Yayasan Suria JB (YSJB) – Taking a look into the “world of the blind”!
We visited this reflexology centre, all run by the blind (I would prefer using the word “visually-challenged) in Kulai on 21/7/2022 and, as promised, we paid them another visit today, 23/7/2023 bringing them:
1. A RM4,000 cheque to help out with expenses in running the centre. The shop has been operating for the past 6 months, so far income derived was enough to cover for the monthly rental of RM1,350 and water/electricity bills at RM750 respectively.
3 masseurs, 2 female and 1 male, all visually- challenged are working there now. A female centre staff (Siti) who is the least visually challenged (that is the one who can ‘see’ the most clearly) is employed to oversee the operations there like collecting money, writing receipts, etc.
Indeed, this staff, Siti, signed the acknowledgment of our voucher of RM4,000 – I am really impressed by their determination, enthusiasm and drive to earn a living and live like any of us. Boss, En Ezan, who is also the most visually-challenged of the whole lot there, was not around when we were there as he was conducting “classes” for the visually- challenged and he sent his apology.
The centre is very clean and tidy, we have the opportunity to witness the operations that day with a few customers at hand – they operate as if they were as normal as anyone of us but they were totally visually- challenged, with each of them having ‘varying degree of sight’. Again, I am very proud of them and these people have my highest admiration and salutation!
Income is split 60% (masseur)/40% (owner) and business can be considered “good” after 6 months in operation.
The 4 of them (3 masseurs and 1 staff) are now staying at the center and due to the constant noises from the entertainment outlets nearby, the boss is shifting his staffs to a house nearby where they can have a decent sleep at night. Rental of the house will be around RM1,000 a month and our donation of RM4,000 will help, to some extent, defray the initial deposit and advance rental.
We are determined to see them succeed for I have a particular soft spot for the visually challenged as I grew up with them. My village, Gunong Rapat in Ipoh, is the home for MAB (Malaysian Association for the Blind) Kinta Valley Rehabilitation Centre and I was exposed to the blind from young, having seen them walking around the village, shopping and eating at the shops. Indeed, when I was working in Sandakan, Sabah in 1991 while employed in the plantation belonging to the LTAT (Lembaga Tabong Angkatan Tentera) group managed by Boustead Estates Agency, I employed a blind man to work.
2. Just for info, this centre is called 3R Blind Reflexology (Relax/Refresh/Rejuvenate). Do visit them and you can find all the details in their FB:
2. We brought along a food bank for the staffs – this time including frozen roti paratha, frozen chicken, frozen asam ikan pari and frozen prawn dumplings (hargow).
3. We have told them to include Chinese wording into the flyers as the area is mainly Chinese- dominated, being right in the CBD (Central Business District) of Kulai and we will foot the bill, also told them to print and distribute as many as they want and we shall also pay for it.
The entrance going up to the shop lacks signage, told them what to do and we shall also pay for the necessary costs. All we want is to make them successful where they can stand on their own feet. We shall be visiting them monthly to check on their business venture and to extend whatever help that is needed, perhaps have an hour of reflexology there too!
I urge all of you, especially those staying at the Kulai/Senai vicinity to go support them – just a small ‘lift’ (our support) from you will go a long way towards their success.
4. We also gave them a preloved laptop for the staff to keep simple records. Showed Siti how to operate, she was so excited and I am amazed and surprised she could pick up the knowledge how to handle the laptop so fast!
We left the center with a heavy heart, wondering how they can operate a shop when they can’t “see” and we told them again and again, to call us for any assistance.
Off the tangent a little – while in Kulai, we distributed food banks to 2 families before heading back to JB in heavy rain.
Waze direction to 3R Blind Reflexology:
“The world is beautiful but I can’t see. Not because I don’t want to but because I am visually-challenged!”
Think again how fortunate we are to be able to SEE!