Materia Medica Malaysiana

January 30, 2006

Helping Hands

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:29 am

Malay Mail: KIOKU isn’t Japanese despite the way it sounds. Instead, it is a homegrown non-governmental organisation committed to serving the needs of disabled persons, particularly those who are wheelchair-bound.
Its name is the Malay acronym for Perkhidmatan Keluarga Interaksi Orang-orang Kurang Upaya, or the Services for the Whole Family and People with Disabilities.
Under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Kioku’s main objective is to build bridges between disabled people from various societies and members of the public.
“We are a fully voluntary service without racial, religious or political bias,” said its president Chris Thasan, who is wheelchair-bound himself. “Our earnest hope and cry is for the public to recognise and support the disabled in their struggles, efforts and determination to continue living an ordinary life, and strive for better quality of life. Please lend us a helping hand to help the disabled community.”
Under the Constitution, a person with disabilities is a full citizen. Said Thasan: “We want to be treated with dignity. Sympathy is not what we are looking for, but the opportunity to live our lives to the fullest like any other citizens.”
One way of achieving its objectives is by organising the Kioku Family Day. “Our role is mainly to give motivation and to raise the spirits of the disabled people,” said Thasan. “We seek to improve the perception of society towards the disabled community as a whole, being disabled persons ourselves.”
Every year, the Kioku Family Day is organised to bring together the disabled people, their family members and members of the public. Said Thasan: “We are looking for a main sponsor to support our Family Day this year which will be held in September,” he said.
“At the same time, we are looking for investors who are willing to help start up small workshops for the disabled people to do tailoring and repairing of television sets.
“We are providing training for the disabled people to help them live as independent people,” he said. “We urge members of the public to look into the transportation problems faced by our disabled friends.”
In July 2004, Kioku started its One-Stop Centre in Taman Sri Sentosa for the rehabilitation of the disabled people. The centre provides advice, counselling and assistance for other technical problems faced by disabled people.
Kioku’s One-Stop Centre is located at Taman Sri Sentosa, Jalan Kelang Lama, Kuala Lumpur. Chris Thasan can be contacted at (016) 360-3527 or (03) 7782-7640.

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