Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur DiRaja
Community Service 2008-09

Wheelchair Fund: For Donations to Infant Jesus Convent and PDK South Klang

As part of our on-going efforts with the Wheelchair Fund, our Club received numerous requests for wheel-chairs. These were processed and approved based on the strict joint Rotary International and Wheelchair Foundation worldwide regulations.

PDG Dato’ Jimmy also made generous donations from his District 3300 Wheelchair initiative by giving wheelchairs to RC Haatyai Nakarin and RC Kuantan in November 2008 during a Club lunch meeting.

Our Club itself made the donation of its last wheelchair in stock (kindly stored by PP Chan Kam Fatt) to retired nun Sister Ching Suwy Wah of Infant Jesus Convent. President Francis and I made the delivery to IJC Cheras on 24th October 2008. Sister Ching’s face literally lit up with joy when she moved from her old dilapidated wheelchair to the spanking new red trimmed “racer” from our Club. A moment like this makes all the effort and challenges of doing charity the right way worthwhile.

Subsequently, we received a request from RC Kelana Jaya to support their wheelchair request from disabled children of PDK South Klang. The applications were carefully vetted and numerous calls were made to Klang to ensure the appropriate age and need of the applicants. Again, this is part-and-parcel of doing charity with appropriate governance, transparency and accountability. These are the practices championed by the most forward-thinking global charitable organizations like Rotary, the Gates Foundation and the Room-To-Read Foundation.

Finally, 19 wheelchair applications were approved with review from the Board and PP Chan Kam Fatt as the chairman of the Wheelchair Fund. The hand-over ceremony was scheduled for 22nd February 2009. As our Club had finally exhausted its stock of available wheelchairs, we were grateful for access to stock from the District 3300 wheelchair initiative managed by PDG Dato’ Jimmy.

In accordance with Dato’ Jimmy’s instructions, our Club prepared and sent a banker’s check for USD1,060 to Rotary Foundation donated in the name of RC KL DiRaja. This was equivalent (at that time of exchange rate) to RM3,800 which is RM200 per wheelchair as the standard Rotary International cost to Clubs in Malaysia.

Additionally, since PDK South Klang planned a disabled community event to host the families of the 19 recipients, our Board approved RM3,000 to fund the lunch for the families of disabled members of the PDK. The event was well-attended by our Club members who witnessed President Francis handing over the wheelchairs to the needy children and their parents.

Finally, in May 2009, PDG Dato’ Jimmy very generously contributed 8 wheelchairs to RC Kuala Trengganu from his own pockets. These wheelchairs had been approved by PP Chan but had not yet been sent out due to an administrative delay. However PDG Dato’ Jimmy came to the fore and informed me that he had sent the 8 wheelchairs from his District stock on behalf of RC KL DiRaja and would bear all the charges on behalf of our Club. Kudos to Dato’ Jimmy for this act of philanthropy.

We presently have about RM90,000 (data-point from President Francis) balance in the Wheelchair Fund which will be rolled over to RY2009-10 for future requests. At present, we already have applications coming in from RC Kuala Trengganu (8 units via PP Chan Kam Fatt), PPKKCTM (3 units) and NASAM (5 units). These funds and applications will be channeled to next RY’s Community Service director for a dynamic start to RY2009-10.