Abandoned Children Home Project

It was back in 1999 that Rotarian Akbar Khan first proposed that our club start a project to build a home for abandoned children. The board of directors headed by then President Frank Lim adopted this proposal and appointed Rotarian Chan Kam Fatt as chairman of the project committee. This committee was tasked with raising the funds required to turn the project idea into reality.

So why start such a massive project in the first place? Since a long time ago abandoned children have become an all too common and increasing problem in Malaysia and more so in the Klang valley. The members of our club considered the project to be extremely worthwhile in providing a place to live for some children and empowering them to obtain at least a basic education for a better future in life. Considering the club's size and members' ability to mobilise their connections in business and society it was felt the project was manageable.

However, little did Akbar Khan, Chan Kam Fatt, Frank Lim, the committee members, the club members and subsequent club presidents then realise that things would not go smoothly, that many obstacles -sometimes seemingly insurmountable - would crop up to block progress and that the project would at one point enter into hibernation mode due to various reasons.

Over the years, the committee in spite of an ever-changing number and composition of members, but with the support from successive club presidents, managed to solicit help and contributions in kind, services and cash to provide the basis for this project. In Rotary Year 1999/2000, President Frank Lim signed a memorandum of understanding with a public listed company, Magnum Corporation Berhad, for a contribution of RM 1 mill towards the project.

President Jason Gan (Rotary Year 2000/01) strongly and proudly led the members in a fund raising event which was ably organised by Past President Koay Soon Eng. It was a charity auction conducted by renowned auction house Sotheby's which was a huge success and raised close to another RM 1 mill - solely for this project.

Over the years many of our professional members came forward to provide free services towards the project such as architects Low Kok Hwa and David Teh, quantity surveyor Frank Lim, land surveyor Choy Hon Nang, lawyers Tay Beng Chai and Freddy Chan, accountants Koay Soon Eng and Beh Lye Huat. Lim Eng Ho, Sou Yong, Akbar Khan and many other Rotarians also contributed in one way or another toward the project.

Unfortunately the project did not progress too well for a few years until in 2008 when things picked up again with our member Akbar Khan of Bandar Raya Developments Berhad expressing interest to become involved again by way of contributing a piece of land and providing some funding as part of the company's Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

The land contributed by Bandar Raya is located in a housing estate in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, and measures approximately 3 acres. It is on high ground in a mixed residential township with terrace houses, condominiums, apartments, flats and business premises. It is considered an ideal location to serve the needs of outer Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

The proposed home will have 2 blocks of single storey dormitories. Each block can house about 50 children. There will also be a block with a dining hall, kitchen, cooks' quarters and a launderette. Another 2-storey administration block will have classrooms, warden's quarters, two units teachers' quarters and a centre court for games. It is estimated that the earthworks and building costs will amount to approximately RM 5 mill.

Many meetings and site visits have been carried out since with participation from Francis Chan, Rizal Sardon and Andy Khoo as presidents in their respective Rotary Years.

A new agreement has been successfully concluded with Bandar Raya Developments Bhd during Andy Khoo's tenure as club president and this covers the joint building and management of the Home for Abandoned Children under a trust named BRDB Rotary Trust which h as registered trustees. The previously accumulated sum of approximately RM 2.3 mill will be transferred to the new trust under the terms of agreement and will be used for the construction of the home.

Funds raised through an installation dinner (President Andy) and a charity orchestra performance (Rotarian Ridza Abdullah) will be injected into the new trust which is called Children's Home Development.