Press Release – July 6, 2009
Nursalam, Malaysia Think Tank and Friends of Nursalam will hold a fundraising event at Carlos Pavillion on July 11, 2009 from 9pm onwards. The event has been organised to raise funds for a private school for stateless and disadvantaged children.
The event programme will see a mixture of activity and entertainment throughout the night to help raise funds as well as items auctioned off for the same reason. Entertainment will also be provided, with a guest appearance by Zainal Abidin of Hijau and Headwind fame. Zainal has agreed to sing for charity. Shruthi and NROCINU will perform their hit songs. Proceeds from tickets sales which cost RM80 per head go straight into the fund and a percentage of food and beverage sales from Carlos that night will be donated to Nursalam too. Mushi Mushi DJs will provide the music. PT Angels and Isadora will perform cabaret acts.
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Note on Nursalam:
Nur Salam is a 24 hour activity centre and ‘safehouse’ that provides a safe, healthy and loving environment for all children under the age of 18, living in and around the Chow Kit area of KL. Children registered at Nur Salam are given food, shelter and can participate in educational, health and recreational programs that otherwise may not be accessible to them. Therapists come to the centre every week to work with children in need of counseling. We have volunteers who home in to read to the children in English, and others who organise recreational outings to performances or local attractions.
Over 400 children are currently enrolled at Nur Salam, about 40 to 100 of whom come to the centre on a given day. Most children come after school and on weekends, but as of May 2009, there are 8 children who stay full time in the dormitory space. The majority of children are originally from Chow Kit, but there are also children who have come to the area from other parts of Malaysia, who may have been trafficked, or who may be refugees. Most children come from one-parent homes, and many are the children of sex workers and/or drug addicts. In addition, many of the children do not have documents such as birth certificates or identity cards; some are stateless and unable to attend regular schools.
Note on the Malaysia Think Tank:
The Malaysia Think Tank is an organisation dedicated to democracy and freedom in Malaysia. One of its aims is to provide a platform where Malaysians of all ethnic and religious backgrounds can advance the ideals of liberty and justice espoused in the Proclamation of Independence and Federal Constitution. The think tank believes that the education of these children is in keeping with these ideals and will help to prevent a future rise in urban crime, vagrancy and poverty.
Note on the proposed school:
The goal should be to prevent the problem of undocumented children from gaining in size and intensity. To begin with, wide scale documentation of children born of legally married Malaysian couples, even when only one parent is a bonafide Malaysian must begin. The politics of national priority simply dictate that the Malaysian dimension of the problem be taken care first. In the interim, several steps can be taken to alleviate the pressures on these undocumented persons and children, albeit all in the education and training sector.
Instead of denying them the right to basic education, and healthcare, new schools have to be built to cater to their academic needs, without which they risk becoming potential vagrants—if the problem is left untreated. To the extent the resources cannot be found to have these physical infrastructures in the shortest time possible, then the education to which their own communities provide should be appropriately credentialed.
This school will be open to all children, so that stateless and refugee children can receive an education, in accordance with their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.