-infected women, children and transsexuals.
Around 300 guests including donors, well-wishers and friends attended the poolside event, held at Sri Damansara Club on 27th May 2017.
The event was officiated by its patron, Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Dr Emmanuel Benson, a corporate figure in the education field. Dato Benson, who is chairman and founder of Smart Trends International Sdn Bhd, a training centre for working and non-working adults, donated RM10,000 towards the fund.
According to Dato Dr. Ben, “This fundraiser will help jumpstart the charity organisation in securing funds for its mission to help those suffering from AIDS. However, more will need to be done to ensure this organisation is sustainable.”
He also stressed that WAKE plays a dual role. Besides housing HIV-infected children and affected siblings, HIV-positive women with no family support and HIV-positive Transsexuals, it is also a platform to extend awareness and help eliminate the stigma, misunderstandings and discrimination against those infected with AIDS.”
Meanwhile, WAKE President, En. Abu Bakar bin Jallaludin said the impact of AIDS on children and adults are both complex and multifaceted.
“Many suffer intense psychosocial and economic distress. If the children have lost their parents to AIDS, most must live with the stigma and discrimination attached to the disease,” he added.
En.Abu Bakar encouraged more people to come forward to assist in this noble work of caring for those afflicted. He also thanked all the donors and hoped there would be continued support for the organistion to carry out activities pertinent to its cause.
The night included a sumptuous dinner, entertainment by the Nightbirds and lucky draws with exciting prizes sponsored by Capri from Fraser Group, Pensonic and other organisations.
WAKE was founded by Catherine I.J. Arumanayagam and registered on 10 January 2001. The organisation uses a holistic approach to manage those affected by AIDS.
It houses three shelters, one each for children, women and transsexuals, respectively. WAKE’s objective is to provide safe shelter, proper healthcare, meals, medication, psychosocial and emotional support and basic palliative care, irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity.
For further enquiries or donations, contact:
Pertubuhan Wanita dan Kesihatan, Kuala Lumpur (WAKE)
No. 22-5-1, Block F,Jalan Semarak Api 3,Off Jalan Gombak,
Diamond Square Commercial Centre, 53000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-4024 6861 Fax : +603-4024 6877